Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 6X long-range, ultra-widebody business jet made its first flight from the company’s facility at Mérignac, France, near Bordeaux, on March 10, 2021. The flight was made in honor of pilot, politician, and company heir Olivier Dassault, who died on March 7 in an Airbus AS350 helicopter accident in Normandy with another pilot.
Pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette commanded the initial flight, which departed at 2:45 pm local time for the 2.5-hour flight. The testing plan covered aircraft handling, engine response, and operation of critical aircraft systems. The flight reached FL400 and a speed of 0.8 Mach during the flight. The next flight will take serial number 1 to the company’s main flight test center at Istres, near Marseilles, the base of further testing. The follow-on aircraft to join the test fleet, serial numbers 2 and 3, will fly within the next few months.
“The 6X flew exactly as predicted by our models. From a pilot’s perspective, it flies like a Falcon, which is to say with perfect precise handling in all phases of flight,” said Ferry. “Fabrice and I are honored to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon.”
“Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire Dassault organization and its partners over the challenging past year,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday,” continued Trappier. “Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.”