France’s Dassault launches Falcon X long-range business jet
The twin-engined aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce, will enter service in late 2025
French plane-maker Dassault Aviation unveiled a new long-range business jet, the Falcon X, to challenge its North American rivals Gulfstream and Bombardier.
The new jet in the Falcon family will deliver a “level of comfort, versatility and technology unmatched by any purpose-built business jet”, the company said.
The Falcon 10X will be able to fly up to 7,500 nautical miles, allowing it to travel non-stop between New York and Shanghai, Los Angeles and Sydney, Hong Kong and New York or from Paris to Santiago.
The twin-engine aircraft, which will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines, will enter service in late 2025.
“Today we are introducing a new benchmark in business aviation,” Eric Trappier, Dassault’s chairman and chief executive, said during an online launch event on Thursday evening.
“The Falcon 10X will offer an unrivalled passenger experience over both short- and long-duration flights, along with breakthrough safety features ... we have optimised every aspect of the aircraft with the passenger in mind and established a new level of capability for ultra-long-range aircraft,” he added.
The Falcon 10X will have the “biggest and most comfortable cabin” on the market and can accommodate four cabin zones of equal length. Users can customise interiors – for example, building an expanded conference area or a dedicated entertainment corner.
“The 10X will be more than just another big step forward in business aviation. It will be absolutely the best business jet available in the ultra-long-range category, and will remain so for a long time,” Mr Trappier said.
The new jet will come with a next-generation filtration system that will provide 100 per cent pure air, the company claimed.
“It will be at least as quiet as the Falcon 8X, currently the quietest business jet in service.”
Industry experts expect demand for high-end travel to grow this year as customers seek alternatives to scheduled flights during the Covid-19 pandemic
“The super-wealthy will still want to travel internationally but not deal with commercial flights or large airports. Price points are strong in this top class and profit margins fat, so it’s a good place to have product,” George Ferguson, senior aerospace analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said.
Global business aviation activity has more than tripled in the first half of April compared to the same period last year, according to data research and consulting company WingX Advance.
Since the start of the year to mid-April, business jet movements rose by 10 per cent from a year ago, it said.
“I think the plane will be well received. There aren't a lot of jets sold or built at this top end. Gulfstream will be up to about 50 G650/700s by 2022 and Bombardier about 40 Global 7500s. So Dassault would probably be in a similar range once they ramp up to full production,” Mr Ferguson added.
Dassault Aviation, which reported sales of €5.49 billion ($6.61bn) last year, employs 12,440 staff. Thus far, it has delivered more than 10,000 military and civil aircraft (including 2,500 Falcons) to customers in more than 90 countries.
The new Falcon 10X comes with a digital flight control system, derived from the company’s latest military technology, to ensure more precision and protection during flying, the company said.
“We have set the bar for our new Falcon incredibly high … I can confidently say that we have put this aircraft at the top of the market,” Mr Trappier said.
Published: May 6, 2021 09:23 PM