Dassault Aviation’s new Falcon 5X jet has made its first flight, allowing the jet to embark on preliminary flight tests before the commencement of the full flight test campaign scheduled to begin next year.
The aircraft took off from Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac facility in France for a two-hour flight, which was performed with a preliminary version of the Safran Silvercrest engine because design issues have delayed the power plant development four years beyond the initial timetable.
This advanced flight test campaign will permit to collect a certain amount of airframe and systems data that could not be generated during a ground test campaign undertaken earlier this spring. The ground campaign included ground runs as well as low- and high-speed taxi tests.
The purpose of the present flight test campaign, which will last only a few weeks, is to help streamline the development process. Flight validation and certification tests will be performed next year, once Safran delivers certifiable engines meeting Dassault’s specifications.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO, said, “We’re committed to limiting the consequences of the four-year engine development delay as much as possible and the short preliminary flight test campaign is part of this effort.
“We will closely monitor the validation tests on the modified Silvercrest, which are scheduled by Safran in the few coming months, as their results will be critical for meeting the 5X entry into service in 2020.
“Our customers are anxious to fly our new wide body Falcon. Combined with the 5X’s new generation digital flight controls, the new ultra-efficient wing will make it possible to blend the spaciousness and comfort of large cabin jets with the maneuverability, efficiency and airport capability of much smaller aircraft, establishing a new benchmark for the long-range business jet market.”