Dassault Falcon 7X – Long-Range Business Jet, France
The first display of Dassault's long-range business jet, the Falcon 7X, took place in February 2005 at the Charles Lindbergh Hall at Dassault's Bordeaux Merignac aerospace production centre.
The first flight of the aircraft took place in May 2005. The Falcon 7X received FAA and EASA certification in April 2007 and entered service in June 2007. Dassault's Falcon 7X received type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in January 2010. The aircraft has, so far, received type certification from 14 countries.
The Falcon 7X is now being used in 24 countries and has completed more than 30,000 flight hours and 15,000 take-offs and landings.
Orders have been received for 200 aircraft, including 24 for NetJets Europe, which were ordered in September 2006 for delivery from 2008–2014.
The Falcon 7X is the latest member of the Falcon family of aircraft and flies faster, further and higher than its predecessors. Dassault states that the Falcon 7X is the world's first fly-by-wire business jet.
The fly-by-wire control technology, adapted from Dassault fighter aircraft, adds performance and safety benefits, including precise flight path control, automatic trim adjustment, and basic autopilot functions via the sidestick control for setting the heading and attitude.
With 14 passengers and a crew of three, the range of the aircraft is 10,556km (5,700nm), allowing non-stop flight from Riyadh to New York or from Paris to Tokyo. The aircraft is unrestricted by ETOPS considerations across oceans. The aircraft flies at speeds above Mach 0.85.
Falcon 7X passed the 2,000 flight hour mark in October 2009.
Orders and deliveries
Orders have been received for 200 aircraft, including 24 for NetJets Europe, which were ordered in September 2006 for delivery between 2008 and 2014.
Dassault delivered the first of four Falcon 7X to Saudia Private Aviation in May 2010. It delivered three Falcon 7X to mainland China in March 2010. The 75th Falcon 7X was delivered at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva in May 2010.
Falcon 7X design
The fin box is of carbon construction. The vertical stabiliser is lighter and stronger and 20% larger in size than that of the Falcon 900EX.
The aircraft has a high aspect ratio wing (ratio of the chord of the wing to the span of the wing) with a distinctive sweepback angle of 34° on the inboard section reduced to 30° on the outboard section. The wing area is increased by 40% compared to that of the Falcon 900 aircraft.
New design improvements are being planned for Falcon 7X in the future. The improvements include the "load 10" update to the EASy flight deck. Load 10 includes take-off and landing data. The certification of Falcon 7X enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) is expected in late 2010.
The Falcon 7X is the first aircraft to be developed entirely in a virtual environment. Dassault used product lifecycle management software from Dassault Systemes, a virtual product development software suite to develop the aircraft in terms of design, development, construction, assembly, system integration, test and maintenance.
The aircraft suppliers include: EADS CASA (horizontal stabilisers), Latecoere (rear fuselage), Socata (mid-fuselage section and body fairings), Sonaca (slats) and Stork-Fokker (trailing edge control surfaces).
Aircelle and Aermacchi are responsible for the engine nacelles and thrust reversers. Saint Gobain Sully has been contracted to supply the double-curved panelled windscreen and cabin windows.
All the Dassault aerospace production facilities are involved in the manufacture of the aircraft. The upper and lower wing panels are being manufactured at Dassault at Seclin, the front section fuselage in Argenteuil, fuselage assembly in Biarritz. The wing is assembled in Martignas near Bordeaux. Final assembly is at Dassault Bordeaux Merignac.
As with all aircraft of the Dassault Falcon family, the Falcon 7X is transferred to the Dassault manufacturing plant at Little Rock, Arkansas for outfitting.
Flight deck and easy cockpit
The Dassault / Honeywell EASy cockpit reduces the pilot workload, allowing the pilot to concentrate on the successful completion of the flight and on situational awareness. The Falcon 7X EASy flight deck, as installed in the Falcon 900EX, Falcon 900DX, Falcon 2000EX, is based on the Honeywell Primus II Epic avionics suite.
There are four 13in×10in flat-panel, high-resolution, active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD). Menu selection and data entry is carried out using simple cursor control.
The suite includes dual, fail-operational, automatic flight control system, dual flight management / performance management system, dual micro inertial reference systems, dual air-data sensors, dual 24-channel GPS system, Primus 880 turbulence detecting weather radar, enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS), radio altimeter and integrated digital radio system.
A seven-channel MCS-7000 satellite communication system (SATCOM) is available as an option. The SATCOM has an EMS Technologies AMT-50 high-gain antenna.
The cabin width, 2.64m, is the same as in the Falcon 900EX. It is however substantially longer at 11.91m from the baggage hold door to the third flight deck seat.
The cabin design has been configured for passenger comfort for 13-hour non-stop flights and has acoustic control (with noise levels between 50dB and 52dB SIL) and thermal control. The cabin is configured in three lounges and can accommodate up to six fully berthable passenger seats.
Dassault Falcon introduced a new cabinet interior design for the Falcon 7X in May 2009. The new design was developed in partnership with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of BMW Group.
The new design provides curves to the entire interior. An arc carpet connects the cabin interior from front to back. Curves in the galley and the main cabin enable in better flow. The new lighting in the cabin gives it a spacious look.
Dassault Falcon and BMW Group were awarded the Good Design Award for 2009 by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design, for their new Falcon 7X cabin design.
The new cabin will be available for deliveries from the first quarter of 2011.
Falcon 7X engines
The three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307A engines are flat rated to 28.47kN (6,402lb) thrust which allows the aircraft to operate from more demanding airfields in hot and high terrain. The engines are fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC).
The engines are fitted with Vibro Meter SA vibration monitoring units and fan trim balance for smooth and quiet ride characteristics.
Honeywell Aerospace developed the GTCP 36-150F2M auxiliary power unit for the Falcon 7X. The aircraft power supply includes a Goodrich electrical generator and distribution system. Falcon 7X also has 15%-30% greater fuel efficiency than other aircraft in the large cabin, long range class.
The aircraft is fitted with Messier-Dowty main and nose landing gear, landing indication subsystems, steering control, electrical harnesses door mechanisms and actuators. The landing gear is powered by a Parker hydraulics system and is equipped with ABSC brakes.