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Dassault Aviation’s new extra widebody Falcon 6X is continuing to march through key certification milestones, the OEM says. With three test aircraft now flying — following the 6X’s first flight on March 10 — Dassault is “working on the program to see whether the fourth aircraft could support the flight test campaign.”
During a press conference at this year’s NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, Dassault chairman and CEO Eric Trapper said aircraft No. 4 — the first production aircraft — is being “fitted with a full interior and will perform prior to certification” to demonstrate the operational maturity of the aircraft systems.
Unit No. 4 will embark on a world tour in mid-2022.
Trappier said that while there is “still considerable test activity to be completed — as in any test campaign — we can report at this point that we are achieving milestones at a pace that our test engineers are really happy with.”
The 6X’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine is also in the final stages of the certification process, with all required certification testing complete.
Dassault said the three 6X test aircraft are currently flying two to three times a week, several hours per flight. Test points beyond Mmo and Vmo have been completed, and every aspect of flight testing — from system development, aircraft performance and envelope expansion — is “proceeding flawlessly.”
“The flying qualities of the 6X are truly extraordinary, even by our exacting Dassault standards,” said Philippe Duchateau, Dassault Aviation’s chief test pilot. “We are extremely satisfied with the way the aircraft is performing during the test campaign.”
Aircraft No. 3 is equipped with a full cabin and is being used for acoustic and thermal testing, as well as evaluating cabin pressurization and airflow for maximum passenger comfort. The OEM said engineers are aiming to achieve noise levels as low as on the 6X’s sister ship, the Falcon 8X.
Initial green aircraft delivery to Dassault’s Little Rock, Arkansas, completion facility is scheduled for early next year.
The 6X is scheduled to be certified by the end of 2022.
Dassault’s product support organization is in the advanced stages of preparing for the aircraft’s entry into service. Spares are on order for delivery to strategic locations around the world to ensure maximum support for flight departments from day one, the company said.
First announced in 2018, the 6X has end-of-mission approach speeds as low 109 knots and can routinely fly out of small airports with runways of 4,000 feet or less. The aircraft also offers digital control of primary flight controls such as ailerons, elevators and rudder, as well as — for the first time — secondary flight controls like flaps, flaperons, and nose wheel steering.