Dassault Aviation’s widebody Falcon 6X has taken its first flight as planned in the first quarter of 2021, opening the test campaign towards certification.
With test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette at its controls, aircraft 6X s/n 01 lifted off from Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux in France at 2:45 pm. This approximately two and a half-hour maiden flight was executed per the test plan, with pilots testing aircraft handling qualities, engine response and the behaviour of key aircraft systems. The aircraft topped out at 40,000 ft and reached a speed of M0.8 before returning to its base.
“The 6X flew exactly as predicted by our models. From a pilot’s perspective, it flies like a Falcon, which is to say with perfect precise handling in all phases of flight,” says Ferry. “Fabrice and I are honoured to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon.”
Serial number 01’s next flight will combine test activities with a hop to Istres, near Marseilles, where the Dassault flight test centre is located and the bulk of the testing programme will take place. Falcon 6X s/n 02 and 03 are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months. “Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire Dassault organisation and its partners over the challenging past year,” says Dassault Aviation chairman/CEO Eric Trappier.
“We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday,” continues Trappier. Olivier Dassault, a French politician, billionaire and son of Serge Dassault, died in an AS350 helicopter crash in Normandy. “Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.”
“The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected,” adds Trappier. “The new capabilities in efficiency, performance and safety it offers will set a new benchmark in the long-range segment. This airplane will also set a new standard in terms of cabin comfort and spaciousness, as demanded by our customers.”
The Falcon 6X business jet is powered by PW812D engines. “The PW812D engine for the Dassault Falcon 6X features the latest innovations and technologies,” says Maria Della Posta, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada. “We are thrilled with the engine's performance and proud to have it powering the Dassault Falcon 6X, building on our successful relationship with Dassault over the past 20 years of active programmes.”