Test Pilots Eric Gerard and Herve Laverne flew Falcon 8X aircraft s/n 01 for one hour and 45 minutes. The new trijet, powered by three engines, lifted off from Dassault Aviation's Merignac plant near Bordeaux at 2 p.m. It leveled off at 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) and raised its landing gear before beginning flight handling maneuvers and system tests at 15,000 ft (4,500 m). It later climbed to FL400 (12,000 meters) accelerating to Mach 0.80. The aircraft subsequently descended to 5,000 feet for approach and landing at 3:45 p.m.
"Throughout the flight, the Falcon 8X demonstrated excellent handling qualities, the hallmark of all Dassault Aviation aircraft," Gerard affirms. "We reached each of the performance objectives set for the first mission and, in a few cases, surpassed target goals. I am confident that the remainder of the flight test program will proceed just as smoothly and feel extremely honored to fly such a handsome and well-engineered aircraft."
"Today we reached a key milestone in the Falcon 8X program, and are right on target for mid-2016 certification and second half 2016 deliveries," says Dassault Aviation Chairman/CEO Eric Trappier. "The new Falcon has been well received in the market place and already shows every sign of being a commercial and technical success. This early achievement reflects Dassault Aviation's half century of experience in the business aviation industry. Dassault Aviation's state-of-the-art military aircraft know-how enables us to design and build business jets that combine exceptional reliability, flight handling, and technical capabilities with unmatched cabin comfort and operating economics. I congratulate the pilots, engineers, technicians and line workers, both at Dassault Aviation and at our numerous industrial partners and subcontractors facilities for their contributions in getting the 8X off to such a great start."
Falcon 8X s/n 02 and 03 are scheduled to take to the air in the coming months. Each will take part in the flight test program, which is expected to last roughly 500 flight hours. Serial number 03 will leave midyear for the Dassault Aviation completion facility in Little Rock, Ark., where it will be fitted with a complete interior and undergo a system test campaign.
Dassault Aviation is an aerospace company with a presence in more than 90 countries across five continents. It produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 2,380 Falcon jets have been delivered. Dassault offers a range of six business jets from the twin-engine 3,350 nm large-cabin Falcon 2000S to its new flagship, the tri-engine 6,450 nm ultra-long-range Falcon 8X.