Dassault Business Jets, 60 Years Young

Can it really be 60 years since the first flight of the Falcon? March 4, 1963 marked the maiden flight of the Mystère 20, which was soon rebranded the Falcon 20. Rod Simpson explores...

Rod Simpson  |  16th May 2023
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    Rod Simpson
    Rod Simpson

    Rod Simpson is a specialist freelance aviation writer and is the author of several aviation-related...

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    Dassault's Falcon Mystere in the 1960s


    Business jets were still very new in 1963. The Lear 23 was about to fly. The British-built Hawker Siddeley DH-125 Jet Dragon Mid-Size jet had flown the year before, and the Lockheed Jetstar was about to take a star turn in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

    The Mystère 20 offered the market something different: A Mid-Size Jet with the swept lines and the speed (Mach 0.88) of contemporary jet fighters.

    The jet was developed using powered flight controls and structural elements directly derived from fighters. Its progenitors were the Dassault Ouragan (France’s first jet fighter), the modestly supersonic Mystère, and, most famous of all, the Mach 2 Mirage.

    Thus began an unbroken tradition of technology transfer from Dassault’s advanced fighters to its business jets—what Dassault Aviation refers to as fighter DNA. Six decades later, that successful formula continues with new major programs in production.

    Two all-new Falcons

    Falcons have traditionally been known for efficiency and wide performance envelopes, allowing them to fly long distances from short airfields. As the market has evolved toward longer range jets, Dassault has not always been known for the most spacious cabins. That is changing, though.

    Dassault Falcon 6X: Later this year, the 5,500nm Falcon 6X enters service and will have an advanced version of the digital flight control system pioneered on the Falcon 7X and 8X, and an adaptable wing with high-lift devices preserving short field capability. But what most distinguishes the Falcon 6X will be its cabin, which is currently the largest in a purpose-built business jet (at 6’6” tall by 8’6” wide).

    Dassault’s in-house Design Studio set a new standard for contemporary business jets, as recognized by honors such as the prestigious Red Dot award for industrial design. In the Falcon 6X, lines are less angular and more fluid and the furniture appears lighter and leaner. Aisle width is about six inches greater than its competitors, easing passenger movement about the cabin.

    While highly customizable, the typical cabin arrangement is a four-place club seating arrangement forward, followed by a dining/conference table and opposite credenza, and then an aft compartment with two divans for socializing or sleeping. Optionally, this space can make a comfortable private stateroom.

    Cabin pressurization is a low 3,900 feet at a cruise altitude of 41,000 feet (significantly helping reduce fatigue compared to airline cabins at 6,000-8,000 feet).

    Thirty-five square feet of window area aboard the Falcon 6X leads the class for natural light, while LED lighting is passenger controlled to introduce new combinations from soft reading light to gradual sunrises that help adjust circadian rhythms.

    Beyond the comfort factor, other major priorities for Business Aviation travelers today are connectivity and productivity. Installed aboard the Falcon 6X is Dassault’s FalconConnect cabin Wi-Fi system with multiple options for hi-speed global connectivity via satellite and cellular systems where available.

    Dassault Falcon 10X: Also on the horizon is the Falcon 10X which will be the largest Falcon so far and will compete with the Gulfstream G700/G800 and Bombardier Global 7500/8000.

    The Falcon 10X flies at speeds up to Mach 0.925 and ranges of up to 7,500nm. It will be powered by two of the latest Rolls-Royce Pearl engines delivering more than 18,000lbs of thrust and capable of running on 100 percent SAF.

    When it flies, it will supplant the Falcon 6X as the largest purpose-built business jet, with more cabin volume than any competitor and a larger cabin cross-section at 9’11” wide and 6’8” high.

    There are four zones which can be configured with a combination of lounge sizes for conference, entertainment and dining along with a dedicated master bedroom suite with a private stand-up shower.

    Meanwhile, the 38 cabin windows are nearly 50% larger than on the Falcon 8X, while an advanced cabin pressurization system will give passengers a 3,000 feet equivalent altitude when flying at 40,000 feet, and there’s an air filtration system to provide 100% pure air.

    This will relieve passenger fatigue, particularly on the long-range flights available from this aircraft. The Falcon 10X cabin itself is a design award winner and one reviewer with an artistic bent has suggested that it has been influenced by modern artists such as cubist painter Piet Mondrian.

    With these latest developments to Dassault’s business jet line-up surely securing the French OEM a leading position in the market for several years to come, read about the technological advances in Falcon jets over the years in the AvBuyer May digital edition, or continue reading online by clicking the ‘Page 2’ button below.

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