Falcon 5X Production Still 'Frozen' as Engine Woes Drag

 - February 1, 2016, 11:32 AM
The flight-test Dassault Falcon 5X has yet to fly due to issues with the twinjet's Snecma Silvercrest engines. Dassault has thus kept production of the new jet "frozen" at its Mérignac factory. The French aircraft manufacturer said it expects to release a new certification and production schedule for the 5X this month. (Photo: Dassault Falcon)

The production line for the Dassault Falcon 5X large-cabin business jet is still in “frozen” mode at the airframer's Bordeaux Mérignac factory, as engine manufacturer Snecma is still trying to sort out issues with its Silvercrest turbofan that will power the French twinjet. “Production is frozen as a precaution,” a Dassault spokesman told AIN late last week.

Dassault is expected to release a new certification and production schedule in the coming weeks—next month at the latest, he said. Snecma has given Dassault a new certification schedule , and the two companies are working together to translate this into an updated aircraft development timetable. The most advanced development phase last year was Falcon 5X ground testing, which was able to clear numerous systems. The Dassault spokesman said the engine is the only major issue affecting the Falcon 5X, denying rumors that other problems are hindering progress.

Meanwhile, production of the Falcon 8X trijet is well under way. Seven 8Xs are now on the final assembly line in Mérignac, while certification of the aircraft is pegged for the middle of this year.