Shanghai, China. Dassault Aviation’s new flagship, the Falcon 8X, will be on hand at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai, the ultra-long range trijet’s first appearance in China.
The exhibit, which opens at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport on April 12, will feature aircraft s/n 03, the first 8X fitted with a fully equipped interior.
S/n 03 is in the midst of a four week 55,000 nm (101,860 km) global proving campaign designed to simulate the most extreme real world conditions customers might expect to face during their aircraft’s operational life. The campaign will take the aircraft through 65 different missions, from short hops to ultra-long range flights. It will focus particular attention on the performance of cabin equipment and functionalities and high speed communication systems during long, intercontinental flights.
The three aircraft in the Falcon 8X flight test programme have nearly completed all certification test requirements and to date have accumulated over 650 flight hours in 325 flights.
FAA and EASA certification is expected by midyear and entry into service in the second half of 2016.
The Falcon 8X—Ideal for the New Global Marketplace
With eight passengers and three crew, the Falcon 8X will be capable of flying 6,450 nm (11,945 km) non-stop at M.80 and will be able to connect Beijing with New York; Hong Kong with London and Shanghai with Los Angeles. The aircraft will feature a cabin 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) high, 2.34 m (7 ft 8 in) wide and 13 m (42 ft 8 in) long and offer customers the most diverse selection of cabin layouts on the market — more than 30 configurations in all. It will be available in three galley sizes, two with a crew-rest option. Operators will have an extensive selection of passenger seating areas of varying lengths capable of supporting different lavatory layouts, including a lavatory with shower.
The Falcon 8X will be equipped with three PW307D engines delivering 6,722 lbs of thrust each – a 5 per cent increase compared to the PW307A that powers the Falcon 7X. Combined with improvements to wing design, the new power plant will make the 8X up to 35 per cent more fuel efficient than any other aircraft in the ultra-long range segment and offer a significant decrease in community noise and NOx emissions.
Testing Nearly Complete
After undergoing thermal, acoustic and cabin amenity testing at the Little Rock Completion Center, s/n 03 went through a campaign of cold soak trials at Ranken Inlet, Nunavut, on the northwestern shore of Canada’s Hudson Bay, intended to demonstrate aircraft system functionality under extreme weather conditions. During these tests, conducted from March 9-11, all systems, including avionics, electrical, hydraulic and digital flight control systems, performed flawlessly despite temperatures that dipped as low as -27° F (-33° C). The campaign included ground testing of cabin systems after APU startup and cabin warm up and an in-flight demonstration of full capability under extreme cold conditions.
Production Ramping Up
As the flight testing and certification campaign nears completion, production and support activities are moving into high gear. Falcon 8X s/n 21 recently entered final assembly in Bordeaux-Merignac and six airplanes are now in completion in Little Rock. Dassault Falcon Jet recently completed work on a new hangar in Little Rock to handle 8X completions and broke ground on a new six-bay hangar at Bordeaux-Merignac to provide additional maintenance and repair resources for the 8X and 7X models.
New FalconEye Combined Vision System
In addition to the quietest cabin and the most advanced digital flight control system in business aviation, the big trijet will be available with Dassault’s new FalconEye Combined Vision System, the first head up display in the industry to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities.
Derived from the popular Falcon 7X, the ultra-long range Falcon 8X was unveiled in May 2014 at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition and first flew on February 6, 2015. The 8X will offer the greatest range and the longest cabin of any Falcon and feature the 7X’s exceptional operating economy and short-field performance.