A peek into Dassault Training Academy’s virtual reality training module
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A peek into Dassault Training Academy’s virtual reality training module

A FORCE Report

Yelahanka, Bengaluru: Parked at the furthest end of the tarmac, away from the madding crowd were two business jets — the old workhorse Falcon 2000 and the newly-minted Falcon 8X — from the stable of Dassault Aviation. Given that over a dozen twin-engine Falcon 2000 are in service in India, and the latest Falcon 8X has already found an Indian customer in December 2016, it is safe to say that Dassault Aviation is a market leader amongst the business jets in India in the large cabin, long range category.

And so understandably, on the second day of the show, all customer slots for Falcon 8X were booked. When the FORCE team went for a conducted tour of Falcon 8X, the time slot for which was found after some effort on the part of the communication team, it could not enter the aircraft as yet another customer was reviewing it. “As a company policy, we cannot interrupt the customer,” the escort explained apologetically. Of course, customer means business.

An advanced version of Falcon 7X, 8X claims to have taken business aviation to the next level, a benchmark that was reserved for its predecessor so far. The three-engine Falcon 8X has the endurance of 11,945km, which means it can fly non-stop between Delhi-New York or Delhi-Sydney. It offers choice in cabin configuration, incorporating a rest area for the crew, and comes with state-of-the-art flight controls and advanced flight deck systems. According to the company officials, the noise level in 8X is much lower than 7X, which apparently has the lowest level in its category.

To make up for the earlier disappointment, the FORCE team was given first-hand experience of Dassault Training Academy’s virtual reality training module. Part of Falcon Practical Training (which started in 2007), this module was created to enable the customers’ crew to learn how to operate and maintain the jet. The training is divided into three segments — theoretical, practical and on the job.

Traditionally, in practical training, students were trained on the aircraft. The limitation with this was to fit the entire class in one aircraft and let each student have equal opportunity to see first-hand every part of the machine, including the wiring etc. Since this was both unwieldy and time-consuming, Falcon has combined the theoretical and the practical modules using virtual classrooms, a demo of which was available at the show.

Falcon 8X
Falcon 8X aircraft and its interiors

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