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As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on manufacturing supply chains across the globe, Dassault found that like many industries, it was not immune to the shortages. Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier stated in a pre-EBACE press conference that the challenges will have a minor effect on aircraft production. However, the results of the delays mean pushing back the certification dates of the company’s newest models, the 6X and 10X.
The extra-tall, extra-wide, 5,500-nautical-mile Falcon 6X saw its first flight in 2021, and there are currently three test aircraft running through the program, having accumulated over 850 hours of flight time. Aircraft #4, the first production model, is scheduled to depart on a four-week, worldwide demonstration tour in June, consisting of over 40 stops with 150 hours of flight time. That aircraft, the first with a completed interior, is at the EBACE static display and available for viewing.
Serial #5 is currently in the completion stages and will be the first customer-delivered 6X. Numbers six to 15 will follow shortly. Entry into service is scheduled for mid-2023.
Following the Dassault “bigger, taller, wider” approach, the company is exceeding even its own benchmarks with the upcoming Falcon 10X. When it takes to the skies, it will have the largest cabin ever designed for a purpose-built business jet. Its 7,500-nm range will also compete with the best distances of its competitors. The size and performance will not, however, prevent it from launching and landing at steep, short approach runways like London City.
Trappier assures that the test program is progressing well, including over 1,000 hours on the new Pearl engine, development of the all-composite wings (a first for Dassault), and the next-generation NEXUS avionics. Certification and first deliveries are expected in late 2025.
Dassault’s other long-range offering, the 8X, will soon see passenger-centric improvements, including advanced interiors, the new Innovative Cabin System (ICS), and the debut of the Falcon Privacy Suite, a seat arrangement much like that of business or first class airliners with the ability to lay flat during flight.
On the sustainability front, Trappier announced that all Falcon jets can fly on 50 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and when the 10X comes to market, it will be capable of 100 percent SAF use.