Dassault unveils Falcon 10X to target ultra-long-range
Dassault Aviation last week unveiled an all-new Falcon jet, the Dassault Falcon 10X, as the airframer looks to take on Bombardier and Gulfstream in the market for ultra-long-range jets. Featuring a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the Falcon 10X will fly nonstop from New York to Shanghai, Los Angeles to Sydney, Hong Kong to New York or Paris to Santiago. Top speed will be Mach 0.925. Powered by a pair of in-development Rolls-Royce Pearl 10X turbofans, the 10X will have a cabin cross section larger than some regional jets. Its cabin will be 6-feet, 8-inches (2.03 m) tall and 9 feet, 1 inch wide (2.77 m). That will make it almost 8 inches (20 cm) wider and 2 inches (5 cm) taller than the widest and tallest purpose-built business jet flying today.
The 10X will feature an entirely new fuselage with extra-large windows—nearly 50 percent larger than those on the Falcon 8X. Thirty-eight windows will line the fuselage making for a bright cabin. The high-speed wing will be made of carbon fiber composites for maximum strength, reduced weight and minimum drag. Tailored for speed and efficiency, the very-high aspect ratio wing will be equipped with advanced, retractable high-lift devices offering maneuverability at low approach speeds. A next-generation Digital Flight Control System, derived directly from Dassault’s latest military technology, will provide a high level of flying precision and protection, including a new single-button recovery mode. The 10X is expected to be certified and enter service in 2025. www.dassaultfalcon.com
Air Charter Expo returns live to London Biggin Hill
The Air Charter Association (The ACA) has confirmed the return of Air Charter Expo (ACE), which will take place at London Biggin Hill Airport on 14 September 2021. ACE 2021 could be the first in-person air charter exhibition of its kind to take place in Europe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exhibitors, aircraft, conference and a new green focus will all feature at Biggin Hill. ACE 2021is anticipated to welcome over 1,000 delegates and to showcase more than 60 global companies' exhibits.
The conference programme will include a morning session which will address key issues affecting charter brokers and aircraft operating companies including sustainability and innovation, illegal air charter and insights for the next generation of industry professionals. The afternoon session will focus on the exhibition's new 'green charter' theme.
Flexjet parent buys helicopter provider Halo Aviation
Fractional jet provider Flexjet has acquired UK-based helicopter operator Halo Aviation. “My vision is to strategically position each of our flight providers to become a leader in its market,” said Kenn C. Ricci, founder of Flexjet’s parent company, Directional Aviation. Flexjet offers global fractional ownership, Sentient Jet offers the jet card and FXAIR and PrivateFly provide on-demand charter. Ricci added: “Now, with the acquisition of Halo and Associated Aircraft Group [AAG], we can add another market to that list: Vertical lift.” Directional acquired AAG and its fleet of executive Sikorsky helicopters in the United States earlier this year.
Halo Aviation has bases in the south of England, around London, in the Midlands and in the Channel Islands. Halo operates a fleet of 10 six- and eight-seat Agusta/Leonardo helicopters, including the Agusta AW109 and AW169 models, while AAG operates the Sikorsky S-76.
Directional Aviation now consists of around 13 companies (it depends on how you view each division). These employ more than 2,000 people and generate more than $1.5bn in sales and over 175’000 flight hours each year. They operate more than 175 business aircraft (and have more than 80 on order).
People: Airbus Fly-By-Wire visionary Bernard Ziegler passes away
Airbus announced the passing of Bernard Ziegler, at the age of 88. Ziegler, one of Airbus’ engineering pioneers, was instrumental in the introduction of the world’s first digital Fly-By-Wire (FBW) and side stick controls in a commercial passenger aircraft with the A320 in 1988.
Ziegler’s career spanned some four decades. He realized the full potential that digital FBW could bring, including flight envelope protection incorporated into the control software. Ziegler's legacy lives on with digital FBW on all current generation Airbus aircraft, and its adoption as the standard on all modern passenger aircraft globally.
Born in 1933, in Boulogne sur Seine, Ziegler graduated from the French “Ecole Polytechnique” in 1954 and, later, from several engineering and flight training schools (Ecole Nationale de l’Air, Ecole de Chasse, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique, Ecole du Personnel Navigant Essais). For ten years, he was a fighter pilot in the French Air Force. During the early 1960s he studied aeronautical engineering at ENSA (l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique) in Toulouse, which is now ISAE-SUPAERO. He then attended prestigious flight test pilot school EPNER, before taking up a career as a military test pilot.
Ziegler joined Airbus as its chief test pilot in 1972 and was given the task of setting up a new flight test division. As a test pilot, he flew the first flight of the first A300 in 1972. The program was later on an early tested for FBW which transfers the pilot’s commands to the aircraft via digital signals. In June 1993, Ziegler participated in the longest flight ever undertaken by a civil aircraft, when an A340-200 flew around the world from Paris with just one stop in Auckland in just over 48 hours.
Up until his retirement in December 1997, Ziegler was Airbus Senior Vice President of Engineering.