The Falcon 8X now is added than centermost through its flight analysis campaign, putting it absolutely on clue for acceptance in mid-2016. Recently, we flew the aboriginal flight analysis aircraft to appraise the advance of the program, to barometer how able-bodied Dassault is affair the trijet’s declared weight, achievement and anchorage abundance goals and to sample its administration qualities. Thus far, the after-effects attending promising, as one ability apprehend from a low-risk accepted architecture that’s anxiously based on the well-proven Falcon 7X.
The Falcon 8X represents article of a archetype about-face for Dassault. This is the aboriginal time in the company’s history that it has continued one of its absolute Falcon Jets to actualize a acquired archetypal rather than commence on a clean-sheet design. Two 21-in. plugs, one advanced and one aft of the accession root, were added to the 7X fuselage. The modification makes allowance for two added windows on anniversary ancillary of the accumulation and adds about 3.5 ft. to anchorage length. The amplitude additionally makes allowance for a best abdomen allowance with a added conformal catchbasin that increases ammunition accommodation by about 2,500 lb. Centralized modifications to the accession tanks add accession 460 lb., accretion absolute ammunition accommodation by 2,960 lb. compared to that in the Falcon 7X.
Dassault claims the added ammunition accommodation boosts the 8X’s ambit by 500 nm. At a best of 6,450 nm, the absolute ambit advance over that of the Falcon 7X with eight cartage aboard is afterpiece to 770 nm, according to BCA’s May 2105 Purchase Planning Handbook. The ambit access enables the aircraft to fly amid new burghal pairs, such as Boston and Beijing, Singapore and Stansted, and Blackpool and Buenos Aires.
The added range, however, assumes the 8X will accept a 500-lb. lower basal operating weight than the 7X because of structural changes to the accession and lighter weight acoustical insulation.
The ambit access after-effects from a aggregate of several baby improvements. The alliance of the arch bend slats with the aerial apparent of the accession has been fine-tuned. New winglets abate both induced annoyance and shock-wave drag, alike admitting they’re beneath than the winglets on the 7X. The engines were adapted to advance specific ammunition burning by 1.5%. And airy changeless adherence will abate accumbent antithesis trim drag.
Dozens of added refinements add operational flexibility, anchorage abundance and situational awareness. Delve into the accommodation to ascertain why this Falcon trijet is the most-capable business aircraft yet developed by Dassault.
Modified Structure, Systems and Soundproofing
As with all antecedent Falcon Jets, best of the 8X’s primary airframe is a accepted semi-monocoque, high-strength aluminum admixture anatomy application fatigued skins, with bandage frames and longerons in the accumulation and spars and ribs in the wings. Composites mainly are acclimated in accessory structures, including the adenoids radome, accumulation fairings, winglets, vertical antithesis and carbon/titanium accumbent stabilizer, amid added components.
Using Dassault Systemes’ CATIA and added architecture tools, Dassault engineers baldheaded off about 600 lb. from the 7X’s centralized accession structure. As noted, added modifications added anniversary wing’s centralized ammunition accommodation by 230 lb. The accession accumulation now is added flexible. As accession breadth charcoal banausic at 761 sq. ft. and the 8X has a 3,000-lb. college MTOW, the aftereffect should be an alike smoother ride in turbulence than offered by the 7X. Notably, Dassault is administering a abounding ambit of approved dive acceleration tests to assure the 8X retains the 7X’s 370 KIAS Vmo and Mach 0.90 Mmo redline speeds.
The 7X/8X airfoil has 34 deg. of inboard breadth ambit and 30 deg. of outboard breadth sweep, a 9.72:1 aspect arrangement and a arresting reflex s-curve on the basal apparent a the abaft edge. The most-efficient cruise acceleration is Mach 0.80. BCA estimates that blame up cruise acceleration to Mach 0.85 should abate ambit by about 830 nm, based aloft extrapolating Falcon 7X cruise achievement data. However, Dassault admiral beneath to accommodate cruise achievement numbers until flight tests are complete. That’s additionally why we’re abbreviating a blueprint box with this report.
The 3.5-ft. accumulation amplitude enables the 8X to accept 16 windows on anniversary ancillary of the cabin. The amplitude additionally increases anchorage aggregate by 143 cu. ft. Dassault engineers accept created a added effective, yet lighter weight acoustical insulation amalgamation for the 8X, one that concentrates babble arresting abstracts at specific locations breadth the complete levels are the greatest. The aftereffect is a 2 to 3 dB abridgement in anchorage complete with a 25% abridgement in acoustical insulation weight.
Short, average and continued galley/crew alcove configurations are available. Anniversary comes with a standard, forward, right-side aggregation lavatory. A actinic toilet is accepted and a exhaustion toilet is optional. Dassault believes that best operators will baddest the 3.5-ft. best advanced galley/crew compartment. It appearance a 78-in. left-hand aggregation anchorage and 93-in.-long galley, affording the best aggregation blow amplitude and the better food, cooler and ceramics accumulator for flights that can aftermost up to 14 hr. duration.
The capital cabins about are configured with a four-chair club breadth up front, a four-chair appointment alignment with adjoining credenza in mid-cabin and a pullout daybed sleeper added single-chair controlling workstation in the aft cabin. Many operators, though, are accepted to adjustment a second, pullout bassinet in abode of the controlling workstation as it provides an added lay-flat anchorage for brief missions.
At the rear of the capital cabin, there is a bathroom with exhaustion toilet. Advanced and aft lavatories accept absolute baptize and decay systems, a architecture affection that adds redundancy, according to Dassault.
A 140-cu.-ft. aft accoutrements alcove is attainable by agency of a accessory burden aperture in the rear of the commuter lavatory. Access to the aft bay is banned aloft FL 400 to accede with agent rotor access acceptance requirements.
Similar to the Falcon 7X, the 8X has a 10.1-psi pressurization arrangement that provides a 6,000-ft. anchorage at FL 510. At archetypal cruise flight levels, anchorage ambit is at or beneath 4,500 ft. At FL 410, anchorage ambit is 3,900 ft.
Falcon 7X systems are agitated over to the Falcon 8X with accessory changes. There is affluence of back-up to assure analytical systems abide operational in the accident of assorted failures.
The electrical system, for instance, has three engine-driven and one APU-driven, brushless DC generators added a ram air agent that automatically deploys if those four ability sources are bare in flight. Permanent allurement alternators on engines 1 and 2 accommodate emergency ability for the flight ascendancy arrangement if no added generators are available. Anniversary agent additionally has a abstracted PMA to accommodate ability for its FADEC.
The 3,000-psi hydraulic arrangement has amateur redundancy. There are bristles engine-driven pumps and one electrically apprenticed aux pump. The 10.1-psi cogwheel pressurization arrangement has a distinct air-cycle apparatus backpack backed up by an emergency calefaction exchanger system. The anchorage has abstracted advanced and aft temperature controls. Part of the anchorage air is recirculated to abate agent drain air loads, thereby convalescent agent efficiency.
The basal triple-source ammunition arrangement is agitated over from the Falcon 7X. However, the three systems do not accept identical ammunition capacities. To acclimatize ammunition levels in all three systems, Dassault added an automated antithesis activity that transfers ammunition from aerial to low tanks at the blow of a on on the aerial panel. In addition, the burden refueling arrangement has been adapted to acquiesce faster bushing of the tanks.
Dassault agitated over the 7X’s agenda flight ascendancy arrangement (fly-by-wire) to the 8X, featuring three dual-channel capital flight ascendancy computers backed up by three single-channel accessory flight ascendancy computers. The basal ascendancy law is adapted C star, aggregate g and bend amount commands, with flight aisle adherence and all-encompassing flight envelope protections. The more-flexible accession structure, though, appropriate cycle command software revisions to appearance and bland cycle response. In addition, tighter aing bend bend acknowledgment algorithms were added to the software in adjustment to bland and appearance bend acknowledgment on ascent rotation, consistent in beneath adventitious of careless over-rotation at aft c.g.
In animosity of the Falcon 8X’s airy changeless stability, pilots and cartage won’t faculty the change as the fly-by-wire ascendancy arrangement will bedew out any abeyant bend oscillations as continued as the aircraft charcoal aural its c.g. envelope.
The Falcon 8X will be a abounding MSG-3 aliment affable aircraft with 800-hr./12-month basal analysis intervals. FlightSafety International has been broke to be the primary training casework provider. The aboriginal actor will be operational at FlightSafety’s Teterboro, New Jersey, training ability in 2016 and the added will appear on band at the company’s Le Bourget centermost in 2017.
Left Bench on Flight 92
Garbed in a tan Nomex flight clothing and aggressive boots at Istres-Le Tubé Air Base, the capital ability acclimated by Dassault for flight test, we belted into the larboard bench of Falcon 8X No. 1. We were accompanied by Eric Gerard, arch analysis pilot for the program, in the appropriate bench and Frederic Lascourreges, Dassault Aviation’s arch analysis pilot, on the jump bench as assurance pilot. As the 8X was alone centermost through its flight analysis program, this would be a qualitative, rather than quantitative, appraisal of the aircraft. Our objectives were to appraise accepted aerial qualities, the aircraft’s fly-by-wire envelope protections, engine-out ascent characteristics and aerodynamic administration characteristics in the absolute law access aback the aircraft would be bare of about all of its adult agenda flight ascendancy capabilities.
Loaded with antithesis tanks absolute 2,200 lb. of water, air abstracts sensor adenoids boom, analysis accessories and abstracts recorders, the aircraft’s BOW was 39,000 lb., or about 2,900 lb. added weight than for a assembly aircraft, according to Dassault projections. Because of the adenoids analysis boom, the aircraft had no alarm and the new Elbit HUD/EVS arrangement was not installed.
With 10,000 lb. of fuel, our access weight was 49,000 lb., about 67% of a absolutely loaded assembly aircraft. We ran through the prestart checks, including blockage oxygen, blaze apprehension and emergency lights, forth with windshield heat, RAT and ecology ascendancy systems, added CVR, ice detection, TCAS and built-in-test systems. We started the APU, waited 2 min. for countdown and again broke off drain air to the backpack to air-conditioned the cabin. Girard programmed takeoff, ascend and cruise flight phases into the FMS application a arrangement of flight administration windows and point-and-click entries.
The FMS automatically computed V1 at 101 KIAS, Vr at 107 KIAS, V2 at 114 KIAS and best one-engine-inoperative ascend acceleration at 169 KIAS, application SF2 (slats/flaps 20 deg.) at 49,000 lb. Computed ascent ambit on the about sea-level aerodrome at 20C was about 3,250 ft.
Starting the engines is easy, usually in a 2-3-1 sequence. We confused the centermost agent ammunition about-face to run and askance the alpha bulge to start. Fuel, ignition, amateur motor and drain air systems automatically responded, including breach APU drain air from the backpack to the agent amateur motor. The FADEC handled all aspects of start, including attention adjoin alpha malfunctions. Afterwards all three engines were running, we shut bottomward the APU, arrested flight ascendancy abandon and accomplished a first-flight-of-the-day FBW flight ascendancy arrangement anatomic check. This takes a abounding minute to complete, during which assorted flight ascendancy surfaces move up and down, larboard and right, extend and abjure in acknowledgment to computer commands. The aircraft charge abide anchored while the analysis is underway.
We armed the nosewheel steering, set SF2 and taxied to Aerodrome 33 for departure. At the aircraft’s analogously ablaze weight, it took little added than abandoned advance to alpha rolling. Nosewheel council is controlled by the adviser pedals. The Falcon 7X and 8X are the aboriginal Falcons that don’t accept council tillers.
Initially, our auto address acquired some directional twitching and anchor jerking. But afterwards a few moments, we adapted to the feel of the council and anchor systems, essentially convalescent accuracy and precision. We arrested operation of the distinct advance reverser on the centermost engine.
Once austere for takeoff, we armed the autothrottles and pushed up the levers to the advanced stops. Dassault advised the autothrottle arrangement so that it doesn’t appoint until the aircraft climbs 400 ft. aloft the runway. That way, the pilots absorb abounding ascendancy over advance commands aback the aircraft is aing to the aerodrome surface.
At Vr, the circling attribute on the PFD confused advancement from its 14-deg. nose-down parking position on screen. We pulled aback on the sidestick to bend up until the circling attribute was on the horizon, consistent in about 14-deg. nose-up bend attitude. The circling attribute disappears 3 sec. afterwards liftoff.
About that time, the flight administrator cue appeared on the PFD. It doesn’t accommodate adenoids attitude guidance. Instead, it provides flight aisle guidance. Thus, we adapted adenoids attitude to bout the flight aisle attribute on the PFD with the flight administrator command. With a absolute amount of climb, we abandoned the landing gear. By 400 ft., the aircraft had accelerated to V2 30 kt., triggering a “clean the wing” alarm for slats and flaps retraction, added calls for flight advice arrangement ascend access and the after-takeoff checklist.
Following ATC instructions, we collapsed off at 2,500 ft. and proceeded arctic for 8 mi. to breach able-bodied beneath jetliner cartage accession at Marseille Provence Airport. We again climbed to FL 150 for a alternation of administration checks at 250 KIAS.
As with the Falcon 7X, the sidestick ambassador in the 8X has a nice antithesis amid abstinent fore-aft burden for bend commands and softer left-right force for cycle inputs. The aftereffect is low duke effort, but there is abundant bounce attrition and damping to anticipate over-control.
We sampled flight envelope protections, including the archetypal annular of absolute and abrogating g limiting, bend of advance (AOA) aegis and overspeed protection. The FBW arrangement automatically adjusts elevator and accumbent antithesis positions to accommodate envelope protection, cardinal as all-important the pilot’s sidestick inputs to anticipate beyond the certified flight envelope.
As with antecedent Falcon Jets able with EASy avionics suites, if the autopilot is engaged, the arrangement will automatically appoint the autothrottles and acclimatize advance as bare to anticipate beyond high- or low-speed flight envelope limits. Aback the aircraft allotment to the accustomed flight envelope, the Falcon 8X’s EASy III arrangement automatically resumes accustomed autothrottle functionality.
The Falcon 8X, in befitting with all antecedent Falcons, apparent incomparable low-speed administration qualities. Aback aing blockage AOA, in any configuration, the mid-section and outboard slats extend and the inboard slats retract. As the aircraft nibbled at CL max, with the sidestick all the way aft, the 8X remained absolutely controllable as we maneuvered through several affable turns and banks.
At a weight of about 48,000 lb., we appropriately accomplished minimum airspeeds in the apple-pie configuration, at SF2 (slats flaps 20 deg.) and at SF3 (slats flaps 40 deg.) of 120 KIAS, 98 KIAS and 92 KIAS. The aircraft abridged the acclaimed Dassault architecture arch of accouterment fat, bendable edges to the flight envelope. It never absent its accord while actuality abused to the limit. No added business aircraft offers added accommodating low-speed administration characteristics, in BCA’s opinion.
As anon as we bargain adenoids attitude and added thrust, accretion from anniversary of the Vmin assignment was about instantaneous. As the aircraft’s AOA was bargain and acceleration increased, the slats alternate to their accustomed positions for anniversary alleged bulk accessory configuration.
We abandoned accessory and flaps and again counterbalanced the aircraft wings akin at 250 KIAS. Again we switched off the primary flight ascendancy computers so that we could appraise the aircraft in absolute law mode. The aircraft accepted to be as accessible to fly in absolute law as the Falcon 7X. The aircraft has absolutely acceptable accustomed aerodynamic adherence to accomplish it accessible to handle in absolute law mode. Ache trim is a chiral activity and the amount of change is about absolute — quick abundant to abate sidestick ascendancy pressure, and apathetic abundant to anticipate over-control. Rocker switches on the centermost animate actuate the bifold ache trim motors. Yaw damping is retained in the absolute law mode.
During the absolute law demonstration, we configured the aircraft for landing, slowed to Vref and descended on a 3-deg. glidepath to 14,500 ft. Reaching that point, we accomplished a apish go-around, reconfigured to SF2, abandoned the landing accessory with a absolute amount of ascend and collapsed off at 15,000 ft. Thrust, agreement and acceleration changes produced balmy casting moments that calmly were controllable with sidestick inputs and use of the chiral bend trim system. Girard acclaimed that the FBW arrangement provides some bend damping in absolute law mode.
We transitioned aback to accustomed law mode, affianced the autothrottles and counterbalanced the aircraft at 250 KIAS. Girard again shut bottomward the No. 3 agent to authenticate that the autothrottles abide absolutely anatomic with the actual two engines in operation. Afterward, we able the autothrottles so that we could advance the No. 3 burke at the abandoned position and restarted it.
With all three engines aback on the line, we climbed to FL 400 to appraise administration qualities. Qualitatively, the aircraft appeared to be absolutely abiding with acceptable Mach cafe boundaries at ablaze gross weights. However, as accession breadth charcoal banausic from the Falcon 7X, the 8X’s 3,000-lb. greater weight will hardly abate Mach cafe boundaries.
Then we accomplished a apish emergency coast by abbreviation advance to idle, initially casting over to 20-deg. adenoids down, extending the spoilers all the way out to AB2 and blame acceleration up to Mmo/Vmo limits.
There was noticeable, abstinent airframe boom with the spoilers continued to AB2, but coast amount was impressive. Passing through FL 160 we partially abandoned the spoilers to assure that we didn’t overshoot the basal altitude. We collapsed off at FL 150 in 1 min., 15 sec. and additionally acclaimed that extending the spoilers amid to the AB1 position after-effects in a abstinent access in annoyance but around no buffet.
Returning to Istres for arrangement work, we accustomed at a landing weight of 44,000 lb. Based on application SF3 (slats flaps 40 deg.), Capt. Lascourreges computed Vref at 110 KIAS.
Using the autothrottles to administer agent thrust, we accumbent with Aerodrome 33, captured the glidepath application the VASI and flew a accustomed landing approach. Admitting landing weight was 22 tons, the aircraft displayed the administration ease, activity and admiration of a far abate aircraft. The Falcon 10’s genes can be begin in the Falcon 8X’s DNA.
At 50 ft., the autothrottles automatically bargain advance to abandoned and we followed the talking radio altimeter’s cues to touchdown. The aircraft’s long-travel, abaft articulation capital landing accessory and apathetic access speeds all but agreement a bendable touchdown.
We acclimated affluence of about-face advance from the distinct advance reverser on the No. 2 agent to apathetic the aircraft, application actual ablaze caster braking activity to anticipate balance calefaction buildup.
Our added ascent would be a apish one-engine-inoperative maneuver. Based aloft a abandonment weight of 44,000 lb. and application SF2 (slats flaps 20 deg.), ascent speeds were 94 KIAS for V1, 102 KIAS for Vr and 110 KIAS for V2.
Five knots beneath Vr, Girard pulled aback the No. 3 burke to abandoned and, anon after, alleged “Rotate.” As we rotated, it took beneath than 70-lb. force on the larboard adviser pedal to advance the aircraft in counterbalanced flight. The FBW system’s yaw damping activity fabricated adviser and aileron ascendancy inputs to accommodate bound yaw and abounding cycle stabilization. There was no agnosticism that we’d absent advance on the appropriate agent because of the associated yawing moment. But directional ascendancy was easy, abnormally as there was around no proverse cycle due to agee lift in the sideslip. Indeed, the aircraft was so accessible to ascendancy that we saw little charge to trim out adviser pedal pressures to advance counterbalanced flight.
Climbing to arrangement ambit at Istres, we headed downwind and Girard gave me ascendancy of the No. 3 agent advance lever. We set up for a accustomed landing, but Girard had me adjust the aircraft with a alongside taxiway, aloof east of Aerodrome 33. We accustomed that the action was inconsistent with accepted counterbalanced access criteria, but the ambition was to authenticate the aircraft’s agility.
As we descended to 500 ft. aloft touchdown elevation, about 1.25 nm from the aerodrome threshold, Girard instructed me to breach off the access to the taxiway and realign the aircraft with Aerodrome 33. It was absolutely accessible to abstain to the aerodrome centerline, as the access acceleration was analogously low and the aircraft was so agile. We realigned with Aerodrome 33 aural 0.5 nm and landed the aircraft calmly and uneventfully.
Conclusions? The Falcon 8X is aloof as nice to fly as the Falcon 7X. Its EASy III avionics apartment provides new functions and appearance that assure it will be one of the safest and best able ultra-long-range business aircraft aback it enters account in the added bisected of 2016.
Svelte Weight Allowances
The Falcon 8X’s advertised 6,450-nm NBAA IFR ambit with eight cartage acutely puts it in BCA’s ultra-long-range class, aing an aristocratic accumulation of business aircraft that includes the Bombardier Global 6000 and Gulfstream G550, amid added purpose-built business jets.
But in adjustment to accomplish that ambit figure, operators will charge to watch weight as anxiously as an haute couture archetypal on a Paris runway. Dassault’s quoted 36,100-lb. BOW does not accommodate satcom, broadband Internet connectivity, Elbit HUD and EVS, ability anchorage window shades, galley refrigerator, electrically powered anchorage chairs or aft anchorage aloofness bulkhead, amid added accepted options. An aft anchorage battery additionally will be offered, but as yet there is no weight estimated for it. In addition, BOW is based aloft accepting three pilots aboard. There is no weight allowance for a flight attendant.
Add in the account added a fourth crewmember, and BOW could access by 400 lb. to 500 lb. or more. Dassault officials, though, adverse that it’s absurd that added than six 200-lb. cartage will be aboard any purpose-built business aircraft accepting a 14 hr. ability as that is the best cardinal of abounding lay-flat berths provided in three anchorage sections.
Several Dassault Falcon 7X operators told BCA, during our 2011 Operators Survey interviews, that they capital added range, a accessible aggregation blow bunk, added galley amplitude for food and a beyond assignment breadth for a flight attendant. The Falcon 8X delivers the appurtenances with some important qualifiers. Assuming operators convenance austere weight discipline, this trijet Falcon flagship promises to be a able adversary in the ultra-long-range class.
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