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Dassault Aviation will be exhibiting its popular Falcon 8X very long range trijet at this year’s Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show and exhibition. The show runs December 6-8 at Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai World Central).
Dassault Aviation is a family company. A family with a heritage of integrity and excellence. We have and always will invest in innovation and technology to an extraordinary level. And we will always be the best in everything we offer our customers.
FALCON 6X TAKES FLIGHT
The first flight of the Falcon 6X on March 10 was as close to routine as any first flight could be. Test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice (Tom) Valette pushed the throttles forward and took off at 2:45 pm for a two-hour and 30-minute flight, climbing to 40,000 feet and cruising at Mach .80.
The two pilots tested handling qualities, power settings and flap and slat configurations. After months flying a 6X “test bench,” everything felt familiar with the aircraft flying exactly as predicted. Then came their highest praise: “From a pilot’s perspective, it flies like a Falcon, which is to say with perfect handling in all phases of flight.”
> Watch the Falcon 6X first flight video
ERIC TRAPPIER LAUDS 6X AND THE PEOPLE BEHIND IT
Dassault CEO Eric Trappier gathered with Dassault employees to witness the historic first flight of an all-new Falcon and shared his enthusiasm: “Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire organization and its partners over the challenging past year. The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault is so respected.”
A FLIGHT DEDICATED TO THE LATE OLIVIER DASSAULT
Enthusiasm for the first flight was tempered by the loss a few days earlier of Olivier Dassault, grandson of founder Marcel Dassault, in a helicopter accident. Trappier said, “Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.” Alone among the world’s major aerospace companies, Dassault remains primarily owned by the founding family, instilling stability, pride and the founder’s spirit through three generations.
FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM IN GO MODE
Spectacularly, test aircraft #1 flew over 20 hours within the first two weeks of testing. Pilots opened the envelope all the way up to Mach 0.9 and evaluated steep angle of attack. All agreed that the 6X might have the best landing characteristics of any Falcon so far.
Aircraft #2 entered the program soon after, climbing to Flight Level 400 and accelerated to Mach .85. Once more, all new pilots involved were highly pleased. Now, aircraft #3, with a full interior, is in the air for cabin systems testing. The program is on track for an upcoming global tour and certification in 2022.
> Read about the third Falcon 6X joining the test program
PRODUCTION SHIFTS INTO HIGH GEAR
On the production line at Bordeaux-Mérignac, activity is ramping up, with the supply chain keeping pace. Airframe sections come from Dassault facilities around France and other structures from elsewhere in Europe. Engines come from Canada and much of the avionics from partners in the U.S. Production is ramping up according to plan with aircraft #10 already on the final assembly line.
THE RED DOT MEANS EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN
Dassault Aviation has won the prestigious Red Dot award for the interior design of the 6X cabin, placing Dassault among an elite group of recipients that includes Audi, Porsche and Apple. The jury of 50 leading industrial designers from around the world applauded the 6X cabin for its combination of functionality, comfort, sense of lightness, simple elegance and sheer visual appeal. The 6X has received a lot of attention from the industrial design community, also winning an International Yacht & Aviation Award for the beautifully designed cabin.
STRESSING THE 6X TO SAVE FLIGHT DEPARTMENT STRESS
Ground crews have been hard at work cycling the 6X’s power. If something isn’t perfect, they’ll find it and fix it. Components undergo extreme temperature, humidity and vibration testing — “shake and bake,” it’s been called. Actually, it’s HASS for Highly Accelerated Stress Screen and HALT for Highly Accelerated Life Testing. They helped the 8X improve reliability. The third test aircraft will fly numerous missions with a full interior. Engineers and technicians will test every cabin system.
PRODUCT SUPPORT IS HANDS-ON WITH THE 6X
Servicing 6X systems was first practiced with a life-size 3D mockup and virtual reality equipment. Now it’s for real. Seven product support technicians are assigned to the flight test organization: for line service; data acquisition and analysis; validation of the FalconScan onboard diagnostic system and validation of maintenance documents. A few will become service ambassadors for our global support network.
The Falcon Command Center is also involved, receiving raw data from the FalconScan system for diagnostic evaluation. FalconScan monitors 100,000 parameters simultaneously so that it can monitor potential fault scenarios and maximize availability for Falcon owners.
> Countdown to 6X Entry Into Service
NOSEWHEEL STEERING AND DIGITAL FLIGHT CONTROL
The 6X provides a new level of digital flight control capability. With the 7X and 8X, DFCS controlled primary flight control surfaces — ailerons, elevators and rudder. With the 6X, it controls all flight control surfaces, primary and secondary. These include slats, flaps and flaperons. With nose wheel steering now also tied in, pilots can respond more easily and confidently to challenging runway conditions like strong and gusty crosswinds, as well as wet runway conditions, for smooth cruising all the way up to the gate.
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