This year, the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) once again featured the newest business jet in the ultra-long range class: Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 8X. The 8X appeared alongside the popular 4,000 nm/7,410 km Falcon 2000LX/EX.
A state-of-the-art Falcon 2000LX Medevac aircraft operated by the Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center (999) was also displayed at the event from April 11-13 at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport.
Since entering into service last year, the 6,450 nm/11,945 km Falcon 8X has been delivered to operators in key markets around the world, including the United States, Europe, the Middle East and India. The first Chinese based aircraft will be handed over in the coming weeks.
“The Falcon 8X offers the range and airport performance to connect our Chinese customers with business hubs throughout Europe, North America and Africa, which is of primary importance here,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “And the feedback on our new flagship has been universally positive especially, cabin noise levels, which make it the quietest aircraft in its class.”
With eight passengers and three crew members, the Falcon 8X is capable of connecting Beijing with New York, Hong Kong with London and Shanghai with Los Angeles. The aircraft features 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 offers customers the most diverse selection of cabin layouts on the market -- more than 30 configurations in all. Three galley sizes are available -- two with a crew-rest option -- along with an extensive selection of passenger seating areas of varying lengths capable of supporting different lavatory layouts, including a lavatory with shower.
The 8X is also offered with Dassault’s revolutionary new FalconEye Combined Vision System, the first head-up display in the industry to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities. In addition to ensuring superior situational awareness in all conditions of operation, day and night, FalconEye will make it possible to reduce minima in low visibility landing conditions, providing a substantial operational benefit. Additionally, in the coming months, Dassault will also begin offering KA high speed internet connectivity throughout the aircraft cabin.
The Falcon 2000LX/EX offers a short-field capability comparable to smaller midsize business jet models but with a range and comfort level far better than those aircraft. Equipped with a next-generation EASy II flight deck and the FalconCabin HD+ cabin management system, the 2000LX/EX offers a combination of airport performance, cabin design and efficiency unique in its class. It is also available with the FalconEye Combined Vision System.
The Falcon 2000LX Medevac aircraft is equipped with an electrical patient loading system and a full medical suite, along with an electrical power supply sized for a complete medical module. The medical module includes a stretcher with dedicated lighting, a three-bottle oxygen supply, and monitoring and analysis equipment. It also is able to accommodate special devices like defibrillators, electrocardiographs, echo graphs, a blood bank and an ECMO (ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation).
ABACE showcased Dassault’s new Falcon Immersive Practical Training tool, which uses 3D virtual reality technology to facilitate the training of Falcon maintenance engineers and technicians. The module is intended as a complement for engineers and technicians undertaking certified practical training for Falcon business jets at Dassault’s training center in Merignac, France.
Customer Service Activities Continue Expansion
Years of ongoing investments in the Dassault customer service network in China have led to significant added value to Chinese operators and transient customers. “Dassault’s commitment to offering industry leading customer support for our Chinese customers is a continuous process,” said Kathy Liu, Director of Customer Support for Asia-Pacific. “From expanding services to offering new products or improving support infrastructure, our goal is to provide the most value and the best service available on the market.”
Recent investments include:
• An agreement with Beijing-based Deer Jet to provide line and unscheduled maintenance for the Falcon 7X
• Opening of a local customer service headquarters in Beijing in 2013 with a new, expanded office scheduled to open in 2017
• Introduction of an onsite flight dispatcher training and jump seat support program in 2013
• Establishment of Dassault Falcon Services-Shanghai, a joint venture with Shanghai Hawker Pacific, in 2012
• Further additions to spare parts inventory
Located at Beijing Capital Airport, Deer Jet is one of the largest business jet operators in the Asia Pacific region. It manages and supports a large fleet of business jets, including the Falcon 7X.
The partnership with Dassault covers light line maintenance (up to 2A and 2A+ inspections) and unscheduled maintenance on Chinese registered Falcon 7X aircraft at Deer Jet’s Beijing facility.
Dassault Falcon Services-Shanghai offers a full range of MR&O services, from heavy maintenance through A and B checks. Staffed by a team of Dassault trained technicians with an average experience of more than 10 years on Falcon business jets, it is equipped to handle line and base maintenance for aircraft registered in China, Hong Kong, Macau, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, the U.S. and the Cayman Islands and can handle all current production Falcon models.
The Dassault Falcon team has also moved to address special operator requirements that cannot be readily met by local service providers. In 2013, it introduced an initiative to provide onsite flight dispatcher training.
Maintaining a large Falcon spares inventory in China facilitates customer component exchange transactions, affording significant time savings and sharply reducing duties and taxes. Combined with other spares depots in the Asia Pacific, this inventory allows operators to immediately access the top 3,000 high demand parts for in-production aircraft.
ABACE to Include Falcon M&O
Dassault Falcon again holt a Falcon Maintenance and Operations (M&O) seminar in conjunction with ABACE. The M&O seminar focused both on operations and technical issues of concern to Chinese customers and is designed to help aircraft operators improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of their operations. Topics range from the latest customer service and engineering support initiatives to enhancements in troubleshooting and product reliability.
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