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Dassault debuts Falcon 10X

The 10X will be the most superlative Falcon jet to date, with a number of firsts. To address customer feedback, Dassault Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier said that the 10X will have a 7,500-nautical-mile maximum range—the longest of any Falcon. “Customers always want more range,” said Trappier. “So that’s where we began in the design process.”

The 10X will also have new engines, newly designed wings, and more capacious interiors. For the first time, Dassault has chosen Rolls-Royce as its engine partner, using its new Pearl 10X engines with 18,000 pounds of thrust. “Rolls-Royce has the right competency and technology for the airplane,” Trappier said.

Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Warren East explained that the Pearl 10X was built with high efficiency and low noise as prime objectives. The engine uses single-piece blisks (combined blades and discs), 3D printed combustor elements, and core elements that are lighter, have single-crystal metallurgy, create less drag, and use new materials and coatings to provide what East called “the most efficient core to date.” The engines will be 5 percent more efficient than any previous jet engine, and will be capable of burning ecologically friendly sustainable aviation fuels. So far, the Pearl 10X has successfully logged 500 hours and 1,000 cycles using biofuels on test stands.

Rolls-Royce designed a new engine core with bladed discs that will increase efficiency and thrust compared to previous models. The Pearl 10X will be the first Rolls-Royce engine on a Falcon jet. Image courtesy of Dassault Aviation. In another departure from traditional Falcon design, the 10X’s wings will be made of carbon fiber to save weight and have a wider span and greater sweep angles than previous Falcons. Together with the airplane’s flaps and slats, this will allow the airplane to cruise efficiently at high speeds yet preserve the Falcon’s traditional low-speed handling characteristics and short-field performance.

Falcon 10X test pilots gave a brief tour of the virtual 10X cockpit, which featured a new, single-lever thrust control for the airplane’s twin Pearl engines, as well as dual head-up displays, an auto-recovery mode to deal with unusual attitude recovery, and reclining pilot seats. As with the Falcons 7X, 6X, and 8X, the 10X will have a digital flight control system—fly-by-wire—which Trappier said has proven itself with 900,000 flight hours in the Falcon fleet.

The cabin is the longest, tallest, and widest of any Falcon to date, with larger windows and a standard, four-zone floor plan. Cabin pressure at 41,000 feet will be a comfortable 3,000 feet. There are tables for every seat, an entertainment center with wide-screen TV and surround sound, and an aft bedroom area with a full closet, a seating area, and an ensuite bathroom and shower. “It’s a penthouse in the sky,” said a Dassault interior design official. “This is at the top of business jets,” echoed Trappier.

The 10X had been rumored for some time. While impressive on its own merits, the airplane must also be viewed as an answer to Bombardier’s Global 7500, which also sports luxury—as well as a 7,700-nm max range. And Dassault’s choice of Rolls-Royce can be construed as a snub to Safran, whose Silvercrest engine proved so problematic that it caused delays, and ultimately the cancellation, of Dassault’s Falcon 5X program in 2017.

The 10X is set for entry into service in 2025.

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