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||7X: Flying Group (Antwerp), 5|
7X, 4: Shell Oil, Dassault Falcon Service, Volkswagen AG
|Number built||260+ (7X), 4 (8X)|
|Program cost||US$2.1 billion|
US$53.8 million (7X, 2018)
US$59.3 million (8X, 2018)
|Developed from||Falcon 900|
The Dassault Falcon 7X is a large-cabin, 5,950 nmi range business jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation, the 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 nmi 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 8,300km at Mach 0.84. Its new high-speed wing is 1.86m (6.10ft) longer with 5° higher wing sweep than the 900 wing, while its 20% longer fuselage is 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 6,100lb-thrust (21.7kN) 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 10,000ft (3,000m) for hydraulic, fuel, air data and landing gear extraction/retraction systems tests, then climbed to 25,000ft 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 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 2008, the smaller Global Express 5000 was priced at $40M.
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 to offer 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 kts.
"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 hr 54 min flight from New York Teterboro Airport to London City Airport with three passengers on board.
The 6,450 nm (11,945 km) range Falcon 8X was announced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in May 2014. Its cabin is 3.5 feet 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.
More than 260 Falcon 7X have been delivered between mid-2007 March 2016 and the fleet was flown more than 440,000 hours. 117 aircraft are in Europe, 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.
- Saudia (Saudia private aviation - SPA) : four Falcon 7X
Government and military operators
- 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.
- Escadron de transport 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.
- Hungarian Air Force : One Falcon 7X
- Albert II, Prince of Monaco - one Falcon 7X since 2013.
- Namibia - government : one Falcon 7X
- Nigerian Air Force - one Falcon 7X
- Egyptian Air Force - four Falcon 7X Order
|Crew||two pilots + one crew|
|Capacity||12 to 16 passengers|
|Headroom||1.88 m / 74 in|
|Cabin width||2.34 m / 92 in|
|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||468 kg/m²|
|Max takeoff weight||31,751 kg / 70,000 lb||33,113 kg / 73,000 lb|
|Max landing weight||28,304 kg / 62,400 lb|
|Max zero fuel weight||18,598 kg / 41,000 lb|
|Fuel capacity||14,488 kg / 31,940 lb||15,830 kg / 34,900 lb|
|Basic Operating Weight||16,600 kg (36,600 lb)||16,375 kg (36,100 lb)|
|turbofans (×3)||Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307A||Pratt & Whitney Canada 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)|
|Approach IAS[b]||193 km/h / 104 kt||197 km/h / 106 kt|
|Landing[b]||631 m / 2,070 ft||656 m / 2,150 ft|
|Takeoff (BFL, MTOW, SL, ISA)||1,740 m / 5,710 ft||1,829 m / 6,000 ft|
|Avionics||Falcon EASy Flight Deck|
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- excluding cockpit and baggage
- typical landing weight
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to |
- Falcon 7X
- Falcon 8X
- J. Mac McClellan (October 26, 2008). "Falcon 7X Pilot Report". Flying Magazine.
- "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.