Dassault SSBJ projects


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6 June 2006
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...capitalising on the experience gained with the Mirage, Dassault studied a SSBJ between 1997 and 1999, but the plane was abandoned because of a lack of a suitable engine. Brand new engine was too expensive, Airliner engines were much too big, and the best option, militay engines were a maintenance nightmare (200 hours only between two overhauls... 10 times less than the civil rules...)

Dassault SSBJ (Flug Revue website)


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The Dassault Falcon was SST aircraft (Supersonic Transport),it
was a delta wing project,powered by three General Electric F414
or Snecma M88-2 turbojets,two engines mounted under the wing
and one under the fin and above the rear of the fuselage,estimated
speed was 1.8 Mach and range 4000 miles.
Dassault Corporate SST project (Fliegerrevue 12/1998)



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32 m long.
Project presented at the NAA in September 1997. Dassault doesn't need partnership with a military firm (Sukhoi , Lockheed or other) thanks to the Mirage lineage ;)
So they really wanted to do it, and started at full steam until... the lack of an adequate engine stalled the project 18 month later.

In brief
- military engines have awful maintenance costs : they need overhaul every 200 hours of flight (when civilian engines are up to 2000 hours).
- Airliner engines are way too big
- a new engine is much too expensive for such small market (300 aircraft).

No engine = no aircraft :'( :'( :'(

Dassault project is on standby since late march 1999... a pity. :-[

"un jour, mon prince viendraaaaaaaaaa"
Dassault put the Falcon SST on the back burner and instead joined several other companies in the European-funded High Speed Aircraft (Hisac) research study. The latest Aviation Week says the Hisac team has selected a Sukhoi low-boom reference design for further study.

Sukhoi's is one of three reference configurations studied under Hisac; the others are a Dassault-led low-noise design and an Alenia-led long-range design. The Dassault design looks a bit like the Falcon SST; the Alenia design looks like the Aerion SBJ, and uses the same supersonic natural laminar flow concept.

Here are images of the designs taken from a Hisac project report: Sukhoi low-boom; two Dassault low-noise; and one (very poor image of the) Alenia long-range.


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The Dassault designed two projects for the SSBJ aircraft,one we know
it as big three engined and the other was twin engined small aircraft
with also delta wing.

The Dassault designed two projects for the SSBJ aircraft,one we know
it as big three engined and the other was twin engined small aircraft
with also delta wing.


please try to avoid "post duplication"

Many thanks :)

I think there is another thread somewhere with all the current supersonic bizjet designs: Aerion, Falcon SST, Gulfstream QST, SAI QSST and the European HiSAC research programme.



My dears Jemiba and pometablava,the project I meant, was in magazine Flight
International and the delta wing of it was fitted at the end of aircraft.
I only know just one other civil delta winged design from Dassault,
a twin engined executive transport from 1957, but probably it was
just transonic .... ???


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No my dear Jemiba,

it was designed in 1998 with two jets mounted in the wing.
Earlier (2003) HISAC iterations plus long-range study better quality image


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Found these while web-browsing - the first shows the Sukhoi-designed "reference configuration" for the European HiSAC small supersonic transport aircraft studies. The other two show the Dassault- and Alenia-led study configurations. Windtunnel testing of the reference configuration with various wings, engine locations and even foreplanes is now getting under way.


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"Dassault discloses preliminary design work toward possible launch of a supersonic Falcon. Later, detailed information on the aircraft's size, configuration, systems and mission capabilities (cruise speed of 1.8 Mach and NBAA IFR range of 4000 nautical miles) would be announced. Sadly, the project would be put on hold in 1999 for lack of suitable engines. "


by Norbert Burgner

Especially people who fly a lot know the feeling: During the tenth annual trip from Frankfurt to Los Angeles or back time passes slowly, even on board a plane that moves at a speed of almost 1,000 km per hour. It takes about eleven hours westbound and a bit more than an twelve eastbound because of the jet stream.

Once all the work has been finished and the film shown on the in seat-video is not terribly gripping, the long wait begins, sitting through what seems to be endless time, counting of the remaining hours. Sometimes a good book helps, but alas, not always.

Wouldn't it be nice if the flight did not take eleven but six hours? The French aircraft manufacturer Dassault wants to give its customers this possibility with the world's first supersonic business jet.

The magic number is Mach 1.8, which was quoted by company boss Serge Dassault during last year's NBAA in Dallas, Texas, much to the amazement of international experts. At the end of May Dassault introduced the concept in more detail: The Supersonic Falcon is going to realise a distance of up to 7,400 km non-stop. At the envisaged speeds it will do this in about three and a half hours. Frankfurt _ Los Angeles would take six instead of eleven hours. LA - Sydney (including a refuelling stop in Papeete, Tahiti) would take 8 hrs 30 min instead of 13 hrs 30 min and London - Buenos Aires 6 hrs 50 min instead of 14 hrs 15 min.

Around the world faster than the speed of sound and this not only from Paris or London to New York, in travelling times where five minutesÕ delay can cost deals amounting to millions. This is indeed an inspired offer.

However, the price will be anything but inspired: with 70 to 80 million US dollars it is almost twice as expensive as the current biz-jet flagships that are on the scene. There are for instance the Global Express, the Gulfstream GV, the Boeing Businessjet (737) or the Airbus Corporate Jet (A319). It has to be said that the new supersonic business jet will be twice as fast.

In order to guarantee the predicted speeds, three turbofans derived from military engines will be installed. Currently the F414 by General Electric and the M88 by Snecma, which is already being used with the French fighter Rafale, are being considered. The output is said to be around 53.3 kN per engine. Dassault intends to do without the afterburners, which are used in military aircraft. This will make the engines quieter, will insure a longer life and will reduce fuel consumption.

Of the maximum take off weight (MTOW) indicated as 86,000 lbs, more than half (20.7 tons) are the weight for the necessary fuel. Dassault Executive Vice President Bruno Revellin-Falcoz explained that, the more fuel we are able to take on board in order to realise the aspired distance, the fewer passengers we are able to transport. However, the reason for constructing an aircraft is the transportation of passengers". Revellin-Falcoz illustrates the problems arising from fuel storage with the help of Concorde: "The Concorde transports its 100 passengers over a distance of up to 3,550 NM (6575 km). In order to increase this distance to 4,000 NM, the additional weight of 92 passengers would have to be taken on board as fuel. In fact the Concorde would be an eight seater airliner.

The Supersonic Falcon is intended to hava a cbain which will correspond in its size with that of the Falcon 50EX. Since aerodynamic demands differ, the fuselage will have an oval form.

According to Dassault the airliner will most definitely have a Delta-Wing-Configuration. This is for aerodynamic reasons and to enable the aircraft to reach speeds around Mach 1.8. For added stability, canards will be fitted to the nose.

Dassault plans a "smart" four wheel double axle undercarriage: During take off this construction is intended to stand up just before lift off around the axis onto the two rear wheels. The undercarriage is effectively lengthened, and the craft's rotation point is shifted to the back, which guarantees enough ground clearance for a rotation angle of 14 degrees of the 32 meters long airliner.

In order to comply with the latest guidelines for noise reduction according to ICAO level III, Dassault is working to modify the engines together with the engine manufacturers, which will be able to keep to jet speed at 360 m/sec. During supersonic flight, this speed will be 600 m/sec.

Revellin-Falcoz answers the question why Dassault is trying to achieve a cruise-speed of Mach 1.8, by saying that lesser speeds achieved a shorter range. The reason for this is the influence of head wind during super sonic flight. Thus less time could be saved, which it the whole purpose of this exercise. Higher speeds only meant a small gain as far as greater distances are concerned. However, they brought new problems with regards to wear on the engines and temperatures on the outer skin. At Mach 2 the skin reaches a temperature of over 100 degrees C.

The real question of putting this project into practise is not whether it can be realised technically, but whether it can be financed.

From page 32 of FLUG REVUE 8/98

Think that it could be preliminary studies....looks like Navaho on steroids, though...
This is 3-engined, 'big' Dassault SSBJ from end of 90s.

Data from Flug Revue site

General (Allgemeine Angaben)
Crew (Besatzung): 2
Passengers (Passagiere): 8

Power plant (Antrieb): 3 x turbofans, possibly based on the Snecma M88 or the General Electric F414. They will be fitted with exhaust silencers to keep noise down.
Thrust (Schub): 3 x 53 kN (12000 lbs) at take-off

Dimensions (Abmessungen)
Length (Länge): 32,42 m
Span (Spannweite): 16,95 m
Wing area (Flügelfläche): 130 sq m

Cabin length (Kabinenlänge): 7,00 m
Cabin width (Kabinenbreite): 1,82 m
Cabin height (Kabinenhöhe): 1,77 m

Weights (Massen)
Empty weight (Leermasse): 17055 kg
Zero fuel weight (Masse ohne Kraftstoff): 18155 kg
Max. fuel (Max. Kraftstoff): 20775 kg
Max. take-off weight (Max. Startmasse): 38930 kg

Performance (Flugleistungen)
Max.cruise speed (max. Reisegeschwindigkeit): Mach 1.8
Transonic cruising speed (Unterschall-Reisegeschwindigkeit): Mach 0.95
Approach speed (Anfluggeschindigkeit): below 270 km/h
Cruise altitude (Rieseflughöhe): approx. 18000 m (60000 ft)
Field length (Startstrecke): 1500 m
Range (Reichweite):
- 7400 km at Mach 1.8
- 12040 km at Mach 0.8

Costs (Kosten)
It was rumoured that a SSBJ will sell at around 500 million Francs (83 million US-Dollars).
Dassault had spent about 5 million US-Dollars when the studies were terminated in the spring of 1999.

Customers (Kunden)
None yet. Dassault has not published any figures on the potential market so far.

Competitors (Konkurrenz)

Remarks (Bemerkungen)
After revealing plans to study a supersonic business jet at the NBAA convention in 1997, Dassault went on to give more technical details of its design on 19. May 1998 at the Maintenance & Operations Seminar in Nice.
On the technical side, Dassault has choosen an ovoid fuselage cross section to combine comfort and low drag. The wing has a double-delta planform, coupled with canards. Construction will be mainly in conventional aluminium alloys, thus necessitating the speed limitation of Mach 1.8, which the manufacturer deems fast enough. Typical travel times (including one hour fuel stops) should be eight hours from Los Angeles to Hong Kong or 8.5 hours from Sydney to Los Angeles.
The realisation of a supersonic business jet depends heavily on factors like environmental concerns and thus overflight rights. Dassault claims that the sonic boom, for example, will be much less than with Concorde (less than half, it is claimed). Also, noise levels at take-off and landing should be less, as there are no afterburners needed. A US partner seems to be mandatory for market access there and to share development costs.
After technical studies, which included work on different engine concepts, Dassault said that it could not find a suitable powerplant. Military engine derivatives were rejected because they were not designed for extended supersonic periods, and all-new as well as modified civil engines were much too expensive to develop. On the other hand, Dassault claimed that many other technical questions were resolved. Nevertheless, work on the SSBJ was terminated in March 1999.


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Found these images of the various configurations being windtunnel tested at the end of 2007, at:


They show the reference configuration in the RUAG low-speed tunnel and three different engine integration solutions in the ONERA high-speed tunnel.

Pic 1a has bypass-ratio 3.5 engines about the fuselage while pics 2a and 3a, respectively, have BPR 1.5 engines above the fuselage and under the wing (without foreplane).

The final pic shows the model with unswept supersonic natural laminar flow wing.


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Good Day All -

A tote bag on EPay that has artwork of the Falcon SST - dates to 1998.

Enjoy the Day! Mark


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