The second Dassault Falcon 8X aircraft has joined the flight test program this week.
Falcon 8X s/n 02 took to the skies from Dassault Aviation’s Bordeaux-Mérignac facility on Monday 30 March 2015 at 15:24 local time with test pilots Hervé Laverne and Etienne Faurdessus at the controls. The flight plan was similar to that of the maiden flight on 6 February.
After initial checks on the digital flight controls and engine system, the pilots took the aircraft to 43,000 feet and Mach 0.8 for performance tests. After the test routine, the aircraft ran a series of additional checks before touching down after 2 hours and 45 minutes in the air.
The aircraft will now join s/n 01 at the Dassault flight test center at Istres, near Marseille, where it will mostly serve for performance testing.
Unveiled in May 2014 at European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), the latest addition to the growing Falcon business jet family rolled out on 17 December. As a further development of the Falcon 7X the new plane will be able to get the typical business traveller across a whole 6,450 nautical miles (11,945 km). The 8X has a 3.5 feet longer cabin, to give it more space on the inside.
Final assembly and testing of the 8X is taking place in Merignac, where production began in 1949. The Falcon 8X will be produced at the at the Charles Lindbergh hall there, the same where the Falcon 7X was put together, and the 8X will draw on the same digital design and manufacturing techniques. Over the last 7 years 250 aircraft made it off this line.
The Falcon 8X will offer 30 configurations, and three galley sizes. It flies with a crew of two – with resting area – eight passengers, one additional crew member, and amongst the lavatory options one that includes a shower. The Falcon 8X is powered by an improved version of the Pratt and Whitney Canada PW307 engine that equips the Falcon 7X. Combined with improvements to wing design, the new power plant will make the 8X up to 35% more fuel efficient than similar aircraft, claims Dassault.
A total of three aircraft, including one fully outfitted with a cabin interior, will be used in the flight test and certification campaign. The full program will total about 200 flights and 500 flight hours through final EASA and FAA certification which is anticipated in mid-2016. Deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2016.
Source: Dassault Aviation
Featured image: Lift-off! for the second Falcon 8X (Image © Dassault Aviation)