Dassault has begun cutting metal for its still-under-wraps Falcon super-midsize (SMS) business jet. The first parts reportedly are being manufactured for testing purposes at its Argenteuil factory northwest of Paris.
A cockpit subassembly will be used for bird-strike trials, and leading-edge slats will undergo de-icing tests. In addition, a testbed is being readied for the fuel system.
The SMS–a twinjet with fly-by-wire controls–is understood to be larger than the Falcon 2000 and could therefore be a Falcon 900 replacement. French aviation magazine Air & Cosmos recently suggested the wing will have a straight leading edge, as opposed to the double-swept wings found on in-service Falcons.
The 10,000- to 12,000-pound-thrust Snecma Silvercrest turbofan, which was selected by Cessna in May for its Citation Longitude, is widely expected to power the new Falcon. The SMS is slated to fly in 2014 and certification is scheduled for 2016.