Dassault Falcon 5X: Buyer’s and Investor’s guide
If the Falcon-for-non-Falcon people lives up to its promises, then the Falcon 5X is a game changing aircraft.
Fantastic range with Falcon short field capabilities.If Dassault delivers this is a game changing aircraft – both for the company and for the market. It is almost certain to be a success.
The biggest risk is Dasssault’s decision to use engines from a new business jet manufacturer. Snecma may be one of the biggest builders of commercial aircraft engines but it is new to this market.
Dassault has unashamedly always sold aircraft to connoisseurs.
If you did not understand the need for three engines, the technological innovations behind the wing control systems or other clever things it was fine. There was no problem. You were not a Dassault customer.
Falcons were bought by owners – and pilots – that appreciated the French (and it is a proudly French company) genius behind the aircraft. And most of them are fiercely loyal about their three-engine aircraft.
With the Falcon 5X that has all changed. That is not to say that the aircraft is not a technological advance, it is. But Dassault is saying that this is aircraft that everyone should appreciate; you do not need to understand aerodynamics to want to own one. The Falcon 5X has something for everyone. Whether it is the skylight, the large cabin, the promised fuel efficiency, the 12 year warranty or the new wing control systems it is designed to appeal to both pilots and those at the back of the cabin.
Announced at the 2013 National Business Aviation Administration’s annual convention, the Falcon 5X is the first product from Dassault’s Super Mid Size (SMS) project. Although speculation (and the SMS name) suggested that Dassault were working on a super-midsize aircraft, the Falcon 5X is a large-cabin twin-engine business jet that can carry 16 passengers up to 5,200 nmi.
“If it comes in as promised it will be the rock star of business jets.”
Alireza Ittihadieh, chairman, Freestream Aircraft Bermuda
At long range cruise speed, Mach .80 (978 kph / 608 mph) the Falcon 5X can connect Paris with Tokyo, Moscow with Singapore, and Beijing with London.
The Falcon 5X has a maximum speed of Mach .90 (1102 kph / 685 mph) although normal cruise speed is Mach .85 (1041 kph / 647 mph. This is not record breaking speed – Gulfstream aircraft are faster – but still quick enough. It has a service ceiling of 51,000 feet – which allows you to fly over bad weather.
Although take-off and landing distances are not available, Dassault say that the 5X will be certified for operations at London City Airport, which has a steep approach path and short runway.
One inch may not seem like a lot. But when it comes to a cross section it makes a big difference. The Falcon 5X has one of the widest cabins of any current in-production aircraft, and can comfortably seat up to 16 passengers.
During 2013 Dassualt opened up a an interior show room at Paris Le Bourget Airport. Inside, customers can be walked through individual aircraft configurations via a state of the art 3D computer system that shows images directly on a massive TV screen. As well as being able to get a virtual tour of options, the show room is filled with different samples of carpet and wood samples, as well as a separate area that includes cabin mock ups.
The aircraft has 28 cabin windows, 30% larger than the windows on the Falcon 7X. A unique feature of the Falcon 5X is a skylight that allows extra natural flight to come flooding into the cabin, with Dassault saying that this ‘transforms your perception of space while providing natural light from above’.
With Dassault you get a pedigree going back more than 40 years and – more importantly – an already established global maintenance network.
All recent Falcon aircraft have been big sellers, with the Falcon 900 and Falcon 2000 families selling over 500 aircraft each. The most recent Falcon product, the 7X, started delivering in 2007 and has so far sold over 300 aircraft, leading Dassault to introduce a larger version called the Falcon 8X.
Whilst all aircraft depreciate, Dassault also has a history of supporting pre-owned values.
On paper, the Falcon 5X is one of the most exciting new aircraft launched in recent years, capable of flying long distances and landing on short runways.
In December 2014 Dassault said that 20 percent of Falcon 5X orders were from the Middle East.
Range: 5,980 mi/ 9,623 kms/ 5,200 nm
Maximum speed: mph/ kmph/ 0.73
Typical passengers: 16
Typical crew: 3
Competitor aircraft: Gulfstream G550, G500, G600, Bombardier Global 5000 / 6000 / 7000.
List price for a new Falcon 5X: $45 million
First delivery: 2020 (was 2017)
World fleet: One test aircraft (May 2015)
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