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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
Related background information from the Handbook...

Dassault Aviation

Falcon 6X

BAN's World Gazetteer

The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Now we are six - Dassault's latest is poetry in motion
But only affordable and available SAF will ensure that the Falcon 6X is just the latest stunning new jet from the drawing boards at Dassault, and not one of the last.

When the Mystère 20 made its maiden flight on 4 May 1963 it was packed with technical solutions tried and tested in military applications. It had beaten the first Learjet into the air by just a few months, and joined the nascent DH125 in a new and uncharted world of business jets.

The fact that business aviation eventually grew so strongly, and became the massive worldwide industry that it is today, would be no surprise to the optimistic proponents of these early models - but probably quite a relief for those who had provided the investment and backing.

Back in 1963 the Dassault company will have had its fingers crossed that enough willing buyers could be found for a fast, private transport solution in the form of a business jet. As it happened, large orders from Pan American and later from Fedex were enough to calm the nerves and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sixty years on, the Falcon 6X has achieved certification and is also bristling with modern technology, so how certain are its prospects for a long production run to fully reward its makers?

Well, it enters a mature and much more predictable marketplace. Its comfort and capabilities are manifold, and sure to be in great demand. It draws on decades of experience gained by a manufacturer which has established an enviable reputation for build quality and reliability. And, of course, it is absolutely beautiful.

But is it green enough? Its Pratt and Whitney Canada PW812D engines promise relatively low fuel consumption, and its wings are honed to reduce drag, but this is really a question for politicians.

There is no other propulsion technology on the horizon which is going to come close to the speed and range delivered by modern turbofan engines, and so the task of meeting low-carbon climate goals is going to fall to developments in fuel, and in carbon capture and offset.

Earlier this year the EU agreed to impose binding targets on the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Fuel suppliers must ensure that two per cent of fuel made available at EU airports is SAF in 2025, rising to six per cent in 2030, 20 per cent in 2035 and then to 70 per cent in 2050. From 2030, 1.2 per cent of fuels must also be synthetic, climbing to 35 per cent in 2050. These are made using captured CO2 emissions, which balances out the CO2 released when the fuel is used.

In the UK a new 'Net Zero Secretary' is working on a proposed legal duty on the Government to draw up plans to subsidise sustainable aviation fuels. This follows a previous commitment to progressively mandate the use of SAF, and to encourage its domestic production.

Only affordable and available SAF will ensure that the 6X is just the latest stunning new jet off the drawing board, and not one of the last.

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