It is a very special year for Dassault Aviation – 60th anniversary of Falcon brand. A unique French heritage, a story, a legend, a reason to be proud. An absolute true statement -among all the business aircraft flying all over the world, only one can trace its heritage to legendary fighter jets like Mirage and Rafale. There is no doubt that every Falcon is equipped with technologies proven in the toughest environments. With such DNA, it's no wonder that nothing looks like a Falcon. Right before the official opening of EBACE 2023 we've enjoyed the discussion with Vadim Feldzer, Head of Falcon Global Communications, Dassault Aviation.
Q. At the very beginning of EBACE we were talking about sustainable aviation. What exactly Dassault is doing for sustainable aviation? What is different with the aircraft? What are other actions to reach the goal of sustainable aviation?
V.F. As for all OEM it is a big challenge obviously. We are fully committed to a Net Zero Emission in 2050 which is a big challenge. We are pursued to be able to make it. First, SAF. Sustainable aviation fuel is number one answer. It is the energy, the fuel we are promoting towards the industry, towards our customers base. Our company, leaded by Eric Trappier we are committed to make all our flights with SAF fuel. This is our N1 commitment. Here we are at Falcon 8X, which is by essence a highly efficient airplane, fuel efficient new generation.
Q. If we talk percentage, compared to previous one, how much CO2 emissions are saved if you fly this aircraft?
V.F. If you’re flying on SAF it will be translated to 90% savings based on the blend you’re using. This airplane flew with 40% of SAF meaning a quarter of total emissions savings. On top of that, it is a very light airplane for this super long-range category of planes. So, it would already burn 20% to 50% less of fuel compared to other aircraft on this category.
Q. How easy is to get SAF in France, let’s start by our own country?
V.F. Not yet. But the good part of the story it is becoming more and more easy. We flow on SAF from Paris Le Bourget since a year now, it becomes available out of Bordeaux-Mérignac, we flew also at Little Rock, Arkansas. So, it becomes more and more available.
Q. If you compare all your customers all over the world, who are asking for SAF on first?
V.F. The good thing, that business aviation will lead, I think, by example. WE have customers who don’t care about the additional cost of SAF. Because not only SAF is hard to find but it is also much more expensive. The great point – we have great customers and operators who are committed to pay the additional price to get SAF.
Q. Next question – even if business aviation is blamed for a lot of things, would you agree to say that business aviation is investing huge amount of money in finding new technology, in doing something different, in SAF, in infrastructure. What we can do different, what we can do more?
V.F. Not only Dassault Aviation but the whole industry is totally committed to the ICAO objective Net Zero 2050. To get there, we must invest. SAF is the immediate short-term response. We have to invest in technology, to make our aircraft more fuel efficient. We have to work with airports to make our flight trajectories more efficient. It is a TOP commitment for all of us. We have also an important responsibility in terms of education. To get all the industry fully educated to the use of SAF. Everyone needs to know that today all aircraft are 50% compatible to the use of SAF. WE are expanding it to 100% of SAF. So there are a lot of things to communicate and educate.
Q. Do you think we need to communicate more to attract future aviators?
V.F. The good thing, the super positive thing is there are still a lot of people dreaming of aviation. The dream is alive for sure! We have still a lot of young people attracted to join our company. This is the positive side of the story. Whatever people says, we all know what we have to do. Beyond that there is a bright future for business aviation and aviation in general. There are so many things. Technology is one of greatest challenges, but it is what makes people so passioned about the industry. So, this should work.
Q. We have to proceed with a little teaser – Le Bourget, 60 years of Falcon brand, why exactly people should be there?
V.F. Talking about Paris Airshow, it is the biggest air show not only in Europe but in the World. That’s a fascinating show for more than a century. So obviously, for us, being French, it will be a great celebration. We will have all our aircraft on display and also our fighter jet. So, this will be a super exciting show after 4 years getting back. For our 60years of Falcon celebration… It will be really a TOP excitement for everyone.
Q. So it is a must attend event for everyone?
V.F. Definitively. Tatiana you are invited. It will be a TOP excitement for everyone.
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