Dassault Falcon 6X
Three flight-test Falcon 6Xs are taking shape at Dassault's final assembly facility in France. Aircraft number one has been powered up and is in ground testing, while the second aircraft recently had its wings mated to the fuselage and the third aircraft has entered final assembly.

Dassault’s Falcon 6X Test Aircraft Taking Shape

The first three pre-production Falcon 6Xs are taking shape at Dassault Aviation's facility in Bordeaux-Merignac, France, and the program is on track to achieve first flight early next year, the company recently announced. In tandem, Pratt & Whitney and its sister company Collins Aerospace are ramping up production of the 6X’s PW812D engines and nacelles, respectively, with the first podded engines already delivered to Dassault.

“Bringing the Falcon 6X to market on schedule is a top priority for the company. Our planning and production staff have been diligent and resourceful in adapting procedures to new [COVID-19] sanitary guidelines to keep this program running smoothly,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. 

Dassault Falcon 6X

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Dassault Falcon 6X

This forthcoming model continues the company’s tradition of mating a big cabin with class-leading efficiency.

The first flight-test 6X has been powered up and is in ground testing. Aircraft numbers two and three are in advanced stages of assembly, and long-cycle parts production for serialized production has begun. The second aircraft recently had its wings mated to the fuselage and the third aircraft is in the early stages of final assembly.

Aircraft number three will also be outfitted with a full interior to evaluate systems functionality, acoustics, airflow, comfort, and other factors. Interior furnishings, environmental systems, electronics, and other equipment are being tested in a ground test rig before installation on the aircraft.

Electric, hydraulic, and fuel system tests have been completed, and testing of the Falcon 6X’s advanced digital flight control system has begun. Ground fatigue and damage tolerance testing are also underway.

Meanwhile, the new Falcon’s PW812D engine completed an initial airborne test campaign earlier this year aboard Pratt & Whitney’s Boeing 747 testbed, and a second series of flight tests is scheduled for this summer. To date, the PW812D has accumulated more than 200 flight hours and some 1,600 hours on the ground. It has also completed initial certification tests, including bird strike, ice ingestion, and blade-off tests.

Falcon 6X certification and entry into service are still planned for 2022. The company said its flight test team is coordinating with EASA and the FAA to finalize the flight test and validation program.