The first flight of the Falcon 6X, Dassault Aviation’s roomiest aircraft, is expected to take place in early 2021 as planned, despite the upheaval caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
The first of the three pre-production aircraft that will take part in flight certification has been powered up and has entered ground testing. Aircraft no. 2 and 3 are in advanced stages of assembly and long cycle parts production for serialized production has already begun. Certification and entry into service are set for 2022, in keeping with the original timetable.
“Bringing the Falcon 6X to market on schedule is a top priority for the company,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “Our planning and production staff have been diligent and resourceful in adapting procedures to new sanitary guidelines to keep this program running smoothly,” “Our suppliers have also made extraordinary efforts to support us.”
The second aircraft recently had its wings mated to the fuselage and the third aircraft is in the early stages of final assembly. Each will be heavily instrumented and, like aircraft no. 1, will be capable of performing aerodynamic, performance and systems testing.
Electric, hydraulic and fuel system tests have been completed and testing of the Falcon 6X’s advanced digital flight control system have begun. Ground fatigue and damage tolerance testing has also been initiated. This test cycle will later be extended to include stress testing to maximum load limits and beyond.
The Falcon 6X offers the largest cabin cross section of any purpose-built business jet (6’6″ tall by 8’6″ wide). Its 5,500 nautical mile range capability allows it to connect far flung routes such as Paris to Tokyo or Los Angeles to Moscow. The twinjet is also equipped with technologies such as the new-generation Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) . The DFCS controls all moving surfaces including a new multifunction control area called a flaperon, adapted from Dassault fighter aircraft.
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