Flight Testing a Dassault Falcon 7X with Rafale Fighter Tech
Dassault’s twin-engine Rafale fighter jet is equipped with what in retrospect seems an absurdly simple design feature: a single throttle lever to control both engines. Dassault engineers had long discussed a similar application for a business jet and now the French manufacturer has conducted extensive flight tests of a single-throttle lever integrated with the three-engine Falcon 7X’s fly-by-wire digital flight control system, calling it the SmartThrottle.
The SmartThrottle is like an enhanced autothrottle, incorporating all the normal autothrottle capabilities but taking advantage of digital technology to add safety features such as more comprehensive emergency descent modes, engine failure mitigation, and most importantly, upset recovery. AIN Editor-in-chief Matt Thurber traveled to France to test-fly the SmartThrottle and recovery mode.