The Falcon 6X widebody aircraft successfully completed its first flight on March 10. This important milestone, in line with the planned schedule, enables Dassault to begin the certification test campaign.
“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/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.”
“The 6X is the latest example of the fusion of military know-how and business aviation expertise for which Dassault Aviation is so respected,” added Trappier. “The new capabilities in efficiency, performance and safety it offers will set a new benchmark in the long-range segment. This airplane will also set a new standard in terms of cabin comfort and spaciousness, as demanded by our customers.”
With test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette at its controls, aircraft 6X s/n 01 lifted off from Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac plant near Bordeaux at 2:45 PM. This approximately, two hour and thirty minute maiden flight was executed per the test plan, with the pilots testing aircraft handling qualities, engine response and the behavior of key aircraft systems. The aircraft topped out at 40,000 ft and reached a speed of M0.8 before returning to its base.
“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.”
Serial number 01’s next flight will combine test activities with a hop to Istres, near Marseille, where the Dassault flight test center is located and the bulk of the testing program will take place. Falcon 6X s/n 02 and 03 are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months.