French aviation company Dassault is targeting the emerging Indian markets for its long range business jets, in particular the Falcon 7X. The aircraft, described as a “stunning advancement in business aviation” has become the company best selling business jet. It is also the first fully “fly-by-wire” business jet.
“Fly-by-wire” technology was developed in the ’70s, offering additional safety measures. Computers give out automatic signals that allow the plane to perform functions such as aircraft stabilization with no input from the pilot.The system is lighter than other mechanical systems, giving more freedom to designers in reducing the aircraft’s weight and size for more manoeuvrability and lower operating costs.
Last year two near miss accidents temporarily grounded the entire fly-by-wire fleet (about 112 of them) for several weeks. The Falcon 7X encountered a problem with the “horizontal stabilizer trim circuitry” (with the incident described by Dassault officials as a runaway pitch problem) that required software and hardware modifications. All the corrections have been made on the aircraft and the Falcon 7X is now fully certified with several orders lined up. Eurocopter Phils., together with Dassault of France, is planning to bring to Manila the shorter range Falcon 2000X around mid-April this year for showing and will conduct test flights for potential buyers in the Philippines.