Following years of setbacks and technical problems in the engines for its new Falcon 5X, Dassault Aviation decided earlier this week to pull the plug on the troubled super-midsize program. When the twinjet was launched in 2013, it was announced that it would be powered by Safran Silvercrest engines, with the first delivery of compliant examples expected by the end of that year. Yet major technical issues in the Silvercrest development forced a postponement, with the test program of the aircraft expected to begin by the end of 2017.
Using preliminary versions of the engine, the 5X made its first flight this past July 5, but the engine maker subsequently informed Dassault that the new problems with the high-pressure compressor, along with less than expected performance, would entail yet another delay. Hopes were dashed for the engine to be certified 2018, ahead of the business jet’s rescheduled entry into service 2020.
In a statement, the airframer noted that “Considering the magnitude of the risks involved both on the technical and schedule aspects of the Silvercrest program, Dassault has initiated the termination process of the Silvercrest contract, leading to the end of the Falcon 5X program.”
Despite Dassault cancelling its order for the engine, Textron Aviation has said it still remains committed to the Silvercrest for its in-development Citation Hemisphere, which when completed, will be the largest aircraft in the manufacturer’s fleet.
As a result of the 5X cancellation, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier announced the launch of a replacement Falcon which will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 engines, and is scheduled to enter service in 2022.
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