“Last year, we did not expect any new 7X sales since we thought that long lead times would slow down the sales activity,” said Charles Edelstenne, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO. “However, the rate of sales has remained high until the first quarter of the year.”
The first Dassault Falcon 7X is earmarked for delivery to the French group’s patriach Serge Dassault at the beginning of April 2007 in time for his 82nd birthday. The French senator will take delivery of the first of the “more than 85” trijets currently on order–not on behalf of Dassault Aviation, the group of which he is the main shareholder–but as a private customer.
Preparing for future growth of its U.S. and European operations–and in spite of mounting losses–fractional ownership giant NetJets has placed orders for 72 business jets valued at more than $1.6 billion.
Dassault president Charles Edelstenne yesterday made note of the rapidly growing business aviation industry, saying that Dassault’s own sales are exploding no less rapidly.
Cabin electronics specialist PGA Avionics (Booth No. 1473) is introducing at NBAA an in-flight entertainment system called Paradize 3, notable for incorporating digital video-on-demand capability.
Paradize 3 will be offered for sale next year, so PGA is exhibiting only some components of the system here in Orlando. As described by the manufacturer, the system’s network links an aircraft’s IFE system and cabin lighting.
Aerion SSBJ–Aerion continues on track with development efforts for its supersonic business jet. High-speed testing on the Aerion supersonic natural-laminar-flow wing was expected to be carried out last month by using a rocket sled to achieve the necessary Mach 1.5 test speed.
NetJets Europe’s order for 24 Dassault Falcon 7Xs reflects a powerful declaration of intent for both companies. For Dassault, the deal–valued at $1 billion–is its largest single business jet sale ever and a vital fillip for the 7X program, which now has an order book for 116 copies of the fly-by-wire trijet.
Certification of Dassault’s 69,000-pound (maximum takeoff weight) 7X remains on track for early next year. Although the 7X has yet to be certified, more than 40 of the $39.2 million long-range trijets are already in various stages of production.
Since our new business airplane report was finalized, a third Falcon 7X, S/N 03, joined the flight-test program. First flown on September 20, it will be used primarily for avionics, systems and function and reliability testing. At press time the Falcon 7X test fleet had logged 171 hours in 60 sorties. Certification is expected late next year for the fly-by-wire trijet.
Since the maiden flight of the Falcon 7X on May 5, the 5,700-nm-range trijet has been flying almost daily from Dassault’s flight- test center in Istres, France. By the middle of last month, the 7X had logged 45 hours during 15 flights and had reached Mach 0.82 and 41,000 feet.