Dassault Aviation (Booth 2001), updating the progress of its two new business jet programs on Monday at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, reported that it now has three Falcon 6X airframes flying two to three times a week that have collectively logged more than 300 hours over some 100 flights.
Dassault rolled out its large-cabin Falcon 6X in December, unveiling an aircraft that has the largest cross-section dimensions of any purpose-built business jet. The aircraft made its first flight in March and two more joined the program since then. “Our test pilots have given the 6X high marks for its excellent handling,” said company chairman and CEO Eric Trappier, adding they compare its maneuverability favorably to the company’s fighter jets. Transport Canada certification of its Pratt & Whitney PW812D engine is expected by year-end.
Around that time, a fourth airframe—the first production 6X—will fly for the first time, according to Trappier. It will be delivered to Dassault’s Little Rock, Arkansas completion facility early next year to get a full interior installed. Trappier said that, upon completion, this aircraft will embark on a tour around the second quarter to demonstrate its performance capabilities at airports around the world.
"There is still considerable test activity to be completed, as in any test campaign," said Trappier. "But we can report at this point that we are achieving milestones at a pace that our test engineers are really happy with."
Entry-into-service for the 6X is expected late next year, and the OEM's product support organization is preparing for that event with spare parts on order for delivery to strategic locations around the world to ensure maximum support for flight departments from day one.
In a surprise move in May, the French airframer officially announced the launch of its new flagship—the ultra-long-range, high-speed 10X—which will be the largest business jet on the market when it enters service in 2025. Trappier noted that the project is moving along nicely with detailed design completed by year-end and parts production to commence in 2022.
At BACE, the company has full-scale mockups of both aircraft at its static display (#A207), along with an example of its current top-of-the-line Falcon 8X.