Dassault Falcon 8X: Buyer’s and Investor’s Guide
Dassault’s new Falcon 8X matches excellent short field performance with a maximum range that will keep even the busiest of executives happy.
There are very few aircraft that can match the short field capabilities of the Falcon 8X, especially in the long range sector. The ability to get into short runways or steep approaches like London City Airport give the 8X a distinct advantage over other aircraft in its class.
Three engines. It’s hard to communicate the advantages of having a third engine to non-aviation people when all they will think is that three engines equal extra fuel burn and additional engines maintenance costs.
Announced at EBACE 2014 in Geneva Switzerland, the Dassault Falcon 8X is a three-engine business jet that is capable of flying eight passengers up to 6,420 nm.
Developed as a one meter stretch of the 250+ selling Falcon 7X, the 8X shares the same classic Falcon design, incorporating two engines mounted at the rear of the fuselage and a third engine that is centrally mounted at the base of the horizontal stabiliser.
The extra 500 nm range over the 7X might not seem like much, but on a long transatlantic trip to Paris, it could make the difference between making a fuel stop in the south of the UK, or having the ability to fly directly to Paris.
Dassault has made several references to the 8X in China, a country that it believes the aircraft will sell well in. The aircraft can fly directly from Beijing to Los Angeles and from London to Hong Kong, both important city pairs that Dassault can link for the first time.
Falcons are renowned for their short field performance and the 8X continues this tradition. The aircraft is capable of landing at 85 per cent of its maximum take-off weight, which means the aircraft can perform multiple short flights before taking on fuel.
At typical loading, the aircraft needs as little as 2,150 ft to land, which opens up a whole range of airports for the 8X that other large cabin aircraft are not able to use. The Falcon 7X is the only aircraft in its class to be certified for operation into London City Airport and Dassault says that the 8X will also be certified.
Dassault opened showrooms in 2014 at both Le Bourget Airport in Paris and Teterboro in New Jersey, where clients can be taken through the various cabin options available to them.
For the 8X, this includes a scale mock-up of the aircraft’s cabin, that can be customised with various different options.
Compared to the 7X, the 8X cabin is longer. As well as stretching the fuselage by one meter Dassault’s redesign of the cabin space and lay-outs has saved some extra room as well, giving the 8X a bigger amount of cabin space than the 7X.
The cabin itself is typically divided into three separate sections, plus crew rest area and a rear lavatory, although Dassault says that there are more than 30 different cabin layouts available. Some layouts also include a shower.
In October 2021 Dassault announced a variety of cabin upgrades for the 8X such as new LED lighting, including high-quality white light and a variety of programmable settings. Also, new sunrise and sunset functions help adapt to new time zones and stimulate a natural circadian rhythm on long flights.
New acoustics reinforce the 8X cabin’s standing as the quietest on the market. Noise levels average below 50 dB— as quiet as a suburban living room.
Throughout the cabin, the reimagined design reflects subtle changes introduced to improve passenger experience. Some of these are the additional iPad storage and charging areas in the mid-cabin bulkhead. The entryway/galley area also have new features — largely based on cabin crew feedback — including an improved, more efficient galley equipped with a larger sink, new faucet, better lighting, larger chiller, and increased storage space.
A new Innovative Cabin System (ICS) combines and simplifies control of cabin management and entertainment functions. The ICS interface is intuitive and can be activated via a personal device (as many passengers prefer) or via cabin touch panels. The latter are literally at your fingertips, flush mounted into the cabin side ledge. Touch sensitivity is similar to that on a smart phone or tablet device. The cabin is also fully Bluetooth capable.
Other features include FalconSkyView, which streams the view ahead on aircraft outfitted with external cameras, and the 8X’s Digital Flight Control System.
The new interior design was displayed at NBAA-BACE, October 12-14 2021 in Las Vegas.
Owning a Falcon gets you automatic entry to the Falcon family, a term often used by the company’s management.
The company has a strong heritage in business jets, with later models holding their values well. As of February 2015 Dassault has delivered approximately 250 of the smaller Falcon 7X, with Aircraft Shopper Online showing eight aircraft currently for sale on the open market. This represents roughly 3.2 per cent of the active fleet, although Corporate Jet Investor is aware of at least two further aircraft available for sale but not being publicly advertised. The youngest aircraft publicly available is a 2012 build, whilst the oldest was built in 2007.
The relatively low inventory suggests that the aircraft is in demand, and there’s no reason to suggest that the 8X will be as well.
Range: 6,450 nm
Maximum speed: 691mph/1,111 kmph/mach 0.90
Typical passengers: 18
Typical crew: 3
Competitor aircraft: Global 5000/6000, Gulfstream G450/G550
List price for a new Falcon 8X: $58 million
First delivery: 2016
Next slots: 2017
World fleet: As of February 2015 there is one aircraft test flying, with a further four in production