New Ultra Long Range Falcon 8X Set for First Deliveries in 2016, Strong Response from Middle East
Dassault Aviation will present its expanding line of large-cabin long range Falcon business jets at the Dubai Air Show, which opens on November 8 at Dubai World Central.
The exhibit will feature the top-of-the-line Falcon 7X, the super versatile Falcon 900LX and a mockup of the all-new Falcon 5X very large body twinjet, which rolled out in June 2015.
An added highlight at Dubai will be the presence of Dassault’s Rafale fighter, whose advanced technologies underlie many key design features of Falcon business jets.
The Falcon fleet in the Middle East has nearly doubled in the last five years, to about 70 aircraft, and continues to grow despite the softness of the current market.
With a range of 5,950 nm (11,020 km), the Falcon 7X trijet is one of the hottest selling business aircraft in the Gulf, accounting for half of all Falcon deliveries in the region over the past five years. Initial Middle East sales for the ultra long range Falcon 8X (6,450 nm/11,945 km), set to enter the market in the second half of 2016, have also been strong. Derived from the Falcon 7X, the 8X will offer the greatest range and the longest cabin of any Falcon and the largest selection of cabin configurations in the industry.
Six 8X’s are already in the air and the test program recently passed the 300 flight hours as the big new trijet progresses on schedule towards planned certification in the middle of next year. The third 8X test aircraft is currently being fitted with a full cabin at Dassault’s Little Rock, Arkansas completion facility in anticipation of cabin comfort and acoustic trials.
The twin-engined Falcon 2000LXS and its shorter range sister aircraft, the Falcon 2000S, have also proven extremely popular in the Middle East, generating a third of regional Falcon sales since they were introduced in early 2013. The 2000LXS combines the best blend of airport flexibility, cabin comfort and efficiency in the 4,000 nm (7,410 km) segment. The 3,350 nm (6,200 km) 2000S, Dassault’s new entry level model, combines wide body cabin comfort with unparalleled operating economics and airport flexibility, at a price close to that of a super midsize jet.
The new 5,200 nm (9,630 km) 5X, which will offer the highest and widest cabin in business aviation, is also expected to be a big hit in the region. More than 25% of initial orders for the big new twinjet have come from the Middle East.
The Falcon line is rounded out by the long range Falcon 900LX trijet. Equipped with Honeywell TFE731-60 engines and a state-of-the art EASy II flight deck, the 900LX offers 7% more range than the Falcon 900EX EASy, which it replaced in 2010.
“Falcons are particularly well suited for conditions in the Middle East, where operators appreciate the outstanding performance, comfort and flexibility of Falcon aircraft,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier. “We are forecasting continued, though slower, regional growth in the short term, due to prevailing economic conditions, and will continue to invest in the region so we can continue to support our operators with maximum effectiveness.”
Reinforced Product Support
Dassault Falcon operates an Authorized Service Center, spares distribution center and regional sales office in Dubai, UAE, and an Authorized Service Center and technical office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Dubai warehouse stocks more than $2 million worth of inventory, primarily for the 7X, the Falcon 900LX long range trijet and the Falcon 2000 series.
These regional facilities are backed up by a growing global support network. In October 2015, Dassault Falcon Service, the company owned service affiliate, broke ground on a five-bay maintenance, overhaul and repair facility in Bordeaux, France that will provide expanded maintenance and retrofit capacity for the fast-selling 7X – which not long ago passed the 250 production milestone – the new 8X and other top end models.
Since the beginning of the year, customers in the region have also benefited from Falcon Response, Dassault’s comprehensive new AOG support service. Falcon Response is designed to whisk spare parts, repair tools and GoTeam specialists around the globe 24/7 in the event of an aircraft on ground situation.
Falcon Response is backed by two Falcon 900 aircraft, one based at Teterboro airport in New Jersey and another at Le Bourget outside of Paris. And if need be, customers can also use the Falcon 900 for alternative lift -- an industry first.
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