Despite the global pandemic, Dassault is making progress towards the planned first flight of the Falcon 6X in early 2021. The first of the three pre-production aircraft to be used for certification has now been powered up and has begun ground testing. The 2nd and 3rd test aircraft have moved into advanced stages of assembly, and advanced production of long-cycle time parts for early production aircraft are now being sourced.
Systems testing is underway, with hydraulic, electric, and fuel system test completed and testing of the digital flight control system has now begun. Ground fatigue and damage tolerance testing have also begun, and that test cycle will be extended to include stress testing to maximum load limits.
The Falcon 6X will be a unique aircraft, setting new benchmarks for cabin comfort. It will offer the largest cabin cross-section of any purpose-built business jet with a height of 6’6” and a width of 8’6”. With a range of 5,500 nautical miles, non-stop flights from Paris to Tokyo or Los Angeles to Moscow will be possible.
The aircraft will include advanced control systems and avionics, including a flaperon that has been proven in Dassault fighters and a new-generation Digital Flight Control System that provides unmatched fly-by-wire maneuverability in flight.
The engines for the aircraft, the PW812D from Pratt & Whitney Canada is also on target and ramping up for production. The engine passed initial certification tests, including bird-strike, ice ingestion, and blade-off tests, and has accumulated more than 200 flight hours and 1,600 hours of ground tests. A green engine, the PW812D meets future CO2 regulations, meets stage 4 noise requirements by a substantial margin, and exceeds ICAO standards for NOx emissions by a double-digit margin.
The Bottom Line: The Falcon 6X is moving forward despite the pandemic and the team in Bordeaux is making progress for an on-time certification of the new aircraft in 2021.