This week Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault, confirmed that the aircraft manufacturer is working on a new Falcon 7X programme dubbed the M1000 project. To be honest, this was not a big surprise.
By coincidence, we wrote about it the day before and in this social media age, you only needed to put “Falcon M1000” into a search engine and you could see that several Dassault Employees had already added the project to their LinkedIn profiles.
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Dassault is not giving out many details, but it is believed to be looking at stretching the fuselage by one metre – which means more passengers than the Gulfstream G450 and Bombardier Global 5000 – and increasing the range of the aircraft to at least match the Global 6000, which can fly 300 km further than the Falcon 5X.
Presumably, M1000 is not about adding another 1000 nm to the aircraft. But who knows?
Trappier says Dassault will announce the M1000 at EBACE 2014. From a marketing point of view, this leaves Gulfstream – which is planning to launch its G450 replacement this year – with a dilemma. Does it launch its aircraft at EBACE 2014, announce outside of a trade show (which it did with the G650) or wait until NBAA in October?
For Dassault, this is another exciting project to go with the Falcon 5X. Falcon owners and pilots are usually fiercely loyal about their three-engine aircraft, so the M1000 – whatever it turns out to be – will no doubt get a good reception from Dassault owners.
Dassault delivered 77 Falcon business jets in 2013, compared to 66 in 2012. It plans to deliver 70 business jets in 2014. It sold 64 new Falcons in 2013, up from 58 in 2012. One of its priorities is to increase its build-to-book ratio in 2014.