Falcon 5X has lift off
French OEM Dassault Aviation has confirmed that its all-new twin-engine Falcon 5X made its first flight from the company’s Bordeaux-Merignac facility in France. Test pilots Philippe Deleume and Philippe Rebourg were at the controls.
According to a company statement, the two-hour flight was performed with a preliminary version of the Safran Silvercrest engines, because design issues have delayed the power plant development four years beyond the initial timetable.
The aircraft’s successful first flight kicks off a series of preliminary flight tests before the commencement of the full fledged flight test campaign with flight validation and certification tests, scheduled to begin next year once Safran delivers certifiable engines meeting Dassault’s specifications. The purpose of this limited flight test campaign is to help streamline the development process.
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“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,” comments Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO Eric Trappier. “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,” Trappier continues. “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.”