New ultra widebody Falcon 6X expected to be strong sales driver in Middle East
Dassault Aviation will showcase its ultra-long range large cabin Falcon 8X flagship and super versatile 900LX at this year's edition of the Dubai Air Show, which opens on November 17 at Dubai World Central.
Dassault will also be leveraging the event to promote its new ultra widebody Falcon 6X, currently in development. A full-scale cabin mockup of the large twinjet will be featured at the static display.
The 6,450 nm / 11,945 km Falcon 8X has been a leading seller in the Middle East since the first aircraft was delivered to a Gulf customer three years ago. The 8X can fly non-stop from New York to Dubai, Dubai to Adelaide, or Chicago to Jeddah, yet land at restricted airports that are typically inaccessible to large business jets, like London City, Gstaad, Switzerland, and Saint-Tropez-La Mole, France. The aircraft's spacious cabin – the longest of any Falcon – is the quietest of any business jet on the market.
Middle East Market Outlook
The Middle East is also expected to be a major market for the 5,500 nm / 10,186 km Falcon 6X, which will be the most spacious, modern and versatile twin in its class. "We expect the Gulf region to be a major driver for our ultra widebody Falcon 6X, as it is already proving to be for our Falcon 8X flagship," said Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier. "The Middle East has always been a key market for Falcon aircraft, whose efficiency, cabin comfort and value for money are particularly appreciated by local operators."
The Gulf-based Falcon fleet has nearly doubled in the last five years, to more than 70 aircraft, and continues to grow.
The 6X will offer the largest cabin cross-section of any purpose-built business jet — 2.58 m / 102 inches wide, 1.98 m / 6 feet 6 inches high and 12.30 m / 40 feet 4 inches long — and will be capable of flying directly from Dubai to any destination in Asia, Africa and Europe at Mach 0.85. It will be equipped with a new-generation Digital Flight Control System that provides better maneuverability by controlling all moving surfaces, including a new control surface called a flaperon, adapted from Dassault fighter aircraft.
Development of the 6X, including its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine, is right on schedule and final assembly of the first aircraft will begin early next year. The first flight is set for 2021 and certification and initial delivery are planned for 2022.
Advanced systems expand Falcon aircraft capabilities, productivity and safety
The Falcon 8X, 900LX and other top-line Falcons, including the Falcon 2000 family, are available with a number of advanced systems that considerably enhance aircraft capability, safety and productivity. These include FalconConnect, which keeps passengers fully connected at all times, everywhere in the world, and Dassault's revolutionary FalconEye Combined Vision System, the first head up display (HUD) system in business aviation to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities in a single view.
FalconConnect is a new broadband inflight connectivity service that integrates all cockpit and cabin ground-based and satellite communications into a single bundled offering, making onboard connectivity systems easy to use and consumption simple to manage and control.
FalconEye is now approved for an enhanced flight vision system capability that gives operational credit for poor visibility approaches down to 100 ft, greatly improving access to airports in all-weather conditions at day or night.
Reinforced After Market Support
Dassault's recent acquisition of several large maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses, in particular that of ExecuJet, will enable the company to expand its company-owned MRO network in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe and move closer to operators in these areas. ExecuJet's Dubai facility is expected to become a major hub for Falcon after sales service in the Gulf.
In addition to these new factory-owned MRO facilities, Dassault will continue to operate existing Authorized Service Centers in the area. The regional MRO network is complemented by a spares distribution center in Dubai and a technical office in Cairo, Egypt.
Dassault also continues to expand backup customer support capabilities outside the Middle East. Earlier this year, the company opened a state of the art spare parts distribution center near Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris that will further improve the speed and reliability of spares shipments to Falcon customers in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Far East.
Gulf customers can also call on Falcon Response, Dassault's comprehensive AOG support service offering. A dedicated Falcon 900 AOG airborne support aircraft is available to dispatch spare parts, repair tools and Go Team specialists 24/7 anywhere in the region and provide alternative lift if necessary — an industry first.
Dassault's excellence in customer service was recently recognized in two operator surveys conducted by Pro Pilot Magazine and Aviation International News (AIN), which both voted Dassault Aviation the top service provider in the business jet sector. Operators cited spares availability, cost of parts, speed of AOG service and overall aircraft reliability as the major motivating factors in their decision.