Dassault’s brand new Falcon 5X and Falcon 8X business jets are progressing well towards their first flights expected in 2015, the French company said during the recent NBAA show in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The all-new Falcon 5X, announced at NBAA 2013, has entered the ground testing phase following power up of the first aircraft at the end of August. First flight is expected by the second quarter of next year and certification by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 8X has completed its ground test campaign, preparing the way for a maiden flight in the first quarter of next year.
The 6,450 nm ultra-long range 8X was unveiled at EBACE in Geneva last May. Powered by improved Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D engines, it will build on the strengths of the fast-selling Falcon 7X, adding 500nm to aircraft range and 3.5ft to cabin length. The extra cabin size will permit more than 30 different configurations, the most diverse selection of cabin layouts on the market.
Both aircraft are being constructed at Dassault’s main assembly plant at Marignac, near Bordeaux in the south-west of France.
Speaking about the Falcon 5X, Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President, Civil aircraft, Dassault Aviation, said, “We are extremely pleased with the way the program is advancing, and are fully on schedule for a second quarter 2015 first flight. Wing mating and other operations were completed in a single step without need for rework, using our latest Product Lifecycle Management digital modeling methods. Development has also benefited from the use of our new FalconScan tool, developed for onboard fault diagnosis, which we have employed to facilitate ground testing.”
The development program for the new Silvercrest high-bypass engine is proceeding as planned, with eight power plants involved in the engine test and certification campaign. The engine has accumulated 1,300 hours on the bench to date. SNECMA commenced the engine flight test campaign in June using a dedicated flying test bed. “The engines have demonstrated nominal and max take-off thrust levels and shown very satisfactory operability and dynamic behavior,” said Olivier Villa.
In addition to the standard qualification tests, aircraft equipment will be subjected to a pair of efficient endurance testing methods – the Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS). these additional tests are part of a comprehensive effort to ensure that the 5X is fully mature by delivery of the first aircraft. The testing will expose equipment and systems to extremes of vibration, humidity, temperature, pressure and other in-flight phenomena exceeding those that the aircraft will be subjected to in service.
First Dassault Falcon 8X completes ground tests
The initial ground test campaign for the Falcon 8X, including fuel system and flight control system testing and vibration tests, was concluded in October. All systems performed as designed. Engine run-up is planned for the end of the year, and first flight, later in the first quarter.
Three aircraft will be involved in the flight test and certification campaign, including one fully outfitted with an interior. Aircraft number two completed wing joining operations in October and is due to fly in the second quarter.
“Thanks to the wealth of experience from the popular 7X – over 250 units have been produced to date – and the maturity of the digital processes put in place for its development and production, work on the 8X is quickly advancing, and reaching schedule milestones,” said Olivier Villa.
Drop into Le Bourget, Paris to design your Falcon
Dassault Falcon has opened two new state-of-the-art interior design and showroom centres to help customers choose the interior design and options for their new jet.
They are located at Paris-Le Bourget and Teterboro Airport, two of the busiest executive aviation airports in Europe and the US.
Specification areas are equipped with high-definition screens and advanced 3D tools that interface directly with Dassault’s digital modelling software, greatly simplifying the cabin design process. Showrooms feature seats, in-flight entertainment equipment, galley appliances, lighting, panelling and other interior features to be displayed.
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