The third and final Falcon 8X test aircraft has taken to the skies as the flight test campaign for the new ultra long range trijet moves into high gear.
Falcon 8X s/n 03 took off from Dassault Aviation’s Bordeaux-Mérignac facility on Monday, May 11 at 2.00 p.m. local time with test pilots, Etienne Faurdessus and Damien Brault at the controls. The flight plan was similar to that of s/n 02, which joined the test campaign on April 2.
In June, s/n 03 will be ferried to the Falcon completion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, where it will be fitted out with a full cabin and tested for cabin comfort and sound level.
“We are very pleased with the way the Falcon 8X flight test program is progressing,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO Dassault Aviation. “All three aircraft have exhibited flawless handling and responded exactly as intended when designed.”
The first two test aircraft are both well into the certification campaign at the Dassault flight test center at Istres, near Marseille, France.
S/n 01 recently finished opening the flight envelope, including high speed performance testing at Mach 0.96 (beyond its MMO), maximum ceiling of 51,000 ft and full range of angles of attack. The aircraft also tested out different weight configurations, including MTOW, and underwent a high energy brake test campaign.
Meanwhile, s/n 02 has begun its test routine, which is aimed at verifying key performance parameters such as fuel consumption and landing/takeoff distance. Completion of certification performance trials is anticipated this summer.
Altogether, the three test aircraft have completed 50 sorties as of mid-May. The full program will total some 200 flights and 500 flight hours through final EASA and FAA certification, which is anticipated in mid-2016.
Aircraft production is also well advanced. Eight aircraft are currently in final assembly and 15 other units are at various stages of production.
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. It 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. The 8X 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.
Source: Dassault Falcon.