The Dassault Falcon 7X is among the most technologically advanced long-range business jets. The first aircraft in its class to be fully fly-by-wire, it has a range of 11.5 hours, or 10,400 kilometers, and can carry up to fourteen passengers in great comfort. When NetJets ordered thirty-three Falcon 7Xs for its new European fleet, it wanted a livery and interiors that would echo the aircraft’s technical excellence. The direction of the project was naturally influenced by the different roles played by the design team – whether as pilot or passenger – and the design process involved extensive consultation with the crew and flight attendants, as well as those who maintain and look after the aircraft.
The layout promotes choice and comfort – adaptable space for work is provided by a large table, suitable for a group meeting, while long-haul passengers can retreat to the back of the aircraft and draw the curtains to rest. The galley functions as an entry area and resembles a kitchen only when a meal is being prepared. For convenience, the windows in the cabin can be switched between black-out and see-out and there are subtle innovations, such as the illuminated gap between the soffit and the side panels, which is designed to offer a hand-hold, so that in turbulent conditions passengers can walk the length of the fuselage and be sure of support.
Materials are used in new and subtle ways. Carbon fibre is utilised for its lightness, strength and durability, and is used here as a veneer for the first time. The seating is a mixture of perforated and solid leather, which breaks down the bulk, improving both aesthetics and comfort. The areas that support the crew and the cockpit are sensitive to issues of glare, so are darker and integrate materials such as sheepskin, which is favoured by pilots for comfort. One of the most striking features is the new livery. The bold, dark blue horizontal stripe across the windows of the cockpit and cabin gives the aircraft a sleeker form. Although it was devised specifically for the Falcon 7X, NetJets was so impressed by this subtle branding that it is applying the scheme to its entire fleet.