Dubai Air Show

Falcon 7X exceeds envelope

 - December 11, 2006, 7:03 AM

The Dassault Falcon 7X business jet last Tuesday flew for the 100th time. It took off from the French manufacturer’s flight test center in Istres, in the southeast of the country. Meanwhile, Dassault has released the first photo showing the 5,700-nm-range trijet fitted with winglets. They are part of design enhancements that are under test and could boost range to 6,000 nm.

The 100th flight lasted one hour and 35 minutes. It involved “out of the envelope” test conditions, including speeds as low as 85 knots. Last Thursday, aircraft S/N3 performed the 103rd flight when returning from the U.S., where it had been exhibited at the National Business Aviation Association convention and then went to Dassault’s completion center in Little Rock, Arkansas. There it underwent a series of tests in preparation for outfitting of Falcon 7X interiors. Since the first flight of S/N1 in May, the three Falcon 7Xs have logged “over 330 hours,” Dassault said. The flight test program should reach 1,200 flight hours before achieving certification in the fourth quarter of 2006.

During the NBAA convention, Dassault announced that design enhancements were being tested and could increase the range by 300 nm. Winglets are currently being tested on S/N1. It is the first time Dassault (Stand W401) is      considering adding winglets to one of its wing designs.