Dassault Falcon 6X widebody business jet makes first flight
Dassault's Falcon 6X widebody business jet has made its first flight. With test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette at the controls, the two and a half hour flight in the skies over Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux on March 10 saw the 6X s/n 01 aircraft reach an altitude of 40,000 feet (12,000 m) and a speed of Mach 0.8 (609 mph, 980 km/h).
Based on the Dassault Falcon 5X, the 6X is billed as the first ultra-widebody purpose-built business jet and boasts the tallest and widest cabin on the market. Carrying a crew of two and up to 16 passengers, its paired Pratt & Whitney PW812D turbofan engines gives it a range of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km) – far enough to fly from London to Hong Kong nonstop.
In addition to its performance, the Falcon 6X has an advanced digital flight control system and the company's FalconEye combined vision system for better situational awareness and to aid in making landing approaches in the dark or foul weather. The aircraft is also equipped with the FalconScan diagnostics system that monitors 100,000 maintenance parameters.
Wednesday's test flight was the first in the aircraft's certification process. Its purpose was to demonstrate how mature the technology is, as well as the 6X's handling, engine response, and key systems. The prototype will now fly to the Dassault flight test center at Istres, near Marseille for more tests. Meanwhile, Falcon 6X s/n 02 and 03 will be made ready for flight later this year.