A Bizjet for Barbie

Business Jet Traveler » December 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 4:00am

When French Business Jet maker Dassault wanted a working model of its Falcon 7X flagship trijet to grace the lobby of its headquarters near Paris, it approached Francis Laurens, then an engineer employed by the company. Laurens had already built jet-powered radio-controlled miniatures of Dassault's Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters but he outdid himself with his 7X, a one-seventh-scale version (roughly the same scale as a Barbie doll) fitted with a single 37.5-pound-thrust jet engine.

The 64-pound aircraft-which, like its big brother, runs on jet-A fuel-features retractable landing gear, a powered entry door and functioning brakes. What sets it apart from other remote-controlled airplanes is the attention to detail, particularly in the cabin, where leather-upholstered seats abut wood-covered tables set with tiny silverware and glasses.

A head turner at model shows, Laurens' 7X (foreground) is now available in kit form for about $20,000 (including radio-control system, landing gear and paint job, but not the custom interior), far less than one-seventh of the $40 million price tag of a real 7X.  

Share this...

Add your comment:

By submitting a comment, you are allowing AIN Publications to edit and use your comment in all media.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
 

Quote/Unquote

“Let me be straight with you. What I'd rather have is an airplane. We just had a third kid. I don't like flying commercial. I like to take my family to Hawaii. When I go east, I'd like to have pilots I know. ”