Dassault Aviation’s new flagship, the Falcon 8X, is entering the final stages of its flight test and certification program. FAA and EASA certification is expected by mid 2016, and entry into service by late summer 2016. The three aircraft in the flight test program have nearly completed all certification test requirements, and have accumulated more than 650 flight hours in 325 flights.
After undergoing thermal, acoustic and cabin amenity testing at the company’s completion center in Little Rock, USA, s/n 03, the first 8X with a fully fitted interior, returned to the Istres Flight Test Center near Marseille, France, earlier in March 2016 to prepare for cold soak trials. Intended to demonstrate aircraft system functionality under extreme weather conditions, the soak trial campaign was conducted at Ranken Inlet, Nunavut, on the northwestern shore of Canada’s Hudson Bay, from March 9-11, 2016.
Falcon 8X s/n 03 will now begin a global test campaign to demonstrate operational reliability and performance in different conditions of flight. The month-long campaign will take the aircraft through Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America and include more than 60 missions of various lengths. The campaign will focus particular attention on cabin equipment and functionalities, including high-speed communications systems during intercontinental flights and those over remote areas.
“We are delighted and thrilled with the way the Falcon 8X program is proceeding,” said Eric Trappier, chairman/CEO of Dassault Aviation. “The flight test campaign has been flawless and the aircraft will be in initial customers’ hands this summer, just as planned when we launched development three years ago.”
Meanwhile, as the flight testing and certification campaign nears completion, series production and support activities are moving into high gear. Falcon 8X s/n 21 recently entered final assembly in Bordeaux-Merignac and six aircraft are now in completion at Little Rock. Dassault Aviation recently completed work on a new hangar in Little Rock to handle 8X completions and broke ground on a new six-bay hangar at Bordeaux-Merignac to provide additional maintenance and repair resources for the 8X and 7X models.
Derived from the Falcon 7X, the Falcon 8X was unveiled in May 2014 and first flew on February 6, 2015. The 8X will offer the greatest range (6,450 nautical miles) and the longest cabin of any Falcon. It will also share the 7X’s short-field performance.
April 1, 2016