This week, I travelled on-board The Falcon 8X, the new flagship of Dassault Aviation, reg F-HVIP, from Abu Dhabi Al Bateen airport to Paris Le Bourget. It was my first time flying a 3-engine Business Jet!
The Falcon 8X offers a range of 6,450 nm and all the advanced technological features of the popular Falcon 7X from which it is derived; including the industry’s quietest and most comfortable cabin. The 8X also features the greatest range and the longest cabin in the Falcon line, along with the most extensive selection of cabin configurations available on any large cabin business jet.
Elegant and fully customizable interior
This is what the interior of my Falcon 8X flight looked like. It was configured with 14 seats across 3 section of the cabin; it can also be converted into 6 fully flat beds. With over 30 possible layouts, this is the industry’s most flexible cabin. Noise and cabin altitude are low, air quality is high.
Faster and higher than Commercial Flight
We cruised at 43,000 feet and at a speed of Mach 0.86 to Paris. The flight took 6 hour 40 minutes, against pretty strong head winds. It was still faster and higher than most commercial flights. The Falcon 8X can cruise at a maximum 51,000 feet and the maximum speed is Mach 0.90.
I was sat watching behind the pilot during our fast take-off roll; we then reached V1 and rotated skyward. The climb was very sharp due to the design of the wing and light load.
Continental Breakfast onboard
There were just 3 of us (2 company staff from Dassault and myself) on-board. We had total freedom and flexibility on-board. After take-off, a full continental breakfast was served by the small yet efficient cabin crew.
Relax and Explore
After breakfast, I changed into my comfort on-board clothes and started to feel more relaxed. I enjoyed looking out of the window while we fly over the snow covered landscape of the northwest part of Iran and northern Turkey.
While current airliners and even some business jets have cabin altitudes of 6,000 to 8,000 feet, the Falcon 8X keeps you at a comfortable at 3,900 ft. while cruising at 43,000 feet. So you feel better on board — and less jet lag after arrival. Noise levels were also extremely low at a whisper-quiet 52 dB
The rear section of the plane is fitted with 2 long sofas across each side of the aisle; both these sofas can be converted into a double bed. On my flight, I was offered the chance to enjoy one giant bed all to myself!
The cabin attendant, Catherine, showed me that there is even a flat bed in the crew rest area near the front galley, for an ultra-long haul flight.
The bathroom is located in the rear, which can be customizable with a shower on-board if required. There are over 30 different cabin layouts from which to choose from the Dassault Showroom.
Shortly before landing into Paris, we had lunch on-board; it was comparable to any First Class airline meals out there. We were first offered some canapes (Foie Gras and salmon) and excellent Ruinart champagne.
The first course is Arabic mezze. A choice of fish or chicken for the main course.
Dassault have their own vineyard in France, Chateau Dassault, and it produces some excellent red wine. I was told this 2000 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru was one of the BEST years of produce.
The lunch concluded with a cheese platter and a variety of dessert such as macarons, pana cotta, tiramisu, opera cake and fine chocolates.
Landing at Le Bourget
I headed back to the cockpit and strapped myself in preparation for final landing. Paris had some light snow that morning and visibility was down to 2-3 km’s.
Totally redesigned, the Falcon 8X cockpit will feature a new generation of EASY Flight deck and offer an optional wide-screen head-up display.
I was very privileged to have this unique opportunity to fly on a three engine state-of-the-art Falcon 8X. I was most impressed by how quiet and comfortable the cabin was during the flight, thanks to the lower cabin altitude. I was equally impressed by the design of the jet and its enhanced capabilities. I had a lot of personal moments during the flight, enabling me to think and indulge in privacy. This is definitely one very special flight in my log book.
More on Dassault Falcon 8X
|Height(with optional fin tip radome)||26 ft 1 in / 7.94 m|
|Length Overall||80 ft 3 in / 24.46 m|
|Wing Span||86 ft 3 in / 26.29 m|
Engines & avionics
|Type||3 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D – 6,722 lb / 29.9 kN (Max Thrust, ISA + 17°C, SL)|
|Cockpit||3rd Generation of EASy Flight Deck (with Honeywell Primus Epic System)|
|Range @ .80 Mach cruise(8 pax, 3 crew, NBAA IFR reserves)||6,450 nm / 11,945 km|
|MMO(Maximum Operating Mach Number)||Mach .90|
|Takeoff Distance(SL – ISA, Max Takeoff Weight)||6,000 ft / 1,829 m|
|Landing Distance(FAR 91, 8 pax / 3 Crew, SL, NBAA IFR Reserves)||2,150 ft / 656 m|
|Approach Speed, Vref(8 pax / 3 Crew, NBAA IFR Reserves)||106 kias / 197 kph|
|Max. Certified Altitude||51,000 ft / 15,545 m|
About Dassault Aviation
Dassault Aviation is a French aerospace company with proven dual expertise as a manufacturer of both military aircraft and business jets. Creator of more than 100 prototypes in the last century, with over 10,000 aircraft delivered to 90 countries.
My favorite quote is, "The Falcon that thinks it's a fighter!" by deceased pilot Peter Collins.
Below images show you the range of Dassault Falcon 8X from Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Paris.
Dassault Aviation Showroom
After landing, I visited The Dassault Aviation showroom which offers full customization of the airplane for any potential owner. You can try out many different layouts including cabin seats, entertainment system, carpet, flooring, paint and many finer details like upholstery and table wares.
Difference between Private Jet and Commercial Flight
While First Class on commercial airlines offers some of the most amazing cabin experiences, you may have to face the inconvenience of scheduling. Private jet flyers go at their own timing and pace with total privacy.
Setting the soft product apart, to me the real advantage of flying private jet is the convenience, flexibility and of course privacy.