In spectacular fashion, Dassault Aviation “rolled back the curtains” Dec. 17 on its greatly anticipated Falcon 8X business jet at their Bordeaux-Merignac facility in the southwest of France.
You can watch a video of the ceremony that looks to have been as elegant and luxurious as the aircraft promises to be.
In their press release, the aerospace firm said the new, long-range business jet was presented to an audience of “customers, operators, industrial partners and representatives of certification authorities.”
The Falcon 8X’s main selling point is that it is an “ultra long range” aircraft. How long is ultra long? Dassault’s new aircraft boasts a range of 6,450 nautical miles (11,945 km) for the 8X. This means the jet could easily tackle flights from Sao Paolo to Los Angeles, New York to Tel Aviv, or Madrid to Buenos Aires.
There is no denying the beauty in Dassault’s tri-jet design, which incorporates three Pratt and Whitney Canada PW307 engines. The 8X’s power plants will allow it to comfortably cruise at Mach 0.8.
Aside from speed and range, the aircraft will include a variety of possible cabin layouts. Customers can choose to have a shower in the aircraft.
Testing of the new design has gone as expected. Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President of Dassault’s civil aircraft division said,
We are extremely happy with progress on our new Falcon flagship… The program is right on schedule and all systems are performing exactly as designed
The maiden test flight is expected to take place soon, in the first quarter of 2015. Delivery of the 8X will then commence in the second half of 2016.
A new Falcon 8X is estimated cost about 10% more than its predecessor, the 7X, according to Aviation Week. This works out to around $58 million.