The new flagship for Dassault Aviation, the Falcon 8X, flew for the first time in early February, just over a month after the ceremonial first rollout at the factory in Bordeaux, France. The three-engine jet was in the air for about two hours, reaching altitude of 15,000 feet. The program is on track for deliveries to start in the second half of next year. The 8X offers a spacious cabin 42 feet long—3.5 feet longer than the 7X’s—and a range of more than 7,400 miles. Like the 7X, the 8X can fly steep approaches into small, convenient airports such as London City and Aspen.
The 8X can accommodate more than 30 different configurations for the cabin layout, offering a choice among three different galley sizes, a crew rest area, lounges of varying lengths, and a lavatory with shower. New jet engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada, together with improvements in the wing design, will make the 8X up to 35 percent more fuel efficient than competing aircraft, according to Dassault. The cockpit has been redesigned, featuring Honeywell’s next-generation 3-D color weather-radar system with enhanced turbulence-detection capability, to ensure a smoother ride, plus an optional widescreen combined-vision head-up display. The jet sells for about $58 million. (www.dassaultfalcon.com)