After a three-year delay that was made much worse this past fall by news of more technical problems with the Safran Silvercrest engines for the Falcon 5X, Dassault today said it is cancelling the jet’s development program and starting fresh with a new large-cabin airplane powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines.
The new jet is scheduled to enter the market in 2022, Dassault announced in a press release issued shortly after Safran announced it expected Dassault to begin the process of cancelling the Silvercrast engine contract. The as-yet-unnamed jet will feature the same cabin cross-section of the 5X and a 5,500-nm range, Dassault said.
The first Silvercrest engines were originally planned to be delivered to Dassault for 5X testing by the end of 2013, but technical issues delayed that timeline. In 2015 and 2016, more serious technical issues led Safran to announce a new schedule that would lead to engines being delivered for Falcon 5X flight testing by the end of 2017. This past fall, Safran experienced problems with the high-pressure compressor and informed Dassault of an additional delay and a performance shortfall, making a revised 2020 entry into service of the aircraft impossible and leading to order cancellations as customers’ patience ran out.
“Considering the magnitude of the risks involved both on the technical and schedule aspects of the Silvercrest program, Dassault Aviation initiates the termination process of the Silvercrest contract leading to the end of the Falcon 5X program and plans to start negotiations with Safran,” Dassault said in the press release.
The French manufacturer offered no timeline for when the 5X replacement formally will be launched.