Dassault’s new flagship, the Falcon 8X, made its debut at NBAA 2015, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on November 17-19. The 8X displayed is the sixth to come off the assembly line, and was due to head to Dassault’s completion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, after the show for cabin and equipment outfitting and painting. Two other 8Xs are already in Little Rock – including the first customer aircraft and the third test unit, which is preparing for the cabin comfort test campaign.
The Falcon 8X will offer the greatest range (6,450 nautical miles) and the longest cabin of any Falcon. “We anticipate certification by mid-2016, on schedule, with initial deliveries to follow in the second half of the year,” said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO at Dassault Aviation.
In parallel with flight tests, Dassault is continuing to ramp up production at its final assembly facility in Mérignac, near Bordeaux in France. Eight aircraft are in various stages of assembly in Mérignac, and ground was recently broken there on a new six-bay hangar to handle maintenance and repair work for the 8X, the 7X and other Falcon models.
The 100-hour cabin comfort test campaign, set to get underway in Little Rock early in 2016, will focus on verifying comfort, acoustics, air-conditioning, entertainment, communications and other cabin features. These tests will also include a round-the-world tour to demonstrate operational reliability and performance in different conditions of flight, including high and low temperatures, high humidity and high altitude. “Our goal is to deliver the most comfortable and smoothest performing aircraft on the market, with all systems and features working like clockwork from day one,” said Trappier.
November 20, 2015