Eric Gérard’s aerial ballet in the Falcon 8X, particularly slow speed maneuvering, is impressive to watch from the ground, giving potential corporate pilots the confidence to take off from runways as short as 6,000 ft. and, when necessary, land on runways as short as 2,150 ft. with eight passengers and NBAA IFR reserves.
But the demonstration belies the high-altitude, long-distance mission of the aircraft and its ability to fly eight passengers at 0.80 Mach from Le Bourget to Manila, Tokyo to Teterboro, or New York to Nairobi.
Falcon 8X is a derivative of the Falcon 7X tri-jet with a 3.5 ft. fuselage and cabin length stretch, 3,000 lb. more fuel and more than 700 nm of additional range. The aircraft features Dassault’s signature EASy III cockpit with touch screen controls, standard left side HUD and optional dual HUDs, a more weight-efficient wing structure and modified winglets to reduce drag. Uprated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D turbofans produce 5% more thrust, but internal aero improvements squeeze more power out of less kerosene.
The aircraft weighs up to 27% less than other large cabin business aircraft in its performance class. So it consumes up to 30% less fuel, making it the greenest business aircraft among its direct competitors. Falcon 8X retains the Falcon 7X’s well-proven digital flight control [fly-by-wire] system. Similar to Airbus aircraft, the system features flight path stability with speed, thrust and configuration changes, endowing it with carefree handling. It resists upsets due to turbulence, giving passengers a smoother ride in rough air.
The Falcon 8X lists at $57.5 million, some $3.7 million more than the 7X.