Dassault Aviation on Wednesday announced that the company’s widebody Falcon 6X has successfully completed its first flight as planned in the first quarter of 2021, demonstrating the maturity of the program and opening the test campaign for certification.
“Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire Dassault organization and its partners over the challenging past year,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier.
Falcon Flight Dedicated to Dassault
Mr. Trappier went on to say, “We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically in a helicopter crash on March 7.” “Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation,” he continued.
The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected, added Mr. Trappier. “The new capabilities in efficiency, performance and safety it offers will set a new benchmark in the long-range segment. This airplane will also set a new standard in terms of cabin comfort and spaciousness, as demanded by our customers.”
With test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette at its controls, aircraft 6X s/n 01 lifted off from Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux at 2:45 PM. This approximately, two hour and thirty minute maiden flight was executed per the test plan, with the pilots testing aircraft handling qualities, engine response and the behavior of key aircraft systems.
The aircraft topped out at 40,000 ft and reached a speed of M0.8 before returning to its base.
“The 6X flew exactly as predicted by our models. From a pilot’s perspective, it flies like a Falcon, which is to say with perfect precise handling in all phases of flight,” said Ferry adding, “Fabrice and I are honoured to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon.”
Serial number 01’s next flight will combine test activities with a hop to Istres, near Marseille, where the Dassault flight test center is located and the bulk of the testing program will take place. Falcon 6X s/n 02 and 03 are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months.
About the 6X
The Falcon 6X will set a new standard for widebody comfort, with the tallest and widest cabin in business aviation. Measuring six feet, six inches in height and eight feet, six inches in width, the 6X will be the first ultra-widebody purpose-built business jet in the industry.
With an intercontinental range of 5,500 nm, the aircraft will fly from London to Hong Kong or Los Angeles to Moscow nonstop. And it will feature an advanced version of the pioneering digital flight control system first introduced on the Falcon 7X and further refined on the Falcon 8X.
Dassault’s revolutionary FalconEye combined vision system will be standard on the 6X, providing enhanced safety and situational awareness on approaches in darkness or poor weather. The 6X will also be the first Falcon equipped with the FalconScan advanced diagnostics system, which monitors and reports on 100,000 maintenance parameters. And as with all Falcons, it will offer superior operating flexibility, thanks to its unparalleled performance on steep approaches to short runways.
The aircraft is powered by new-generation Pratt & Whitney PW812D engines, which in addition to outstanding flight safety and performance will provide double digit improvements in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions.
Dassault Aviation is a leading aerospace company with a presence in over 90 countries across five continents. It produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons.
The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first aircraft in 1963, over 2,500 Falcon jets have been delivered.