French aircraft manufacturer Dassault has unveiled its first all-new private jet design in a decade, and it’s a doozy.
The Falcon 5X has room for 16 passengers. It’s equipped with new Snecma Silvercrest engines that Dassault says make it more fuel efficient than competitors like Bombardier’s Global 5000 (by 35%) and Gulfstream’s G450 (by 30%).
The 5X will have a $US45 million price tag, according to Aviation Week.
That puts it well below the $US65 million Gulfstream G650, still the biggest, fastest, and overall best private jet money can buy. But Dassault strikes a blow with a cabin that is actually wider and taller (albeit shorter) than that of the G650.
And, for cool points more than practicality, it even has a skylight — an industry first.
It can also land with 95% of its max takeoff weight. (That number for a Boeing 777-200 is about 82%.) That means that if the 5X needs to make an emergency landing just after takeoff, it does not have to dump or burn much fuel to do it safely.
With eight passengers on board (that's half capacity), the new jet can fly 5,200 nautical miles at Mach 0.8.
In the cockpit, big windshields let pilot see both wingtips, helpful for manoeuvring on the ground. The 5X can be equipped with dual Head Up Displays, and a new radar from Honeywell provides more detailed information on thunderstorms, from farther away.
For the interior, Dassault says it worked to create 'flowing, uninterrupted lines to enhance the feeling of space.' Looks like they pulled it off.
Even better is the ceiling, which is 6'6' high. That's the best in the industry, and a big plus for tall travellers, who don't want to pay a fortune to crouch in their own plane.
The highlight of the cabin may be the skylight -- an industry first. You won't be able to see much, but it will bring in more natural light. And it's just plain cool.
Following the trend in new jets, the 5X will offer bigger windows (28 of them) than previous Falcons.
Dassault says the seats are full of hidden compartments, great for storing phones and other devices.
Construction of the first 5X is underway. If all goes according to plan, the maiden test flight will take place in the first half of 2015.
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