Dassault’s new flagship, the Falcon 8X, flies for the first time

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The Falcon 8X has completed its first flight a little more than a month after roll-out. With test pilots Eric Gérard and Hervé Laverne at the controls, the aircraft lifted off from Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux, France, at 2:00pm. The aircraft leveled off at 5,000ft and raised its landing gear before beginning flight handling maneuvers and system tests at 15,000ft. It later climbed to FL400 accelerating to Mach 0.80. The aircraft subsequently descended to 5,000ft for approach and landing at 03:45pm.

“Throughout the flight, the Falcon 8X demonstrated excellent handling qualities, the hallmark of all Dassault Aviation aircraft,” said Gérard. “We reached each of the performance objectives set for the first mission and, in a few cases, surpassed target goals. I am confident that the remainder of the flight test program will proceed just as smoothly and feel extremely honored to fly such a handsome and well-engineered aircraft.”

“Today we reached a key milestone in the Falcon 8X program, and are right on target for mid-2016 certification and deliveries in the second half of 2016,” said Dassault Aviation’s chairman and CEO, Eric Trappier.

The second and third Falcon 8Xs are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months. Each will take part in the flight test program, which is expected to last around 500 flight hours. Serial number three will leave in mid-2015 for the Dassault Aviation completion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, where it will be fitted with a complete interior and undergo a system test campaign.

The Falcon 8X was unveiled in May 2014 at EBACE and rolled out in December 2014. It offers the greatest range and the longest cabin in the Falcon line, along with an extensive selection of cabin configurations. With eight passengers and three crew, the 8X will be capable of flying 6,450 nautical miles at Mach 0.80. Like the 7X, the Falcon 8X will be capable of approaches up to 6°.

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria, Railway Interiors International and Winter Sports Technology International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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