Dassault Falcon 7X

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Falcon 7X/8X
Dassault Falcon 7X AN1852800.jpg
A Falcon 7X, landing gear down, flaps deployed
Role Intercontinental business jet
National origin France
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
Designer Richard Petri
First flight 5 May 2005 (7X)[1]
6 February 2015 (8X)[2]
Introduction 7X: 15 June 2007[3]
8X : 5 October 2016[4]
Status In production
Primary users 7X : Flying Group (Antwerp), 5
7X, 4 : Shell Oil, Dassault Falcon Service, Volkswagen AG[5]
Produced 2005-present
Number built 260+ (7X),[5] 4 (8X)
Program cost US$ 2.1 Billion
Unit cost
US$ 53.8 million (7X, 2016)
US$ 57.5 million (8X, 2016)[6]
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.[7] Featuring an S-duct central engine, it is one of only two trijets in production with the Falcon 900.

Falcon 7X[edit]

Dassault Falcon 7X assembly line at Bordeaux-Merignac

Development[edit]

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 (11.4ft) wider and with 5° higher wing sweep than the 900 wing, its 20% longer fuselage is keeping the same cabin cross-section but with a new curved windscreen. The trijet have a combined thrust of 18,000lb (80kN) to be provided by Honeywell FX5, 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.[8]

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.[9]

Falcon 7X on taxiway, 14 cabin windows

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.[1]

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.[10] The first 7X, MSN05, entered service on 15 June 2007.[3] The hundredth was delivered in November 2010.[11] It conducted high altitude airport tests at 14,500 ft in Daocheng in 2014.[12]

Price[edit]

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.[13] 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.[9] Its 2005 price was $37 million,[1] and $41 million in 2007.[14] In 2008, the smaller Global Express 5000 was priced at $40M.[15]

Design[edit]

Falcon 7X Cockpit

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

Falcon 7X interior

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.[19]

Pitch trim incident[edit]

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.[20][21] 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.[22]

"This condition, if occurring again, could lead to loss of control of the aeroplane," the EASA notice said.[23] 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.[24] Dassault Aviation developed modifications in June 2011 to allow a return to flight.[25]

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.[22]

Teterboro-London City record[edit]

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.[26]

Falcon 8X[edit]

Falcon 8X on taxiway, 15 cabin windows

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.[27]

The prototype, registered F-WWQA, first flew from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport on 6 February 2015.[2] 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.[16] Dassault delivered the first Falcon 8X on 5 October 2016 to Greek business aviation operator Amjet Executive.[4]

Falcon 9X[edit]

Dassault wants to launch a new Falcon jet at the end of 2017, focusing on enhanced comfort and reducing fuel consumption and noise.[28] JetNet iQ assumes this Falcon 9X would incorporate the Falcon 5X cross-section for comfort and lower takeoff weights thus lower-thrust engines than competition for lower noise, and favors a twin engine configuration for easier maintenance and to avoid redesigning the 5X.[29]

Operators[edit]

Civil operators[edit]

Dassault Falcon 7X at Kiev Zhuliany Airport

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.[5]

 Belgium
Abelag Aviation
 Saudi Arabia
  • Saudia (Saudia private aviation - SPA) : four Falcon 7X

Government and military operators[edit]

Nigerian Air Force Falcon 7X
 Ecuador
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.
 France
Escadron de transport 60 (government members air transport) : 2 Falcon 7X.[5][30] 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.[31][32]
 Monaco
Albert II, Prince of Monaco - one Falcon 7X since 2013.[33]
 Namibia
Namibia - government : one Falcon 7X[34]
 Nigeria
Nigerian Air Force - one Falcon 7X
 Egypt
Egyptian Air Force - four Falcon 7X Order[35][36]

Specifications[edit]

Variant 7X[37] 8X[38]
Crew two pilots + one crew[16]
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 23.19 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)[16]
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[6] 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

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Falcon 7X completes its first flight". Flight International. 17 May 2005. 
  2. ^ a b "MAIDEN FLIGHT: "Smooth" sortie opens Falcon 8X test campaign". Flight Global. 6 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Falcon 7X enters service". Flight Global. June 15, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Dassault delivers first Falcon 8X to Greece's Amjet Executive". Flight Global. October 6, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Operators Survey: Dassault Falcon 7X". Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. March 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Business Airplanes Purchase Planning Handbook" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. May 2016. 
  7. ^ William Garvey (May 19, 2014). "Dassault Expands Falcon Family With 8X". Aviation Week. 
  8. ^ "Dassault unveils long-range Falcon". Flight International. 26 June 2001. 
  9. ^ a b "Dassault unveils Falcon 7X long-range business jet". Flight International. 6 Nov 2001. 
  10. ^ "Dassault Falcon 7X Earns EASA and FAA Certification" (Press release). Dassault Falcon. April 27, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Dassault scores a century with 7X". Flight Global. 26 November 2010. 
  12. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (23 September 2014), "Dassault Falcon 7X set to operate from world's highest commercial airport", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information 
  13. ^ "Falcon 7X Trades Unwanted Range For a Price Tag Lower by $10 Million". Business & Commercial Aviation. 2001. Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. 
  14. ^ Murdo Morrison (May 2, 2007). "Onboard the 7X...". Flight International. Archived from the original on 2009-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Bombardier Global 5000 in the sweet spot". Flight Global. 6 October 2008. 
  16. ^ a b c d "type certificate data sheet" (PDF). EASA. 24 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Pilot Report On Falcon 7X Fly-By-Wire Control System". Aviation Week & Space Technology. May 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Dassault Aviation and Dassault Systèmes Make Industry History -- Falcon 7X Jet Becomes First Aircraft Entirely Developed on Virtual Platform" (Press release). Dassault Systèmes. May 24, 2004. 
  19. ^ "Dassault's Falcon 7X BMW Interior Option Wins Design Award" (Press release). February 5, 2010. 
  20. ^ Sarsfield, Kate (26 May 2011). "EASA grounds Dassault Falcon 7X after pitch trim incident". Flight Global. 
  21. ^ "EASA Grounds Falcon 7X Fleet". Aviation Week. May 26, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Serious incident to a Dassault Falcon 7X, registered HB-JFN on 05/24/2011 at Subang (Malaisie)". Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. June 13, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Emergency Airworthiness Directive No. 2011-0102-E" (PDF). EASA. May 26, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Emergency Airworthiness Directive 2011-0114-E" (PDF). EASA. 16 June 2011. 
  25. ^ "Dassault says Falcon 7x is now back in the air". Reuters. June 16, 2011. 
  26. ^ Haria, Rupa. "Falcon 7X Sets New Speed Record". Aviation Week. 
  27. ^ "Dassault Aviation Reveals First Falcon 8X" (Press release). Dassault Aviation. December 17, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Dassault Aviation. 2017-04-25. p. 5. 
  29. ^ Chad Trautvetter (April 26, 2017). "Dassault Could Launch New Falcon Jet Later This Year". Aviation International News. 
  30. ^ "Escadron de transport 60" (in French). French Air Force. 11 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "Voici "Carla one", le nouvel avion de Sarkozy" (in French). Le Parisien. July 10, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Le nouvel avion de Nicolas Sarkozy" (in French). Le Point. July 9, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Albert s’offre l’avion de ses rêves" (in French). Paris Match. 5 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Government defends new Falcon". The Namibian. March 18, 2009. 
  35. ^ "Egypt to buy 4 Falcon 7X from Dassault for $337M". Ecofin Agency. 18 August 2016. 
  36. ^ "Dassault Aviation vend quatre Falcon 7X à l'Egypte" (in French). La Tribune. 20 August 2016. 
  37. ^ "Falcon 7X". Dassault Aviation. 
  38. ^ "Falcon 8X". Dassault Aviation. 
  1. ^ excluding cockpit and baggage
  2. ^ a b typical landing weight

External links[edit]