EBACE draws to a close this evening at the end of a successful show that has already seen new products launched, partnerships announced and aircraft ordered, with a full day of business still to go. Joint hosts EBAA and NBAA were pleased to see the show grow since the 2013 edition with nearly 500 exhibitors participating, an increase of 8 percent. Booth spaces sold for the show totaled 2,276 sq m (24,500 sq ft), up 4 percent from 2013. The contiguous nature of the revised hall layout has drawn approval from exhibitors and show visitors alike.
Dassault Falcon 7X
Dassault is planning various improvements to the Falcon 7X that are to be available later this year, both for retrofit and for new production aircraft. The France-based manufacturer is also leveraging fleet experience to have its customers make the most of their aircraft.
Today at EBACE 2014, Dassault took the wraps off the Falcon 8X–a 7X derivative with a 3.6-foot-longer fuselage (at 42.6 feet) and 500 nm more range (at 6,450 nm). The flagship 8X, priced at approximately $58 million (10 percent more than the Falcon 7X), is expected to fly in the first quarter of next year. Certification is expected in mid-2016, with deliveries beginning in the second half of that year.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation’s chairman and CEO, said late in April that he found the business jet market “a little bit slow.” He would like to see a more active market, especially in the U.S.“But step-by-step we are back on the right track, in terms of orders,” he added. AIN understands that Falcon salespeople have found the first four months of 2014 tougher than expected.
Only seven months after having unveiled the Falcon 5X, a cleansheet design, Dassault Aviation (Booth 7090) is here taking the wraps off the Falcon 8X, a significant upgrade over the existing Falcon 7X. A longer cabin will offer more layout possibilities, while a greater range, at 6,450 nm (a 500-nm increase), is making more city pairs possible between Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Gulfstream Aerospace continues to build on its momentum of last year with deliveries of 39 completed aircraft during the first quarter, a 34.5-percent increase on Q1 2013. This is on the back of a total of 144 deliveries last year, a 53.2-percent rise from the company’s performance for 2012.
Dassault is planning to roll out several improvements for the Falcon 7X this year, both as retrofit and for new-production aircraft. One of these upgrades includes the fuel system, which is being modified to cut refueling time.
To increase operational availability, Falcon 7X maintenance intervals are being increased. The basic check, which used to take place every two months, is now being rescheduled for every 300 flight hours. Moreover, the time between two A-checks will be extended sometime next year.
Dassault is considering using a large proportion of composite materials on the next generation of Falcons. “Hopefully we will have a full composite wing 10 years from now,” an executive at the company’s Biarritz factory, which has expertise in composites manufacturing, told AIN.
The rationale is that the expected weight reduction will provide fuel savings. Another executive at the Bordeaux Martignas plant, which specializes in wings–so far made of aluminum alloys–confirmed the new path.
Business aircraft charter and management firm Elit’Avia received an aircraft operator certificate (AOC) from Transport Malta and has inducted three aircraft under this certificate. The company is now managing a Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Global XRS and Challenger 605 on the Malta aircraft registry, the latter two of which are available for charter. The Falcon will initially be operated privately.
Dassault Aviation rolled out the 250th Falcon 7X this week at the aircraft manufacturer’s Charles Lindbergh Hall in Mérignac near Bordeaux, France.
The milestone trijet entered final assembly earlier this year and will fly to the Falcon completion center in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June. It will be delivered to its customer before year-end.