Dassault Aviation’s widebody business jet the Falcon 6X has successfully completed its first flight and is due to start its test campaign for certification as planned.
The Falcon 6X is expected to enter service next year. The jet features the largest cabin cross section of any purpose-built business jet at 6ft 6in tall by 8ft 6in wide and its 5,500 nautical mile range allows it to connect routes such as Paris to Tokyo or Los Angeles to Moscow.
Dassault Aviation chairman / CEO Eric Trappier said, “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.
“We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday. Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.
“The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected.
“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.”
Flown by test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette, aircraft 6X s/n 01 took off from Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux at 2:45pm yesterday. The two-hour-thirty maiden flight was executed per the test plan, with pilots testing aircraft handling qualities, engine response and the behavior of key aircraft systems. The aircraft reached an altitude of 40,000 ft and reached a speed of Mach 0.8 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. “Fabrice and I are honored 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 Marseilles, 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.
Dassault Aviation is producing three Falcon 6X test aircraft for the purposes of type certification.