• Falcon 10X cockpit showing the HUD screens and Smart Throttle. (Dassault Aviation)
    Falcon 10X cockpit showing the HUD screens and Smart Throttle. (Dassault Aviation)

French manufacturer Dassault has borrowed technology from military jets to make the cockpit of their Falcon 10X business jet one of the most advanced ever developed.

Dassault–which also builds the multi-role Rafale air defence/air superiority fighter–has included sole-means Head-up Displays (HUD), single-lever throttle control and side-stick controls in the new wide-body 10X business jet.

Dassault Executive Vice President Civil Aircraft Carlos Brana says the new systems are expected to make flying easier for the pilots.

"Our DNA is technology," Brana said. "On our business jet's we've implemented a lot of technology from fighter jets. The [purpose] of this technology is to alleviate the workload of the pilots and to make sure they are focused and will allow us in the future to reduce the crew even for long trips.

"First of all we have a cockpit based on touch screens, so it's easier to fly. The most important things in this cockpit are two HUDs [head-up displays], which are sole-means of flying. All the information you need to fly the aeroplane is displayed on those two screens, which means that the screens below in front of the pilots are not necessarily displaying the same information.

"This is completely new and is a first in business aviation."

Most notable in graphics of the new cockpit is a single throttle lever reminiscent of the power levers included on modern single-engine turbo-prop aeroplanes. Twin-engined executive jets until now have had separate levers for each engine. This, has echoes of military jets as do the side-stick controls.

"We call it the Smart Throttle, because there is only one lever despite the two engines on the aeroplane," Brana elaborates. "So there is one throttle that is linked to the flight control system. The idea is that if one engine fails for whatever reason ... it allows the aeroplane to be flown with just one engine and the whole operation is automatic."

"We have kept the sidestick that started with 7X, 8X, 6X and now the 10X, so we still have the best digital flight control system in the world. This one is clearly lifted from military jets."

Brana also said that Dassault was looking towards a future when the 10X could be flown on long legs with only two pilots rather than the three it will be certified with.

"We have envisaged for the future that during very long flights, instead of having three pilots rotating–one resting and the other two flying–we could have two pilots only. When the flight is smooth and the workload is reduced, we could have one pilot flying and the other one resting.

"For this you need the ability to put one seat flat, and that is space we have included in the cockpit of the 10X."

First announced in May this year, the Falcon 10X will have a cabin wider that some regional jets, a range of 7500 nm and a top speed over Mach 0.9, giving non-stop legs the equivalent of LA-Sydney or New York-Shanghai.

Among the new technologies to be developed are the two 18,000 lbf thrust Rolls Royce Pearl 10X engines and a high aspect ratio carbon-fibre wing, which will be fitted with high-lift devices to improve manoeuvreability at low speed.

Dassault expects to have the 10X certified and ready for delivery to customers in 2025.

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