Australia gets first Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft for VIP missions
The first of the Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft being leased by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has touched down in Canberra. The Commonwealth of Australia has taken delivery of the first of three very long range Falcon 7X trijets, the other two aircraft will be handed over in the following months.
"We are extremely honoured that Australia has once again chosen to renew its confidence in our Falcon product line," said Eric Trappier, Chairman & CEO of Dassault Aviation. "The RAAF already has decades of successful experience operating Dassault aircraft, from the Mirage III fighter to the Falcon 20 and Falcon 900 business jets."
The Falcon 7X offers a combination of range and operational flexibility that no other large-cabin business jet can match. The 5,950 nm / 11,000 km 7X can fly from Canberra to any point in Asia nonstop, or link Canberra to Washington or London in one hop.
It can land on short and challenging runways and operate across a wide range of environmental conditions, including extremely hot, humid and dry desert climates. The aircraft’s three-engine design provides an additional safety margin, freeing operators from twin-engine operating constraints when flying intercontinental, transoceanic routes.
Australia has been a key Falcon market for almost half a century. The company’s first business jet, the Falcon 20, entered commercial service ‘Down Under’ in 1967, two years after its global entry into service. The Falcon 20 entered the inventory of the RAAF the same year (under the name Mystère 20) and served in the RAAF’s transport and utility wing for 22 years before being replaced by the Falcon 900. The five-aircraft Falcon 900 fleet remained in operation through the early 2000s.
Introduced in 2002, the Challengers are part of RAAF’s special purpose aircraft (SPA) fleet operated by Number 34 Squadron. The wing commander Jason Pont noted that the Falcon complements the service’s existing larger Boeing 737 business jets. Number 34 Squadron will operate the Falcon aircraft as part of the SPA fleet, based at Defence Establishment Fairbairn in the Australian Capital Territory.
@Photos by Dassault Aircraft