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Falcon 6X Set for World-Proving Tour

by Alud Davies

Falcon 6X Set for World-Proving Tour

 

Dassault says that one of its Falcon 6X test aircraft is preparing to leave on a world tour, which has been designed to test the aircraft in real-world missions before its entry into service.

In its latest Falcon 6X update newsletter, the French airframer says that serial number 4, currently wearing French test registration F-WZOA, will begin its world tour before the end of June. Serial number 4 is the same aircraft that Dassault recently displayed during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Although Dassault has not revealed all the details of the global tour, it has said that the mission will take 150-hours with 40 stops.

For the testing, the company is targeting long-range missions that typically take between 10 – 12 hours. Dassault says that these will include Paris to Los Angeles, Sao Paulo to France and Johannesburg to Kuala Lumpur.

The stops have been designed to mimic real-world missions from potentially limiting locations. Johannesburg for example is ‘hot and high’, which can have an impact on engine performance, particularly on departure.

Most long-haul commercial flights fix this problem by departing Johannesburg during the night when the temperature has cooled down.

At least one mission will be undertaken in the Middle East, where Dassault says the 6X will fly “low circuits over the desert to test maximum cooling efficiency of the environmental control system.” The 6X previously undertook the opposite tests, having endured a -37°C cold soaking in Iqaluit, Canada.

Separately the Falcon 6X recently came close to breaking the sound barrier during a series of high-speed tests, when test pilots Philippe Duchateau and Bruno Ferry pushed one of the flight test aircraft to Mach 0.97.

Departing from the airframers in the Istres, France, test facility, serial number 1 / F-WSIX was first rolled to a 110-degree angle, dropping the nose of the aircraft and putting it into a shallow dive. Once the maximum speed was reached, the aircraft then rolled back to level flight.

According to test pilot Duchateau, the certification authorities require the company to demonstrate that the aircraft is still safe when flying 7 points above its operational Mach limitation. “We have to go and prove it,” said Duchateau.

The tests Dassault are undertaking form part of its certification push before the Falcon 6X can receive its type certificate, which will allow the company to start delivering aircraft.

That entry into service had been planned to take place before the end of 2022, however, in May 2021, the company’s chairman and CEO Eric Trappier announced that the first delivery would slip into 2023 following global supply chain issues.

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