The Falcon 5X made its first flight from Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac final assembly facility today, using a “preliminary version” of the Safran Silvercrest engines, as design issues have delayed their development. According to Dassault, the preliminary flight-test campaign will last only a few weeks to help streamline the development process. A full-fledged flight-test campaign with “certifiable engines meeting Dassault’s specifications” is scheduled to begin next year.
Test pilots Philippe Deleume and Philippe Rebourg were at the controls for today’s two-hour flight. The preliminary flight tests will permit Dassault to collect a certain amount of airframe and systems data that could not be generated during ground tests undertaken earlier this spring. The ground campaign included ground runs as well as low- and high-speed taxi tests.
“We’re committed to limiting the consequences of the four-year engine development delay as much as possible and the short preliminary flight-test campaign is part of this effort,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “We will closely monitor the validation tests on the modified Silvercrest, which are scheduled by Safran in the few coming months, as their results will be critical for meeting the 5X entry into service in 2020.”