Dassault Falcon 6X
Dassault Falcon 6X

Dassault Falcon 6X

It’s comfortable, roomy, fast, and loaded with cutting-edge technologies.

There was a time when the twinjet, large-cabin, long-range business aircraft market was a duopoly. When all roads to it ran through either Bombardier in Montreal or Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Georgia. And now, that time is over. 

Meet the Dassault Falcon 6X. 

The 6X—which has an estimated equipped price of $52.75 million—made its first flight last year, and deliveries are expected to commence in early 2023. The 12- to 14-passenger aircraft has the largest cross section of any purpose-designed business jet: eight and a half feet wide, six and a half feet high, and just over 40 feet long. Like most Falcons, this one will blend good short- and long-range capabilities. It will be able to use runways as short as 3,000 feet (partially loaded) while carrying 33,700 pounds of fuel, delivering a range of 5,500 nautical miles (with eight passengers, three crew, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.80), or 5,100 nautical miles at Mach 0.85, and a top speed of Mach 0.90. The airplane is designed to stay aloft for up to 12 hours, and the range enables city pairs that include Los Angeles–London, Sao Paulo–Chicago, and Paris–Beijing. That puts the 6X in direct competition with the Gulfstream G500 and Bombardier Global 5500

The 6X’s high-efficiency Pratt & Whitney PW812D engines deliver 13,500 pounds of thrust each and 10 percent better fuel economy than legacy engines in their thrust class. Its new wing is designed to mitigate turbulence and is equipped with flaperons, leading-edge slats, and trailing-edge flaps. The flaperons save weight, improve control, and smooth out turbulence by combining flaps and ailerons into a single control surface: flaps deploy to increase lift at low speeds while ailerons regulate bank and roll. The new wing provides good high- and low-speed performance; its leading-edge slats and trailing-edge flaps combine to lower takeoff and approach speeds—up to 10 knots slower than those of comparable business jets. At maximum takeoff weight, the Falcon needs a balanced field length of as little as 5,840 feet. It can also access airports requiring steep approaches, such as London City. 

The 6X’s aerodynamic control surfaces are linked to a next-generation fly-by-wire flight-control system. The 6X also adds integrated digital control of nosewheel steering, which makes maneuvering on the ground more precise. Flaps in the 6X are electrically powered, as opposed to controlled hydraulically.

Dassault Falcon 6X Cockpit
Dassault Falcon 6X Cockpit

Trailblazing Technology

Dassault has traditionally been a trailblazer among business jet makers in adapting military technology such as 3D computer design, sidesticks, and fly-by-wire controls. These innovations come naturally, as the company also builds the successful line of Rafale and Mirage jet fighters. (Many of the engineers who designed those airplanes also worked on the 6X.) Dassault has a reputation for taking airframe aerodynamic optimization to the next level and almost an obsession with trimming weight out of the final product. The Falcon 6X continues this tradition. It is also slated to be the first business jet with a nitrogen-based fuel pressurization system. 

Dassault Falcon 6X Cabin
Dassault Falcon 6X Cabin

The new EASy IV cockpit, based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics, features a simplified, one-button, power-up system, the FalconEye combined vision system head-up display for landing in low-visibility situations and better situational awareness, and the FalconSphere II integrated electronic flight bag, which cuts flight-planning time and effort. New and larger crew seats provide more legroom and comfort for pilots and can recline to 130 degrees. The four large cockpit windows provide wide-angle visibility, and the glareshield gives pilots an expanded field of view. 

Designed with product support in mind, the 6X will use the Falcon Broadcast data-sharing system paired with artificial intelligence to enable analysts to anticipate maintenance needs before customers call with problems. 

Good as these performance numbers and features are, what really sells the 6X is its capacious, bright, and airy cabin, which provides 1,843 cubic feet of volume. A skylight illuminates the entryway, and 30 windows flood the space with natural light. All that room allows for a good deal of flexibility, including the ability to have conference-table seating for six and a comfortable aft stateroom. The wider cabin also makes it possible for the 6X to offer a bigger galley. The 155-cubic-foot baggage compartment is accessible in flight, plus there are another 76 cubic feet of unpressurized baggage space.

The environmental system delivers a cabin altitude of 3,900 feet while the aircraft is at 41,000 feet. The air-filtration system circulates and refreshes air every two to three minutes, and the cabin is extremely quiet. High-speed connectivity via FalconConnect will be on par with what the most sophisticated home or office equipment delivers. The system provides simplified cabin management and entertainment control wirelessly through personal devices while providing seamless, global communications.

Dassault has done a masterful job of melding the latest technologies into this large-cabin offering and giving customers more choice in this market sector. Competition is a good thing. After all, times change. 

2023 Dassault Falcon 6X at a Glance

Price (equipped): $52.75 million (estimated) 

Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney 812D turbofans, 13,500 pounds of thrust, each 

Avionics: EASy IV based on Honeywell Primus Epic 

Crew: 2-3 

Passengers: 12-14 (typical) 

Range: 5,500 nm 

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 77,460 lb 

Takeoff Distance at MTOW: 5,840 ft 

Cabin: Length, 40.4 ft long, 8.5 ft wide, 6.5 ft high

Baggage: 155 cu ft (pressurized), 76 cu ft (unpressurized)