The Dassault Falcon 6X is a large, long-range business jet developed by Dassault Aviation in France. Its precursor, the Falcon 5X twinjet, was launched in 2013, rolled-out in 2015 and made its first flight on July 5, 2017, but its development was frozen as its Safran Silvercrest engine failed to meet performance objectives. In December 2017, the Falcon 6X was launched as a stretched version with PW812D turbofans, made its first flight on 10 March 2021, and entered service on 30 November 2023.[2]

Falcon 6X
Falcon 6X at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport
Role Business jet
National origin France
Manufacturer Dassault Aviation
First flight 10 March 2021[1]
Introduction 30 November 2023[2]

It has the widest purpose-built business jet cabin at 2.58 m (102 in). Its 70.7 m2 (761 sq ft) wing allows a 35,135 kg (77,459 lb) maximum weight with 59.9 kN (13,460 lbf) engines, for a 5,500 nmi (10,200 km) range and a Mach 0.90 top speed.

Development edit

Falcon 5X edit

Dassault Falcon 5X Model at the 2015 Paris Air Show

Design work began in 2006 under the codename SMS for super-midsize, and was envisioned to compete with the Hawker 4000, the Bombardier Challenger 300 and the Gulfstream G200 or the Embraer Legacy 600 with a 3,400 nmi (6,297 km) range. Few details were publicized, except that the model was to be powered by two 44 kN (10,000 lbf) Rolls-Royce RB282 engines.[3][4]

The project was revamped after the 2008 recession when demand for super midsized and smaller aircraft decreased dramatically, while demand for the large-cabin, long-range models remained vigorous.[3] In 2009, the design was re-evaluated and the engine choice was reassessed.[5]

Falcon 5X roll-out on 2 June 2015

The 5X was unveiled at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention on October 21, 2013, to be powered by two Snecma Silvercrests.[3][6] Compliant Silvercrest engines were originally planned for the end of 2013 but technical issues led Safran to postpone them to the end of 2017, leading to delay the 5X introduction from 2017 to 2020, and the high pressure compressor issues in the fall of 2017 delayed it further with performance shortfalls, preventing a 2020 service entry.[7] On 29 January 2016, Dassault Aviation confirmed a two-year delay and production freeze on the Falcon 5X because of ongoing problems with the Snecma Silvercrest engine,[8] the same engine responsible for delaying the development of the Citation Hemisphere.[9] As Dassault endured a near three-year delay to 2020 with 12 cancellations in 2016, it demanded compensation from Safran for the engine delays.[10]

Planform view on Dassault Falcon 5X maiden flight

After ground tests in spring 2017 including low and high speed taxi, the 5X made its first flight from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport with a preliminary version of the engines on July 5, 2017.[11] The preliminary flight tests were intended to streamline the development program, leading to full flight testing in 2018. That program was planned to fly with certifiable engines for flight validation and type certification, "limiting the consequences of the four year engine development delay as much as possible".[11] It was then scheduled to enter service in 2020.[12]

By October 2017, the prototype had completed 50 flight hours, testing system performance and basic handling qualities. Dassault then announced the aircraft's service introduction could be further delayed after Safran discovered high-pressure compressor response problems at high altitudes and low airspeeds on its flying testbed in San Antonio. Dassault did not rule out switching its engine supplier at that point.[13] The prototype reached Mach 0.8 and 41,000 ft.[14]

Falcon 6X edit

On 13 December 2017, Dassault abandoned the Silvercrest due to technical and schedule risks, ending the 5X development. In its place the company launched a new Falcon model with the same fuselage cross section, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines and a 5,500 nmi (10,200 km) range, planned for a 2022 introduction.[7] The new jet used Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800s, already powering the Gulfstream G500/G600.[15]

The design was unveiled in February 2018, was forecast to make its first flight in early 2021 and begin deliveries in 2022.[16] Dassault hoped to launch a larger and longer-range variant of the 6X, to compete with the 7,700 nm (14,300 km)-range Bombardier Global 7500 and the 7,500 nm-range Gulfstream G650ER.[17] On 6 September 2018, Dassault Aviation and Safran ended their dispute with US$ 280 million in compensatory damages paid by Safran to Dassault.[18] By October 2018, Dassault had started construction of the lower wing and rear fuselage parts.[19]

By February 2019, the 6X's PW812D engines had accumulated 120 hours of flight tests.[20] By May 2019, the design was frozen, the engines had 1,000 h of test time, and assembly was expected in 2020 for an on-track program.[21] By October 2019, the first aircraft's front, main and rear fuselage sections were completed before being assembled and joined with the wing in early 2020.[22]

The Falcon 6X was rolled-out on 8 December 2020.[23] The initial flight was on 10 March 2021.[1] On 30 November 2021, a type certificate was issued by Transport Canada for the PW812 engine.[24] It came after more than 4,900 hours of testing and will allow the 6X to enter service on schedule in late 2022.[25]

By March 2022, Dassault had completed cold weather testing in Iqaluit, Canada, reaching -37 °C (-35 °F), towards certification expected later in 2022 as the test fleet had accumulated 650 flight hours across 220 sorties.[26] By May 2022, as the three test aircraft have logged 850 hours, service entry was pushed to mid-2023 due to the supply chain crisis following Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.[27] In 2023, its equipped price was $53.8M.[28]

The 6X received both its Federal Aviation Administration and European Union Aviation Safety Agency type certificates in August 2023.[29] The 6X entered service on 30 November 2023.[2]

Design edit

Falcon 6X cabin mock-up

The Falcon 6X is largely based on the Falcon 5X aerodynamics and systems, validated during its preliminary flight test program, but it is optimized to take advantage of its 58–62 kN (13,000–14,000 lbf) PW812D engines for a longer cabin and a greater 5,500 nmi (10,200 km) range, a Mach 0.90 top speed and a Mach 0.85 cruise. Its cabin is 12.3 m (40 ft) long, is 1.98 m (78 in) high by 2.58 m (102 in) wide (the largest in a purpose-built business jet), and can accommodate 16 passengers in three zones with 29 windows, including a galley skylight.[16]

A front-fuselage extension makes its cabin 51 cm (20 in) longer.[30] The Falcon 6X reinforces the 5X new 70.7 m2 (761 sq ft) wing and keeps its digital flight control system and Honeywell Primus Epic EASy III flight deck. The new engine fans have a diameter of 110 cm (44 in), 15 cm (6 in) narrower than the Gulfstreams, with four low-pressure turbine stages instead of five, engine weight is reduced by 91 kg (200 lb). Its empty weight increases by 1,030 kg (2,270 lb) or 5.7%, from 18.1 to 19.2 t (40,000 to 42,300 lb), due to heavier engines, fuel system and structural reinforcements.[31] The Falcon 6X will be the first Dassault aircraft with a nitrogen inerting system.[32]

Specifications edit

Model Falcon 5X[33] Falcon 6X[34]
Crew 2
Passengers 16
Length 25.2 m (83 ft) 25.68 m (84.3 ft)
Height 7.5 m (25 ft) 7.47 m (24.5 ft)
Wingspan 25.9 m (85 ft) 25.94 m (85.1 ft)
Wing area 72.4 m2 (779 sq ft) 70.7 m2 (761 sq ft)[31]
Wing aspect ratio 9.27 9.52
max takeoff weight 31,570 kg (69,600 lb) 35,135 kg (77,459 lb)
empty weight 18,144 kg (40,000 lb)[35] 19,170 kg (42,270 lb)[31]
fuel capacity 15,325 kg (33,786 lb)
Turbofan 2 × Snecma Silvercrest 2 × P&WC PW812D
Thrust 2 × 50.9 kN (11,450 lbf) 2 × 59.9 kN (13,460 lbf)[a]
max speed Mach 0.9 (516 kn; 956 km/h)
LR cruise Mach 0.8 (459 kn; 850 km/h)
ceiling 51,000 ft (15,545 m)
range 5,200 nmi (9,600 km)[b] 5,500 nmi (10,200 km)
balanced takeoff 1,670 m (5,480 ft)[c]
Landing 760 m (2,490 ft)[d]

See also edit

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

Notes edit

  1. ^ ISA+20°C Flat rated
  2. ^ 8 passengers + 3 crew, NBAA IFR reserves, ISA, full fuel, Mach 0.8
  3. ^ (MTOW, SL, ISA)
  4. ^ FAR 91, typical landing weight

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Le Dassault Falcon 6X vole". Air et Cosmos (in French). 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Dassault Falcon 6X enters service after post-certification delay
  3. ^ a b c "Dassault Unveils Largest Falcon Jet: 5X". aviationweek. 21 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Few new details emerge on Dassault super-midsize jet". AINonline. 6 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Dassault rethinks SMS; questions engine choice". Aviation International News. 14 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Dassault Reveals New Falcon 5X Business Jet at NBAA". AINonline. 22 October 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Dassault confirms termination for 5X" (Press release). Dassault. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  8. ^ Murdo Morrison (29 January 2016). "Dassault confirms two-year delay for 5X". Flightglobal.
  9. ^ Sarsfield2022-04-22T11:36:00+01:00, Kate. "Coming down the line: business aviation's key programmes". Flight Global. Retrieved 13 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Dassault demands compensation from Safran for Silvercrest delays". Flightglobal. 8 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Falcon 5X First Flight" (Press release). Dassault. 5 July 2017. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Falcon 5X takes flight with preliminary Silvercrest engines". FlightGlobal. 6 July 2017.
  13. ^ Stephen Trimble (9 October 2017). "Dassault discloses new delay for Falcon 5X". Flightglobal.
  14. ^ Guy Norris (10 October 2017). "Safran Engine Issues Cause Further Dassault Falcon 5X Delay". Aviation Week Network.
  15. ^ Kate Sarsfield (13 December 2017). "assault terminates Silvercrest contract; cancels Falcon 5X programme". Flightglobal.
  16. ^ a b "Dassault Aviation Launches Falcon 6X" (Press release). Dassault Aviation. 28 February 2018.
  17. ^ Kate Sarsfield (24 July 2018). "Dassault positive on Falcon 6X and further developments". Flightglobal.
  18. ^ "Signature of an amicable settlement with Safran" (Press release). Dassault Aviation. 6 September 2018.
  19. ^ Max Kingsley Jones (15 October 2018). "NBAA: Dassault shows off Falcon 6X mock-up as programme progresses". Flightglobal.
  20. ^ Dominic Perry (28 February 2019). "Dassault on schedule with 6X business jet development". Flightglobal.
  21. ^ Ernest Arvai (20 May 2019). "Falcon 6X Progressing towards 2021 First Flight". Airinsight.
  22. ^ Alan Peaford (21 October 2019). "PICTURE: DASSAULT BEGINS ASSEMBLY OF FALCON 6X PICTURE: Dassault begins assembly of Falcon 6X". Flightglobal.
  23. ^ "Dassault Aviation Rolls Out Falcon 6X, New Standard in Long-Range, Ultra Widebody Segment" (Press release). Dassault Aviation. 8 December 2020.
  24. ^ Transport Canada (30 November 2021). "NAPA Issued Certificates Online: Certificate Detail". Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  25. ^ Jon Hemmerdinger (1 December 2021). "Canadian regulators certificate Falcon 6X's PW812D engine". Flightglobal.
  26. ^ Dominic Perry (16 March 2022). "Dassault Falcon 6X certification on track as twinjet wraps up cold weather testing". FlightGlobal.
  27. ^ Kate Sarsfield (23 May 2022). "Dassault delays Falcon 6X arrival on supply chain disruption". Flightglobal.
  28. ^ "Purchase planning handbook - Jets table". Business & Commercial Aircraft. Second Quarter 2023.
  29. ^ Phelps, Mark (22 August 2023). "Dassault Aviation Notches EASA And FAA Certification For Falcon 6X". AVweb. Archived from the original on 23 August 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  30. ^ Dan Thisdell (28 February 2018). "Dassault launches 6X as it bids to put 5X nightmare behind it". Flightglobal.
  31. ^ a b c Fred George (2 March 2018). "Dassault's Falcon 5X Successor To Enter Service In 2021". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  32. ^ "Information and specifications on the Dassault Falcon 6X Aircraft". Executive Charter Flights. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  33. ^ "falcon 5X special Report" (PDF). Flight International. 29 October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Falcon 6X". Dassault Aviation.
  35. ^ Fred George (1 July 2015). "Falcon 5X Rolls Out at Merignac". Business & Commercial Aviation. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2019.

External links edit