Dassault Aviation says it is making steady
progress toward an early 2021 first flight for its latest and
roomiest aircraft, the Falcon 6X.
Certification and entry into service are set for
2022, in keeping with the original timetable.
Aircraft no. 2 and 3 are in advanced stages of
assembly and long cycle parts production for serialized production
has already begun.
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.
Aircraft no. 3 will receive a full interior
to evaluate systems functionality, acoustics, airflow, comfort and
other factors. Interior furnishings, environmental systems,
electronics and other equipment are currently being tested in a
ground test rig prior to installation on the aircraft.
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.
“Bringing the Falcon 6X to market on schedule is a
top priority for the company. Our planning and production staff
have been diligent and resourceful in adapting procedures to new
sanitary guidelines to keep this program running smoothly,” said
Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO, Eric Trappier. “Our suppliers
have also made extraordinary efforts to support us. We are
grateful to them all.” The first of the three pre-production
aircraft that will take part in flight certification has been
powered up and has entered ground testing.
The Falcon 6X features the largest cabin cross
section of any purpose-built business jet (6’6” tall by 8’6”
wide). It has a range of 5,500 nautical miles making it possible
to fly from Paris to Tokyo or Los Angeles to Moscow. The new
twinjet is also boasts a new-generation Digital Flight Control
System (DFCS) that controls all moving surfaces including a new
multifunction control area called a flaperon, adapted from
Dassault fighter aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D
Assembly of Falcon 6X engines and nacelles is
ramping up in parallel with aircraft production.
The aircraft’s advanced Pratt & Whitney Canada
PW812D engine completed an initial airborne test campaign earlier
this year aboard Pratt & Whitney’s Boeing 747 testbed aircraft and
a second series of flight tests are scheduled this summer.
To date the PW812D has accumulated over 200
hours in the air and more than 1,600 hours on the ground. It has
also completed initial certification tests, including bird strike,
ice ingestion and blade-off tests.
The PW1200G core engine shared by the PW812D has
accumulated more than 16,000 hours running time. The PW800 series
exceeds ICAO standards for NOx emissions by a double-digit margin
and generates ultra-low levels of unburned hydrocarbons and smoke.
The PW812D will meet future CO2 regulations and achieve Stage 4
noise requirements with significant margin.
Production operations at Dassault’s
Bordeaux-Merignac, France main assembly facility are now back to
normal after a brief disruption due to the ongoing global COVID19
pandemic. The company used the time to devise safer procedures
with smaller crews on the production floor, now working once again
in two shifts. The Dassault flight test team is currently
coordinating with EASA and the FAA to finalize the flight test and