You don't see many three-engined planes flying around these days. Cargo airlines like FedEx and UPS still fly variations of the DC-10 and MD-11, but nobody is hauling passengers on them anymore. But one jet builder, Dassault is sill building 3-engined planes, in the form of unique and sexy business jets.
On Wednesday, Dassault rolled out its brand new long range Falcon 8X business jet at its assembly facility in Bordeaux-Merignac, France in a very French ceremony. The hangar was adorned with chandeliers, an orchestra played, and food was delivered by servers in chef hats. But when the curtain was pulled, the audience saw a sleek, beautiful and powerful modern jet.
The 8X is 3.5 feet longer than its stablemate, the 7X, while offering a range of 6,450 nautical miles at Mach .80, while carrying up to 8 passengers, 2 pilots and a flight attendant. The spacious cabin can be configured in up to 30 different ways, and it measures 6 feet 2 inches high, 7 feet 8 inches wide, and 42 feet 8 inches long. Dassault says the redesigned wings and PW307 engines on the 8X will be 35% more efficient than all competitors in the ultra long range jet segment. Its range will allow it to perform lengthy segments such as Beijing - New York and Moscow - Los Angeles.
Its flight deck features fly-by-wire controls, integrated by the 3rd generation EASy flight deck with Honeywell's Primus Epic Avionic System. If you're interested in buying a Falcon 8X, the estimated sticker price is $58 million, with an estimated $4,075 operating cost per hour to fly it. Dassault has delivered over 2,200 Falcon jets since its first model, the Falcon 20 was introduced in 1963.
All photos courtesy of Dassault
Paul Thompson is a aviation journalist with over 13 years of experience working in the airline industry, who maintains the website Flight Club for Jalopnik.com. You can contact Paul to submit story ideas, your own "Plane Porn" photos, and comments regarding this or any other aviation topic via email at Paul@Jalopnik.com