The third test flight for Dassault Aviation’s “benchmark” wide-body Falcon 6X business jet took off this week as the aircraft nears certification.
On 24 June, it completed a two-hour maiden flight from the company’s Bordeaux-Merignac final assembly plant to its Istres flight test facility.
The jet reached Flight Level 400 and climbed to a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 – almost reaching its top speed at 0.90, according to the company. The jet’s range is 5,500 nautical miles (10,186 km).
Dassault Aviation is a French aerospace company, specialising in manufacturing both military and business aircraft, with a unique taste in high-class design. The company is partially owned by Airbus SE.
“The 6X is shaping up to become one of our great success stories, a new benchmark in flying performance and comfort,” said Philippe Duchateau, Dassault’s chief test pilot. “It’s a real joy to fly.”
Competing luxury business jets include Boeing’s BBJ MAX 7, the Gulfstream G650ER, the Bombardier Global 7500, and the Airbus ACJ 319/320 neo.
Despite high competition with large plane makers, the Falcon won the ‘Best of the Best’ award in the Robb Report luxury-lifestyle magazine last month, and is one of most dominant business jets in Europe.
“This latest flight is yet another sign of the smooth progress we have been making with the 6X test program,” said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “We have been consistently impressed with the flight performance and handling of the 6X and the reliability of aircraft systems.”
The Falcon 6X, one of Dassault’s many models is part of the company’s ultra-widebody business aircraft. The cabin is reportedly the “tallest and widest in business aviation” and focuses on “unparalleled level of spaciousness and comfort”, according to Dassault.
The aircraft’s first flights were in March and April, accumulating over 130 test hours equating to around two or three a week.
Its first flight on 11 March took off from the company’s Merignac plant near Bordeaux at 2:45pm, as the pilots testing the aircraft’s handling qualities, engine response and the behaviour of key aircraft systems.
The aircraft reportedly topped out at 40,000 feet and reached a speed of Mach 0.8 before returning to its base.
In addition to testing its equipment ability and speed, the aircraft flights will evaluate “its environmental features and temperature control and validate cabin acoustics systems,” according to the statement released yesterday.
Currently being developed and installed in Merignac, the jet will soon be equipped with a full cabin interior.
Its last stages before receiving certification will include a two-month “global endurance flight” campaign to ensure the Falcon 6X’s systems “fully mature” before it officially enters service.
The production of remaining systems and units is currently underway, expected to be ready by early this month.