French aerospace giant Dassault Aviation SA is no stranger to the world of high stakes and high performance jet aircraft, having designed the infamous Mirage family of jet fighters, including the vicious Mirage F1, the classic Mirage III, and myriad other aircraft in the lineage. But a long history in support of national defense is far from the whole portfolio for Dassault; far from it. Dassault has long been a builder of world-class luxury jets and the Falcon 8X is the crème de la crème.
Characteristics and Amenities
The Falcon 8X falls under the category of a Large Cabin Heavy Jets, which includes prolific company to include the Gulfstream 450/IV, Gulfstream 550/V, Bombardier Challenger 800-series.
The Falcon 8X uses a Falcon 7X fuselage which has been stretched a little over three feet, allowing fuel capacity to be increased over 3,000lbs to a total fuel load of just shy of 35,000lbs, providing a maximum range of 6,450nm in standard configuration.
So where does 6,500nm get you? Let’s take a quick look at some of the possibilities:
Dallas/Fort Worth to Honolulu: 3,779nm. Barely over half a tank!
Orlando to Paris: 4,500nm. Still just a little over half.
LAX to Tokyo: 5,477nm. Now we are getting a little closer, but still with about 1,000nm to spare.
It would be futile to express a Falcon as anything other than fully loaded, to use the automotive vernacular.
So, we already know that the Falcon 8X is a large cabin, ultra-long range business jet which is loaded to the gills. But how does it stack up to the competition? Let’s take a look.
Dassault chose the super-reliable, durable, and totally proven Pratt & Whitney 300-series of high bypass turbofan engines for the Falcon 7X and 8X. Specifically, the P&W 307D of which three are mounted to the empennage. At 6,722lbs of maximum thrust each, this amounts to a little over 20,000lbs of thrust with a max gross take-off weight of 73,000lbs.
The Falcon 8X was not designed for regional travel; if that is what you are looking for, there are plenty of options on the market. No, the Falcon 8X was designed to fly out of relatively short runways (sub-5,000’) with about any density altitude.
Once off the deck, the three engines urge the Falcon along at Mach .90, with a phenomenal cruising altitude of FL510! According to Dassault, the 8X can take off from Eagle, Colorado (field elevation 6,547’) and fly direct to Geneva, Switzerland.
The Dassault Falcon 8X finds itself in exclusive company, with the likes of the Gulfstream G-V/G-500/G-550 family and the Bombardier Challengers and Global. It is fair to say that none of these are exactly miserly; it is not the nature of their mission. These jets are ultra-expensive and cater to a very select clientele base. The Falcon 8X offers excellent systems redundancy, good short-field performance, all of the amenities you could want, and operating costs which are over 30% lower than their competitors. If this is a category of aircraft which you are in the market to shop, don’t let the Falcon 8X fall off of your radar because it is a legitimate contender.