Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon

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  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


    JULY-AUGUST 2009 www.loop.aero


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  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


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  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


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  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


    July-August 2009 | P1 BUSINESS AVIATION MAGAZINE | 33

    The agship of the Dassault range ofbusiness aircraft, the Falcon 7X is the rstbusiness aircraft to use y-by-wire digitalight controls. With a new high-transonic wing, the 7X has a range of around 6,000nmbut with the fuel efciency of much smalleraircraft – even with three engines. Yet it hasthe ability to operate into small airports,meaning it can make several small hopscollecting passengers before heading offacross an ocean or continent.

    With a wingspan of 86ft (26.2m), a lengthof 76ft (23.2m) and a height of 25ft (7.8m),the 7X is larger than many other business jets. The cabin is 39ft long (12m), 92in(2.34 m) wide, and 74in (1.92 m) high, with

    up to 12 seats available depending oncustomer preference. Max Take-Off Weightis 69,000lb, with Max Landing Weight62,400lb and Equipped Empty Weight33,200lb. Vmo/Mmo are 370kias/0.90Mrespectively.

    PERFORMANCEThe Falcon 7X is an ultra-long rangeaircraft, with a quoted maximum rangeof 5950nm, based on full fuel, 3 crew, 8passengers plus bags, 0.80 M cruise andzero wind, with NBAA IFR reserves (oneapproach and go-around, 5 minute hold,200nm diversion, 30min hold at 5000ft).

    This range gives the potential for non-stopfrom Paris to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and US westcoast; from Dubai to Europe, Asia, Africa, and western Australia; and from Los Angeles tomost of Europe and all of Latin America.

    Under the same performance conditions,balanced eld take-off distance required is just 5505ft (1678m), with landing distancerequired (with the NBAA reserves) just2262ft (689m) from a Vref of 104kt. Theseare fabulous gures for the business jetoperator.

    Like other business jets the 7X can getup to FL510. The cabin is maintained at aremarkable 6000ft, a pressure differential

    of around 10psi. As a long haul pilotmyself, I would never like to spend toomuch time at that sort of level. Any loss ofpressurisation would require very rapidactions to get to a sensible level, andcosmic ray absorption would be a very reallong-term health concern. Again, these arenot problems exclusive to the Falcon 7X,but merely an observation about business jet operation generally.

    However, some other interestingperformance gures are worth lookingat for the 7X. Initial maximum cruise athigh weight is around FL390, so the 7X canimmediately clear the busiest airspace (the

    low to mid 30s) to get the best availabledirect routings. Unfortunately there arestill many parts of the world where directroutings are still difcult to get due to rigid ATC structures, but at least the potentialis there.

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    Left: P1's NickHeard atDassault's Istres,

    France testcentre wherehe flew the 7Xwith Chief TestPilot Jean-LouiisDumas.

    N the 1970s when I wasgrowing up, I remember aTV programme called The

    Aeronauts . The series followedthe adventures of two FrenchAir Force pilots ying theDassault Mirage III.

    Being mad keen on aircraftI was an avid fan of theprogramme; I can still hum thetheme tune.

    Many years on, after variousencounters with Miragesduring my RAF time, I nallygot the chance to y a Dassaultaircraft.

    It was not a Mirage, butan aircraft which has beenproduced after years ofDassault ghter aircraftdevelopment: the Falcon 7X.I was able to y the 7X at theDassault test centre at Istres,near Marseilles.

  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


    May-June 2009 | P1 BUSINESS AVIATION MAGAZINE | 41

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  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


    FLIGHT TEST dassault falcon 7x

    36 | P1 BUSINESS AVIATION MAGAZINE | July-August 2009

    the HUD and the PDU was intuitive andeasy to follow and interpret.

    At FL150 we accelerated to 300kt for somegeneral handling. I ew 60 deg AOB (Angleof Bank) turns (2g), and these could beown accurately to +/-50ft, again using theFPV. I found better accuracy using the FPVon the PDU rather than the HUD for thesemanoeuvres. Releasing the sidestick whilstin the steep turn gave the DFCS the chanceto automatically reduce bank angle.

    We then slowed to check the DFCSspeed protection. As we entered the LowSpeed Cues (LSC) speed range (amberstrip of the PDU speed tape), we wereurged to ‘Increase Speed’ by the audio warning system. With the autothrottledisconnected, further slowing towards theredline stall indication, with the sidesticknow fully aft, resulted in a lowering of thenose a few knots above the redline stallindication. There was noticeable buffet atthis point.

    Carrying out the same exercise withautothrottle now connected gave the samelowering of the nose plus a load of powerto assist with regaining speed.

    In the approach conguration (aps toSF3 and gear down) we repeated the lowspeed exercise. The amber LSC began at108kt with the stall indicated at 90kt. Onceagain the DFCS lowered the nose as weattempted to decelerate to the stall.

    Equal protection is provided at highspeeds. In a gentle descent we acceleratedup to and then slightly through Vmo(370kt). The DFCS raised the nose toprevent further excursion beyond Vmo,

    and (with autothrottle connected) closedthe throttles.

    We set up a return to Istres, generatinga Vertical Navigation descent path at250kt which was followed using FPV ightdirector command. The long recoveryto Istres gave us the chance to view the various EASy displays, including synoptics,navigation, and particularly the verticalprole, a highly intuitive display at thebottom of the MFDU, which shows theaircraft’s prole relative to both theStandard Arrival routing and to terrain.I could see that this would be a really

    Final approach toIstres and nick is handson. Right, back of thetest aircraft filled withmeasuring equipment.

    Nick turns the 7Xback towards Istresand engages in some2g steep turns overthe Med.

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    May-June 2009 | P1 BUSINESS AVIATION MAGAZINE | 43

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    FLIGHT TEST dassault falcon 7x


    The fuel efficiencyof the Falcon 7Xgives it astonishingrange as theserange mapsproduced byDassault show.They use threedifferent cities toshow possibilities:Paris, New Yorkand Dubai.

    useful feature for situational awareness when one is descending into anyunfamiliar airport.

    Establishing on a long nal approachfor RW 33, it was here that I remembered just how easy it is to y approaches usinga HUD and FPV: simply place the HUDFPV symbol on the aiming point of therunway and the job is essentially done, within reason. With gear down and apsto SF3, the throttles were closed at 50ftradalt (automatic call-out) and the areinitiated at 30ft. Thanks to the trailing linkmain gear, the landing was smooth. Thenose had to be lowered what felt like quitea long way to get nosewheel contact onthe runway. Jean-Louis recongured theaps during the roll-out, and we re-applied

    power for a further circuit.With sidestick and HUD, it was in the

    circuit that I really enjoyed the ghter-like feel of the 7X. Tight visual circuits were comfortably own, selectingSF1 downwind, gear down abeam thetouchdown point, and nal ap selectionsaround the nals turn. Speed controlthroughout all the circuit work was madeeasy by using the energy chevron. On thenal landing, after nosewheel touchdownI selected idle thrust reverse and wedecelerated gently without testing the fullcapability of the carbon brakes.

    OPERATIONS After this short ight test it was very clearthat from a pilot’s perspective the Falcon7X is a great aircraft to y. Pure handling onthe sidestick requires small and smoothinputs, but the results are very satisfying,

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    July-August 2009 | P1 BUSINESS AVIATION MAGAZINE | 39

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    FLIGHT TEST dassault falcon 7x


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    and the DFCS does its job beautifully.The ight deck is a delight to be in, withextremely well organised displays and lownoise levels. With FPV as primary referencecoupled with a HUD, any pilot shouldquickly feel at home with this different yethighly intuitive way of ying.

    There can by major differences, ofcourse, between just ying an aircraft andoperating it around the world. However, Idon’t believe that this would be a problemfor the Falcon 7X. With proper training,pilots should quickly become familiar with

    the EASy ight deck, such that operationscan run smoothly and efciently whereverthey may be in the world. Dassault haveinvested a great deal to ensure long termreliability of the aircraft, and the servicebackup (including three new technicalbackup centres) are in place to sort outtechnical issues quickly.

    It’s obviously an aircraft that can yfor some 11-12 hours at a time, so pilotcomfort is clearly something to consider. A crew rest area is an option that I don’tsuppose will be installed on many aircraft,but at least the cockpit area is quiet andcomfortable.

    The Falcon 7X is clearly an aircraft that we will see a great deal of, and orders areholding up well through the worldwideslump. It is a real 21st Century pilot’saircraft, and certainly one to be proud toy and operate.

    C onstructed from metal alloysand composite materials, theFalcon 7X has three rear-mounted Pratt and Whitney Canada307A engines, controlled by dualFull Authority Digital Engine Control(FADEC) and each producing 6,400lbof thrust at ISA conditions.

    The centre engine includes a clam-shell thrust reverser which can be used

    down to full stop without reingestionproblems, and which can also be usedfor backing up. Autothrottle function isincluded, and the engines meet modernFAA/EPA emission requirements.

    Fuel is contained in the wings and thecentre and aft sections of the fuselage.The lateral engines are supplied byfuel from the respective wing tank andcentre tank, with the centre enginesupplied by the centre and aft tanks.However, ultimately any fuel tank canfeed any engine. Total fuel capacity isaround 32,000lb.

    The three hydraulic systems (A,B, and

    C) are powered by combinations ofengine and electrical stand-by pumpsto provide redundancy to the necessaryservices (flight controls, flaps, landinggear, brakes, and thrust reverser). ARam Air Turbine (RAT) is also installed

    under the right forward fuselage in caseof total loss of hydraulic pump pressure.Flight controls comprise two aileronsand two spoilers, a single rudder, twoelevators and trimmable stabilizer, sixleading edge slats and four trailingedge flaps, and four airbrakes used

    jointly with roll spoilers for lift dumpand aerodynamic braking. The DigitalFlight Control System (DFCS) includes

    three primary and three secondarycomputers, together with a back-upanalogue computer for direct operationof the flight controls.

    Each landing gear leg has two wheels,with the main gear using trailing linkarms. The nosewheel is steered via therudder pedals only. A manual overrideallows the landing gear to freefallif required. Carbon disc brakes arefitted, together with antiskid, and thebraking system also provides signalsfor automatic airbrake activation duringlanding or rejected take-off.

    The electrical system is 28V DC, with

    power provided from two batteries,three engine-driven alternators, theAPU starter generator, and the RAT.External power can also be connected.The APU, in the aft fuselage, is availablefor ground use only.

  • 8/16/2019 Falcon 7X - P1 Magazine - July '09 - Dassault Falcon


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    Dassault's Falcon 7X is a high-end business jet and interiors arespecified to VVIP tastes. Noticehow much room there is, right.At this year's EBACE, Dassaultunveiled a new cabin interiordesigned in collaboration with BMWDesignworks USA – see photosbelow. They said, "The new Falcon7X cabin introduces subtle curves

    throughout the interior. Curvedbulkheads visually expand the maincabin volume while subtle curvesin the galley and main cabin createbetter flow. Cabin lighting techniquesfeature up-wash and down-washambient lights as well as light strips.The final result is elegant and styledcabin fused with function."

    T he avionics system on the Falcon7X requires explanation in itsown right. Dassault designed theEnhanced Avionics System (EASy) fromyears of development of cockpits forits Mirages and Rafale. Transferring thetask-reduction designs from its fighters tothe 7X business jets has brought about awhole new concept to cockpit layout.

    Based around the Honeywell PrimusEPIC avionics suite (1) , Dassault adopteda clean sheet approach to the flight deckof the Falcon range of aircraft, based onimproving crew situational awareness,reducing pilot workload, and achievingbetter crew coordination. The emphasiswas placed on graphical visualisation,the limiting of stand-alone switches andbuttons, and a layout that would prompthead-up flying and crew coordination.

    The result is a fully integrated system

    which features four large format LCDscreens (2) with data input from pilots viaa track-ball (3) , called a Cursor ControlDevice (CCD). In many ways this methodof data entry is similar to the common PC,thus pilots quickly become familiar with theconcept of moving the crosshair-shapedicon around the screens.

    The four screens are arranged in aT-configuration. The screen in front of eachpilot is known as the Primary Display Unit(PDU) (4) , and contains all informationpertaining to piloting the aircraft.

    The Multi-Function Display Units (MFDU)(5) are installed vertically in the middle of

    the panel, and are dedicated to mapping,flight management, electronic checklistdisplays, and systems management.

    The great advantage of this large-screensystem is that anything that one pilot doescan easily be monitored by the other,greatly helping with the crew coordinationaspect; there is no need to lean over tocheck what the other pilot has done. Thewhole concept of the flight deck is basedon a common workspace, easing thecrosschecking process that is so essentialfor efficient two-pilot operation.

    The other major new concept with EASyis that of flying primarily by reference toFlight Path rather than pitch attitude. Flyingby reference to a Flight Path Vector (FPV)symbol removes an enormous amountof pilots’ efforts in maintaining a desiredprofile. To maintain level, simply put theFPV on the horizon line – any speed,

    configuration, weight, throttle setting, etc.Similarly, intercept an ILS glideslope, select3 deg nose-down on the FPV, and you willmaintain the glidepath.

    Couple FPV and ILS guidance in aHead-Up Display (HUD), and then notonly are you flying an accurate glidepathbut you are already looking throughthe windscreen, ready to convert to thevisual transition to complete the landing– a particularly useful feature when theweather is on minimums. Even en-route, aHUD FPV is useful. If the FPV is buried ina large build-up of cloud 100 miles away,then you know that you will eventually fly


    LANDING DIST 2,262ft (ISA,8 pax)MTOW 69,000IbEMPTY 34,272lbMAX PAYLOAD 6728lbPAYLOAD WITH FULL FUEL2988lbFUEL CAPACITY 31,940lbWINGSPAN 86ftCABIN LENGTH 39ft 1inCABIN HEIGHT 6ft 2inCABIN WIDTH 7ft 8inENGINES 3 x Pratt &Whitney PW307A turbofanPOWER 3 x 6402lb thrust

    AVIONICS Dassault EASyMANUFACTURERDassault Aviation, France


    through it if you don’t take any action.Associated with flight path display is

    the energy chevron and Thrust Directordisplay. The green energy chevron givesan instant display of acceleration anddeceleration, and the magenta ThrustDirector tells the pilot or autothrottlewhere to place the throttles to achieve adesired speed. Together, these displaysprovide the pilots with information onthe aircraft's total energy state, anotherinheritance from the Dassault fighters.

    The EASy allows each pilot to know what the other has done.