Dassault Falcon 7X business jet in maiden flight

6th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

MERIGNAC, France, May 5 (AFP) - The Falcon 7X, the latest high-end business jet made by French aerospace group Dassault Aviation on Thursday completed its maiden flight from Merignac airport outside Bordeaux in southwest France.

MERIGNAC, France, May 5 (AFP) - The Falcon 7X, the latest high-end business jet made by French aerospace group Dassault Aviation on Thursday completed its maiden flight from Merignac airport outside Bordeaux in southwest France.  

"This first flight allowed us to verify the proper functioning of all on-board systems, especially the electric fight controls," Dassault said in a statement released after the 90-minute flight.  

During its time in the skies above southwest France, the jet reached an altitude of 25,000 feet and a speed of 280 knots, the company said.  

About 100 fans viewed the take-off of the Falcon 7X, which was escorted by one of Dassault's Rafale fighter jets and a helicopter, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.  

The triple-engine luxury plane, capable of flying 10,500 kilometres (6,500 miles) without refuelling at a speed close to that of sound, had on Tuesday completed its first round of tests on the tarmac.  

The Falcon 7X could thus allow jet-set businessmen to travel directly from Paris to either Tokyo or Los Angeles with eight to 14 passengers on board, along with two pilots.   Currently, the Falcon jet with the widest range can fly 8,000 kilometres without refuelling.  

The Falcon 7X, equipped with three Pratt and Whitney PW307-A engines, is the first business jet with electric flight controls - a system first used in combat aircraft 30 years ago that allows for easier piloting.  

Dassault already has 50 firm orders for the Falcon 7X, which has a list price of USD 37 million (EUR 28.6 million). The planes are scheduled for delivery from late 2006.  

The latest in the Falcon family is the first to be entirely designed on a virtual drawing board. Dassault never even built a prototype.  

In the next 10 to 15 years, the French aircraft maker hopes to sell 300 to 400 of the luxury 7X jets, built at Dassault's plant in Merignac.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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