Dassault rolled out the first new** Falcon 8X** at its headquarters in Bordeaux-Merignac in the South of France on Wednesday before an audience of customers, operators, suppliers and government officials.
Launched in May at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, the Falcon 8X is a larger stable mate of the fly-by-wire Falcon 7X and joins the new Falcon 5X in a rapidly expanding Falcon lineup.
"Dassault's tradition of innovation and excellence helps explain the success of the Falcon 7X," said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. "More than 250 aircraft have been built in the seven years since service introduction, and demand remains strong. We anticipate a similarly bright future for the 8X."
Final assembly and testing of the 8X is taking place at the Charles Lindbergh hall at the Merignac factiory. The facility was built to handle production of the Falcon 7X. The 8X, Dassault says, will draw on the same advanced digital design and manufacturing techniques pioneered with the 7X.
Wing mating and engine installation on the first Falcon 8X were completed in July and first power up occurred shortly after. Ground tests, including flight control system testing, vibration tests and fuel system testing, concluded in November. The first engine run up took place in early December and the aircraft is on track for a maiden flight in the first quarter of 2015.
"We are extremely happy with progress on our new Falcon flagship," said Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President, Civil Aircraft, Dassault Aviation. "The program is right on schedule and all systems are performing exactly as designed."
Deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2016.