Dassault Falcon 7X
|A Falcon 7X, landing gear down, flaps deployed|
|Role||Intercontinental business jet|
|First flight||5 May 2005 (7X)|
6 February 2015 (8X)
|Introduction||7X: 15 June 2007|
8X : 5 October 2016
|Primary users||Air Alsie|
|Number built||289 (7X, Q1 2020),|
~50 (8X, 2018)
|Developed from||Falcon 900|
The Dassault Falcon 7X is a large-cabin, 5,950 nautical miles (11,020 km) range business jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation, the second largest of its Dassault Falcon line. Launched at 2001 Paris Air Show, its first flight was on 5 May 2005 and it entered service on 15 June 2007. The Falcon 8X is derived from the 7X with a longer range of 6,450 nautical miles (11,950 km) afforded by engine optimizing, aerodynamic refinements and an increase in fuel capacity. Featuring an S-duct central engine, it and the Falcon 900 are the only two trijets in production.
Dassault launched the FNX at the 2001 Paris Air Show, aiming for a 10,500km (5,700nm) range at Mach 0.88 up from the Falcon 900EX 8,300 km at Mach 0.84. Its new high-speed wing is 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) longer with 5° higher wing sweep than the 900 wing, while its fuselage is 20% longer, it keeps the same cabin cross-section but with a new curved windscreen. The trijet has a combined thrust of 18,000lb (80kN) provided by Honeywell FX5s, a new design, or a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306 growth version. Based on Honeywell Primus Epic avionics, its EASy cockpit is developed for the Falcon 2000EX and 900EX and controls are fly-by-wire. Scheduled to fly in 2004, first deliveries were planned for mid-2006.
With 41 deposits, it was named 7X in November with first flight slipping from late 2004 to early 2005 and certification planned for mid-2006. With a simplified structure to reduce cost and weight, the optimised high-transonic wing improves by more than 10% the lift-to-drag ratio over the supercritical-section wing of the Falcon 50 shared by previous Falcons. The cabin is 2.4m (8ft) longer than the 900 and have a lower 6,000ft (1,800m) cabin altitude. the 6,100 lbf (27.1 kN) PW307A was finally selected, among other risk-sharing partners: Honeywell for avionics architecture, auxiliary power unit, air management system; with Parker Hannifin for the power generation system and wheels brakes; and TRW Aeronautical Systems for the hydromechanical flap and airbrake systems.
With over 50 firm orders, it completed its first flight on 5 May in 1h 36min from Bordeaux-Merignac, starting a 1,200h flight test programme over 15 month: it climbed to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) for hydraulic, fuel, air data and landing gear extraction/retraction systems tests, then climbed to 25,000 ft for acceleration/deceleration tests and basic autopilot and autothrottle operations. The second Falcon 7X should join in June, and the third with a full interior in September for long-range, endurance tests and interior sound level validation: Dassault aims for a 52dB sound level in the cabin, 4dB lower than other Falcons. Certification slipped to late 2006 and first deliveries to early 2007.
It was first presented to the public at the 2005 Paris Air Show. The aircraft has received its type certification from both the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 27 April 2007. The first 7X, MSN05, entered service on 15 June 2007. The hundredth was delivered in November 2010. It conducted high altitude airport tests at 4,400 m (14,500 ft) in Daocheng in 2014.
In 2001, the Falcon 7X, at approximately $35 million (preproduction order price), was nearly $10 million cheaper than its nearest competitors in the long-range, large cabin market segment, including the Gulfstream G550 and Bombardier Global Express. It was targeted to be priced for 2004 at 12% more than the $33 million top-of-the-range Falcon 900EX equipped: $39.6 million. Its price was $37 million in 2005, and $41 million in 2007. In 2017, its list price was $54M, a 3-4-year-old 7X was worth $27-34m and a 7-9 year old one cost $19-24M. The latest market data for Q1 2020 shows 287 out of 289 aircraft currently in operation with an asking price range of $18,495,000 - $24,800,000. In 2021, its equipped price was $53.8M.
The Falcon 7X is a three-engined cantilever monoplane with a low-positioned, highly swept wing. It has a horizontal stabiliser at mid-height and a retractable tricycle landing gear, and three rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney PW307A turbofan engines : two on the side of the fuselage and one in a center position, and room for 20 passengers and two crew. It is the first production Falcon jet with winglets.
It is the first fully fly-by-wire business jet and is equipped with the same avionics suite, the Honeywell Primus Epic "Enhanced Avionics System" (EASy), that was used on the Falcon 900EX and later on the Falcon 2000EX.
The Falcon 7X is notable for its extensive use of computer-aided design, the manufacturer claiming it to be the "first aircraft to be designed entirely on a virtual platform", using Dassault Systemes' CATIA and PLM products.
In February 2010, Dassault Falcon and BMW Designworks were awarded the 2009 Good Design Award by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design for their collaboration on the new Falcon 7X interior option. Due to special engine mounts and cabin isolators, the cabin is extremely quiet, below 50 dBA, and is available with a shower. 
Pitch trim incident
EASA grounded the Falcon 7X fleet after a report from Dassault Aviation regarding an uncontrolled pitch trim runaway during descent in one of its jets in May 2011. The aircraft pitched up to 41 degrees, with the load factor increasing to 4.6g, it climbed from 13,000 to 22,500 ft and the airspeed went from 300 to 125 kn.
"This condition, if occurring again, could lead to loss of control of the aeroplane," the EASA notice said. Initial results of investigation showed that there was a production defect in the Horizontal Stabilizer Electronic Control Unit which could have contributed to the cause of the event. Dassault Aviation developed modifications in June 2011 to allow a return to flight.
After four years of investigation, the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile published its final report in June 2016. It was found that incorrect nose-up commands to the trimmable horizontal stabilizer were caused by a soldering defect on the pin of its electronic control unit provided by Rockwell Collins.
Teterboro-London City record
On May 2, 2014, Dassault Falcon pilots Philippe Deleume and Olivier Froment set a new speed record for the Falcon 7X on a 5 h 54 min flight from New York Teterboro Airport to London City Airport with three passengers on board.
The 6,450 nmi (11,945 km) range Falcon 8X was announced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in May 2014. Its cabin is 1.1 m (3.5 ft) longer than the 7X. With improvements to wing design and improved Pratt & Whitney Canada PW300, the 8X is up to 35% more fuel efficient than its competitors.
The prototype, registered F-WWQA, first flew from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport on 6 February 2015. The Falcon 8X was added as a subtype of the Falcon 7X on the EASA type certificate on 24 June 2016 as modification M1000 for S/N 0401 and ongoing. Dassault delivered the first Falcon 8X on 5 October 2016 to Greek business aviation operator Amjet Executive. By October 2018, the Falcon 8X FalconEye EFVS was approved by the FAA and EASA for approaches down to 100 ft (30 m), and dual HUD FalconEye will allow EVS-to-land in 2020, without using natural vision.
The three PW307D turbofans gained 320 lbf (1.4 kN) each, and are 1.5% more fuel efficient. MTOW is increased from 70,000 to 73,000 lb (31.8 to 33.1 t) and fuel capacity is increased by 3,200 lb (1.5 t) for 500 nmi (930 km) more range. The wing structure is 600 lb (270 kg) lighter, and more flexible for a plush ride, while BOW is 200 lb (91 kg) heavier than the 7X despite the 3.5 ft (1.1 m) stretch. A strict weight control allow most operators to match or best Dassault's 36,800 lb (16.7 t) estimate BOWs for a fully equipped aircraft with three crewmembers. Its unmatched structural efficiency, with a BOW only half of MTOW, allow a superior fuel efficiency while its MTOW is less than a 4,100 nmi (7,600 km) Gulfstream IV-SP. The first hour fuel burn is 4,000 lb (1.8 t) while average cruise fuel burn is 2,250 lb (1.02 t) per h. The 47 db average cabin sound level is 2-3 db lower than the Falcon 7X. In 2021, its equipped price was $60M.
More than 260 Falcon 7X have been delivered between mid-2007 to March 2016 and the type has flown more than 440,000 hours. Europe has 117 aircraft, 45% of the fleet: 18 in Switzerland, 13 in France, eight in Luxembourg, seven in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Portugal, six in Russia, four in Ukraine among others. Antwerp's Flying Group operates five aircraft, Shell Oil has four in Rotterdam and Dassault Falcon Service at Paris-Le Bourget manages four, as does Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg. 20% of the fleet is in North America: more than 50 in the U.S., six in Canada and five in Mexico. In Asia-Pacific, 14 are in Hong Kong and 11 in China among others. Planet Nine Private Air LLC, a premium ultra long range charter based in Los Angeles, operates five Falcon 7X. Jet charter and management company Clay Lacy Aviation operates Falcon 7x aircraft on both U.S. coasts. 
Corporate and charter operators use their Falcon 8Xs 600 to 850 h per year, while individual operators fly theirs 300 to 400 h. Air Alsie in Denmark operates five Falcon 8Xs and six Falcon 7Xs, five 8Xs are based in Switzerland while Volkswagen, Global Jet Luxembourg and ExecuJet Europe each fly two 8Xs. Other operators have a single 8X: Shell, Flying Group, Aviaservice Air in Kazan, Russia, NetJets Europe, TAG Aviation in Geneva, Switzerland, Abelag Aviation and the Egyptian Air Force. Six are based in the US including with Bechtel, Citrus Products, Energy Transfer Partners, Honeywell, Sony. Three are based in China, two in São Paulo, and others are registered in San Marino, Malta and Monaco, throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East and India.
Government and military operators
- Royal Australian Air Force : three Falcon 7X leased for VVIP missions.
- Ecuadorian Air Force : One Falcon 7X (ID: FAE 052) for long-distance travel along the presidential Embraer Legacy 600. Delivered November 4, 2013; first official trip November 25, 2013.
- Egyptian Air Force - four Falcon 7X Order
- French Air and Space Force
- Escadron de transport, d'entrainement et de calibration 60 (government members air transport) : 2 Falcon 7X. Being used primarily by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, the first shipped airplane was nicknamed "Carla One" by French newspapers, in reference to Carla Bruni, then French First Lady.
- Two Falcon 8X ARCHANGE (Avion de Renseignement à CHArge utile de nouvelle GEnération) SIGINT aircraft on order to replace France's Transall C-160 Gabriel SIGINT aircraft.
- Hungarian Air Force : Two Falcon 7X (HuAF606)
- Albert II, Prince of Monaco - one Falcon 7X since 2013.
- Namibia - government : one Falcon 7X
- Nigerian Air Force - Two Falcon 7X
- Two such aircraft (with registration numbers RA-09007  , RA-09009 ) use the Russian special flight squad based on the state-owned Rossiya airline to transport the highest officials of the state.
|Crew||two pilots + one crew|
|Capacity||12 to 16 passengers|
|Cabin section||2.34 m / 7.67 ft width, 1.88 m / 6.17 ft headroom|
|Cabin length [a]||11.91 m / 39.07 ft||13 m / 42.67 ft|
|Length||23.38 m / 76.08 ft||24.46 m / 80.2 ft|
|Height||7.83 m / 25.67 ft||7.94 m / 26.1 ft|
|Wingspan||26.21 m / 86.00 ft||26.29 m / 86.25 ft|
|Wing area||70.7 m2 (761 ft²)|
|Wing loading||449 kg/m2 (92 lb/sq ft)||468 kg/m2 (96 lb/sq ft)|
|MTOW||31,751 kg / 70,000 lb||33,113 kg / 73,000 lb|
|Max payload||1,996 kg (4,400 lb)||2,223 kg (4,900 lb)|
|Fuel capacity||14,488 kg / 31,940 lb||15,830 kg / 34,900 lb|
|BOW||16,601 kg (36,600 lb)||16,375 kg (36,100 lb)|
|Turbofans (×3)||P&WC PW307A||P&WC PW307D|
|Thrust||28.48 kN / 6,402 lb||29.9 kN / 6,722 lb|
|Range (8 passengers)||11,019 km / 5,950 nmi||11,945 km / 6,450 nmi|
|Ceiling||15,545 m / 51,000 ft|
|Max speed||Mach 0.9 (516 kn; 956 km/h)|
|Cruise speed||Mach 0.8 (459 kn; 850 km/h)|
|Takeoff BFL[b]||1,740 m / 5,710 ft||1,829 m / 6,000 ft|
|Landing[c]||631 m / 2,070 ft||656 m / 2,150 ft|
|Avionics||Falcon EASy Flight Deck|
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
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- "Emergency Airworthiness Directive No. 2011-0102-E". EASA. May 26, 2011.
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- "Purchase planning handbook - Ultra long-range jets table". Business & Commercial Aircraft. Second Quarter 2021.
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- Waldron, Greg (8 April 2019). "RAAF to lease three Dassault 7X for VVIP mission". Flight Global. Singapore. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
- "Egypt to buy 4 Falcon 7X from Dassault for $337M". Ecofin Agency. 18 August 2016.
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- "Escadron de transport 60" (in French). French Air and Space Force. 11 August 2016.
- "Voici "Carla one", le nouvel avion de Sarkozy". Le Parisien (in French). July 10, 2009.
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- Chapman, Khalem (March 2020). "France awards ARCHANGE contract". Air International. Vol. 98 no. 3. p. 12. ISSN 0306-5634.
- "Egy harmadik Airbust és további repülőket vesz a honvédség" (in Hungarian). Euronews. 12 December 2018.
- "Business jettel fokozta légiszállító képességét a honvédség". 2018-08-05.
- "Albert s'offre l'avion de ses rêves" (in French). Paris Match. 5 March 2013.
- "Government defends new Falcon". The Namibian. March 18, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
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- excluding cockpit and baggage
- MTOW, SL, ISA
- typical landing weight
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to |
- Falcon 7X
- Falcon 8X
- Gordon Gilbert (May 22, 2008). "Playing the percentages, Dassault reveals Falcon 7X". AIN online.
- J. Mac McClellan (October 26, 2008). "Falcon 7X Pilot Report". Flying Magazine.
- Fred George (May 3, 2010). "Pilot Report On Falcon 7X Fly-By-Wire Control System". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
- "Pilot Report: Dassault Falcon 8X". Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. October 29, 2015.
- Fred George (April 2016). "Operators Report: Falcon 7X" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. p. 50.
- "Type certificate data sheet No. A59NM" (PDF). FAA. June 27, 2016.
- Matt Thurber (January 10, 2017). "Pilot Report: Falcon 8X" (PDF). Aviation International News.