"Business is a battle"
Our Falcons are high-end business jets. They stand out thanks to their agility, the quality of the associated services and the incorporation of highly innovative solutions, some drawn from military aviation.
Falcon 8X, the flagship
The Falcon 8X is the crown jewel of Falcon customer experience. It has the longest cabin in our family and also offers the best soundproofing for unrivaled comfort, plus an exceptionally wide choice of 30 different layouts.
The 8X has a range of 6,450 nautical miles, which means it is capable of non- stop flights between Beijing and New York, Singapore and London, or São Paulo and Moscow. It can also be operated out of airports that are inaccessible to most competitors, such as London City, from which it can take off for a non-stop flight to New York. And it’s 30% more eco-efficient that other aircraft in its class.
The Falcon 8X also features the FalconEye combined vision system, enabling it to fly approaches under reduced visibility conditions with exceptional safety and reliability because of the combined display with a map based on amplified infrared images collected by the airplane itself. FalconEye was certified in 2018 for approaches under low visibility up to 100 feet. A configuration with a dual head- up display will be available in 2020.
Falcon 6x, a class all its own
The Falcon 6X was launched in February 2018, with entry into service expected in 2022. Its development is on schedule, and engine tests have started. It will have the largest cabin in its class.
The ultra-wide body twin-engine Falcon 6X has a maximum speed of Mach 0.90 and a range of 5,500 nautical miles, allowing non-step flights between Beijing and San Francisco. It can also fly from Washington, D.C. to New York, then continue on to Geneva without having to refuel.
The Falcon 6X is fitted with the brand-new and all-digital EASy III flight deck and avionics suite, along with FalconSphere II and FalconEye systems.
Time between inspections is guaranteed for 800 hours or 12 months, 30% more than previous-generation aircraft.
Our top priorities are naturally safety and the customer experience, especially in terms of providing the best possible work and communications environment. Here are some of the solutions we have developed to meet these goals.
FalconSphere II is an integrated Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), a solution that considerably simplifies and shortens the flight planning process based on a tablet with multiple applications, including a Weight & Balance Module, Electronic Cruise Computation and FalconPerformance. FalconConnect is the new integrated solution for managing communications and data exchanges between the aircraft and ground networks. It offers clear and flexible connectivity packages for both passengers and operators. This service is available on all our new aircraft and, starting this year, it can be retrofitted on all others.
JetWave, a high-speed broadband antenna, allows passengers to surf the Web, watch videos, or participate in video conferences anywhere in the world, including during trans-oceanic flights, via the Inmarsat Global Xpress network.
FalconTalk is a very user-friendly application that allows the simple use of mobile phones on the plane.
Falcon Broadcast gives support staff technical information in real time, so they can plan ahead, according to scheduled stopovers, for any servicing needed. The upshot is improved dispatch reliability for our airplanes.
Falcon family features
The entire Falcon family emphasizes passenger comfort. For example, the Falcon 900 cabin has been completely redesigned, and now incorporates the acoustic insulation system from the 8X, widely recognized as the quietest on the market. The design of this new customer experience was guided by a feeling of spaciousness, customizable LED lighting, an ergonomic approach and equipment functionality.
Furthermore, Falcon jets can land at a larger number of airports than their competitors, to offer more options in point to point flights. At the same time, they feature low operating costs and excellent ecological performance. In 2017, we delivered our 2,500th Falcon jet.
Dassault Aviation delivers what’s needed to meet current and future strategic challenges. France, Egypt, Qatar and India have all chosen Rafale fighters for their armed forces. We have now delivered 175 Rafales out of the 276 ordered, including 96 in export markets.
France has ordered a total of 180 Rafales, with 152 delivered as of December 31, 2018. A fifth batch of 30 more aircraft is expected in the 2019-2025 military spending bill.
The Rafale has now logged a total of 270,000 flight-hours, including 43,000 hours in operation, making it one of the world’s most seasoned combat aircraft. Flown by both French air force and navy pilots, the Rafale has demonstrated its outstanding versatility and combat effectiveness in a wide range of demanding theaters of operation, including Afghanistan from 2007 to 2012, Libya in 2011, and the Sahel, Iraq and Syria since 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Rafale can handle a variety of missions that previously required seven different types of aircraft.
The Rafale was designed from the ground up to incorporate new capabilities throughout its service life, based on operating feedback. The new F3-R standard will enter service in 2019, with features including the Meteor air-to-air missile, the Talios laser designation pod and a new version of the AASM guided missile.
ONGOING UPGRADES: RAFALE F4
December 2018, the Rafale F4 standard will be finalized in 2024, with some functions already available in 2022. F4 will feature innovative connectivity solutions to maximize the Rafale’s effectiveness in networked combat. It also includes upgraded sensors (radar, OSF search & track system) and helmet-mounted display, along with new weapons (Mica NG, 1,000-kg AASM). Another new feature will be a new prognosis and diagnostic- aid system, introducing for the first time predictive maintenance capabilities. Other solutions to optimize maintenance are planned, including those based on big data and artificial intelligence. Lastly, the Rafale F4 will be outfitted with a new electronic engine control unit.
Egypt, the first export customer for the Rafale, ordered 24 aircraft in 2015. By the end of 2018, 23 had been delivered.
Deliveries to Qatar kicked off in February 2019. Doha ordered 36 Rafales, including 24 in 2015 then another 12 in 2018, with an option on 36 more aircraft.
For India, a loyal customer for the last 65 years, the order for 36 Rafales is proceeding on schedule, and they will be delivered starting in 2019.
For France, we are now preparing the Falcon CUGE intelligence and electronic warfare program, announced in March 2018.
French defense procurement agency DGA also chose us to carry out the detailed design study for the navy’s future maritime surveillance and intervention aircraft (AVSIMAR), based on the Falcon 2000LXS. For maritime reconnaissance, the Falcon 2000 MSA/MRA version provides the best combination of size, payload, speed, range and cost of ownership. It features an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
The Japan Coast Guard is set to receive its first Falcon 2000MSA in 2019, and ordered a fifth aircraft of this type in 2018.
Our military aircraft help defend a number of different countries around the world, while our business aircraft enhance corporate efficiency at all levels. These are critical challenges for the long haul. Our support solutions are sound, efficient and tailored to the specific requirements of each user.
We support a thousand military aircraft and more than 2,100 Falcon business jets in some 80 countries. Whether civil or military aircraft, we provide the same proactive support to reduce costs and deliver targeted, local services. We support our customers day after day, today and far into the future, by maintaining the tools and expertise needed to service our planes over the decades of their operating lives.
The 3DExperience platform ensures digital continuity from design and production to support. The development of our new support packages is based on software modules shared between Falcon and military aircraft support. New services intended for flight crews are also developed according to our dual civil/military capabilities.
Our big data approach to support allows us to share all data concerning the service lives of our aircraft. Using contextual visualization or dynamic dashboards, it allows cross-functional analyses and predictive maintenance models. The “digital twin” approach, which compares the actual aircraft’s performance to its digital model, further increases our forecasting ability.
A STRONGER FALCON SUPPORT NETWORK
Our Falcon support development strategy and our expertise in the customer experience are growing apace with the acquisition of the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses of ExecuJet and TAG Aviation, announced in early 2019. These two entities will bolster our presence in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, by adding 15 new locations, bringing our network total to 65 service centers.
In France, following the ramp-up of the new Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) facility in Mérignac, which can handle up to six Falcon 8X class aircraft, the modernization of DFS facilities at Le Bourget will improve our MRO capacity for the Falcon 7X and 8X. A new distribution center near Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport will help improve the efficiency of FalconResponse, our 24/7 Aircraft on Ground (AoG) assistance service.
CUSTOM-TAILORED MILITARY SUPPORT
By implementing through-life support, now more vertically integrated under our control, we can further improve the dispatch reliability of the Rafales deployed by France. The new Rafale Care contract (2019- 2029) is now being drawn up and negotiated. It is designed to cover virtually all of the aircraft’s systems and equipment (except for the engine), in both the domestic and export markets.
Several renovation projects now under way, for instance on the French navy’s ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft, the French air force’s Mirage 2000 D fighters and India’s Mirage 2000s, clearly demonstrate the upgradeability of our aircraft family.