Two Falcon 8X aircraft have arrived at the Falcon completion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, marking a new milestone in the development program for the new ultra long range trijet.
One of the two aircraft, 8X s/n 03, arrived in Little Rock during the summer for installation of a full interior that will be dedicated to the 8X cabin comfort and functionality test program. This aircraft will also undertake an around-the-world operational test campaign to demonstrate reliability and performance in different conditions of flight, including high and low temperature, high humidity and high altitude operations.
The second unit to enter the completion line, 8X s/n 04, flew to Little Rock from Dassault Aviation’s Bordeaux-Mérignac final assembly facility on October 9. This aircraft will be the first production unit to be delivered to a Falcon customer. Nine other aircraft are currently in various stages of assembly on the Mérignac line as Dassault’s new flagship ramps up production.
As of October 10, the Falcon 8X flight test program had accumulated 315 flight hours over the course of 153 flights at Dassault’s flight test center in Istres, near Marseille, France. The portion of the flight test program dedicated to opening up the flight envelope has been completed and s/n 01 recently reached a speed of Mach 0.97. Initial certification tests, covering takeoff and landing performance and validation of the third generation EASy flight deck are also in advanced testing.
“These achievements reflect the steady advance of the Falcon 8X flight test program since the aircraft first took to the air last February,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO Dassault Aviation. “Tests have fully confirmed target capabilities, in particular long range performance.”
EASA and FAA certification of the Falcon 8X is anticipated in mid-2016 and initial deliveries in the second half of the year.
Unveiled in May 2014 at European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), the latest addition to the growing Falcon business jet family rolled out on December 17 and made its maiden flight on February 6.
The 8X will offer all the advanced technological features of the popular Falcon 7X from which it is derived, including the industry’s quietest and most comfortable cabin. It will also feature the greatest range and the longest cabin in the Falcon line, along with the most extensive selection of cabin configurations available on any large cabin business jet.