Dassault Aviation is on-track for a 2020 launch of its latest business jet-model, the 6X. The French airframer showcases a model and mock-up of the new aircraft at this week’s Dubai Air Show.
Head of communications Vadim Feldzer isn’t willing to disclose when the 6X will be officially launched, but next Spring’s EBACE in Geneva is the most obvious moment.
Outside on static display in Dubai is the mock-up, which was in Moscow this Summer too and Airinsight described before. Standing right next to the 8X it makes for easy comparison. While the 8X has a longer fuselage with three sections, the 6X is wider and higher. With my 1.90 meter height I had no difficulty standing right up in the 6 with its 1.98 meter ceiling height, whereas in the 8X I had to keep my head down. Cross section will be 2.58 meters.
Assembly of the fuselage of the first 6X at Dassault’s Biaritz factory is well-advanced, Feldzer said. The wings are assembled in Martignas. Final assembly will happen in Bordeaux-Mérignac. First flight targeted in early 2021 and first deliveries a year later. Dassault is confident it will keep most of the buyers that originally wanted the 5X before that was shelved after reliability with Safran’s Silvercrest engine. The 6X will have two P&W Canada PW812D power plants that will enter its final flight testing soon and still need to be certified. Feldzer says there is 100 percent confidence in this engine. For the 6X, Dassault redesigned the 5X to adapt it for the different engines and has included the latest on digital flight control systems and cabin design.
The 6X will have a 10.186 km range compared to the 11.945 km of the 8X, which is popular because of its range and short-rumway capabilities. The range if the 6X will make it well-suited to the needs of the Middle East-market, Dassault thinks. In fact, the region should be a ‘major driver’ for the new jet.
While dedicated business aviation fairs like EBACE and NBAA are more important for Dassault, the French company rates Dubai Air Show for its opportunities to contact with customers. Of all 8X’ flying, 10-12 percent fly in the ME-region.