Following a request from a potential buyer at the Paris Air Show, the only operational Falcon 8X demonstrator made a flying visit to South Africa.
The brand New 8X stopped briefly at Dassault Falcon’s South African Sales partner NAC’s Lanseria base where it was much admired.
The 8X is a much needed stretch of the subjectively dumpy looking tri-jet 7X. the net result is that increased cabin space and fuel load make it Dassault’s most comfortable ultra long-range executive or VVIP express. Ideal for an African head of state not wishing to appear vulnerable to ego driven wretched excess.
As a stretched Falcon 7X, the 8X now has a 42.6 ft (13 m) long cabin, as compared to the 39.1 ft (11.9 m) long passenger section of the earlier model. Significantly, an increase in fuel capacity combined with engine tweaks and aerodynamic refinements have upped range from the 7X’s 5,950 nm to 6,450 nm for the 8X, and that’s with three crew-members, eight passengers, a Mach .80 cruise and NBAA IFR reserves upon arrival.
The range increase means the 8X can carry that same contingent from New York to Dubai, Sao Paulo to Moscow, Paris to Tokyo, and Beijing to London or New York. Like previous Falcons, the 8X will be able to meet the demanding approach and takeoff restrictions for operating into London City Airport.
Dassault is emphasizing the 8X’s operating performance and economy, noting its three-engine configuration provides better hot/high figures than the competition and allows it to serve hundreds more airports as well. Moreover, it claims the new tri-jet will be up to 35% more fuel efficient and, thanks in large measure to its MSG-3 design, will be easier and less expensive to maintain – with increased inspection periods – and should match the Falcon fleet’s 99.7% dispatch reliability rate upon service entry.
Dassault’s base list price for the 8X is 10% higher than that of the US$50 million 7X, which works out to approximately US$55 million.