In The Works: Dassault Falcon 7X

 - September 13, 2006, 10:51 AM

The Falcon 7X flight-test program is progressing on schedule, with four of the trijets logging more than 850 hours during 275 test flights. Certification flights with the EASA have begun and will be completed by year-end, to be followed by final certification and first deliveries early in the new year. As a further mark of progress, Falcon 7X S/N 04 joined the test fleet in late July.

Earlier this year, the 7X’s flight envelope was fully expanded up to Mach 0.93 and FL510. Dassault said the tests validated aircraft performance through the entire c.g. envelope and 69,000-pound mtow. Additionally, the airplane’s flight-control handling has been tested in normal, alternate and direct fly-by-wire (FBW) using the system’s flight-control laws. According to Dassault, the FBW systems have demonstrated high reliability, with no flights canceled due to a FBW fault during the entire flight-test program.

Falcon 7X S/N 02 in May completed 35 hours of tests in natural icing conditions. This testing, which validated the wing, engine and windshield anti-icing systems, subjected the aircraft to severe icing conditions during which it accumulated three inches of ice, as measured on a test probe. Flight testing with artificial ice shapes on S/N 01 proved that aircraft handling is satisfactory with icing on unprotected portions of the airframe and during a simulated failure of the wing anti-ice system.

In April, S/N 02 successfully completed five days of cold-soak trials in Northern Canada. Temperatures reached as low as -33 degrees C during the campaign, which ran from April 6 to April 10. Meanwhile. S/N 03 completed contaminated-runway testing in early July.

In late July, the Falcon 7X successfully completed static and fatigue testing, subjecting the test article to 40,000 cycles (two lifetimes) and the 150-percent wing limit load.

At press time, 40 Falcon 7Xs were in various stages of production, with S/N 12 in final assembly. Dassault said it has firm orders for more than 80 copies of the nearly 6,000-nm trijet.