The Falcon 6X has made its first flight. The two-and-a-half-hour flight, made from Dassault Aviation’s plant in Mérignac near Bordeaux, France, has kicked off the certification test campaign.
Speaking on 10 March 2021, Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO at Dassault Aviation, commented: “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. We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday. Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.”
During the flight, test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette tested aircraft handling qualities, engine response and the behaviour of key aircraft systems. The aircraft topped out at 40,000ft and reached a speed of Mach 0.8 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,” said Ferry. “Fabrice and I are honoured to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon.”
The bulk of the testing programme will take place at Dassault’s flight test centre in Istres, near Marseilles, France. Serial numbers two and three are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months.
The Falcon 6X cabin is 6ft 6in (1.98m) tall and 8ft 6in (2.59m) wide. Dassault describes it as “the first ultra-widebody purpose-built business jet in the industry”.
“The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected,” added 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 aircraft will have a range of 5,500 nautical miles and feature an advanced version of the digital flight control system first introduced on the Falcon 7X and further refined on the Falcon 8X. Dassault’s FalconEye combined vision system will be standard on the 6X. It will be the first Falcon equipped with the FalconScan advanced diagnostics system, which monitors and reports on 100,000 maintenance parameters. The aircraft is powered by new-generation Pratt & Whitney PW812D engines.