Falcon 5X Completes Successful First Flight

Engine problems have been overcome, at least temporarily.

Dassault Aviation's Falcon 5X made its first flight Wednesday, opening the door to a limited number of preliminary flight tests before the commencement of the full fledged flight test campaign, scheduled for next year.

Four years of delays due to power plant issues were overcome using a preliminary version of the Safran Silvercrest engines. The cabin of the Falcon 5X will be the tallest and widest in the industry, although the aircraft will land at a turboprop’s speed and burn significantly less fuel than any other business jet in its class.

The 5X departed Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac final assembly facility with test pilots Philippe Deleume and Philippe Rebourg at the controls to initiate a flight test campaign designed to streamline the development process. The current test campaign is scheduled to last only a few weeks, while flight validation and certification tests will be performed next year, assuming Safran delivers certifiable engines that meet Dassault’s specifications.

“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,” said Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO. “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.”

The advanced flight test campaign begun this week will collect airframe and systems data that could not be generated during a ground test campaign undertaken earlier this spring. The ground campaign included low and high-speed taxi tests.