Dassault Aviation 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.
“This 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.
“We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday,” continued Trappier. “Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation,” he added.
“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,” Trappier noted.
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 on Wednesday at 2:45 PM. This about 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 topped out at 40,000 feet 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. Fabrice and I are honored to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon,” said Ferry.
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.
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.
With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft (including 2,500 Falcons) delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets, military drones and space systems. In 2020, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €5.5 billion. The company has 12,440 employees.