French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation has ferried Falcon 6X, its first extra widebody business jet to the company’s completion center in Arkansas, United States.
The jet, which is currently registered F-WZOC (serial number 5), lifted off from Dassault’s production site in Merignac, France to its Little Rock facility in the US on January 28, 2022, the manufacturer has announced.
The Falcon 6X’s arrival marks another milestone for the company, with the jet expected to enter into service later this year.
Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO said that the manufacturer is focused on moving the type towards certification.
In a statement dated January 31, 2022, Dassault Aviation said: “Teams in Little Rock have been preparing for months anticipating the arrival of the first Falcon 6X with new engineering solutions that aim to accelerate the completion and delivery cycle. A dedicated 6X technical response team has performed robustness and cycle testing on equipment and components in the preparation of manufacturing. Engineers have also designed processes that will allow one-shot installation on interiors, further reducing completion time.”
Three Falcon 6X business jets are scheduled to perform flight testing, including a single jet that is currently undergoing extreme weather and endurance testing. But a fourth aircraft, the Falcon 6X demonstrator, has already been equipped with a full interior and is set to make its first flight by the end of Q1 2022. The demonstrator jet will undertake a global campaign where it will prove “the full maturity of aircraft systems”, the French airframer announced.
The Falcon 6X was launched in December 2017 as a stretched version of its successor, the Falcon 5X twinjet, whose development was cancelled in early 2017 due to technical risks with its Safran Silvercrest engine.
While the new business jet is largely based on the Falcon 5X, boasting the same fuselage cross-section as its predecessor, the Falcon 6X has an extended front fuselage, making its cabin 51 centimeters (1 foot 8 inches) longer than that of the 5X.
The newcomer is set to enter the large and long-range business jet class with the widest purpose-built corporate aircraft cabin reaching 2.58 meters (8 feet 5 inches).
With a cabin that equals 12.3 meter (40 feet 4 inches) long and 1.98 meter (6 feet 5 inches) high, the 6X can fly 16 passengers on board in three seating zones equipped with 29 windows and a skylight in a galley.
The Falcon 6X also has the advantage of Pratt & Whitney PW812D engines, which was granted a type certificate by Transport Canada in November 2021, after completing more than 4,900 testing hours. The turbofan engine will provide the jet with the maximum take-off weight of 35,135 kilograms (77,459 pounds) and will allow it to reach a top speed of Mach 0.90 (1,103 kilometers per hour) with an operational range of 10,200 kilometers (5,500 nautical miles).
The aircraft is also notable for reinforcements made to its fuel system. The Falcon 6X will be the first Dassault business jet to be equipped with a nitrogen inerting system.
As of 2021, the average cost of the fully equipped Falcon FX was $47 million.
Back in 2018, reports circulated that after the type’s planned year-end service entry, the manufacturer plans to launch a larger and longer-range variant of the 6X dedicated to competing with two strong rivals: the Bombardier Global 7500, which boasts a range of 14,300 kilometers (7,700 nautical miles), and Gulfstream G650ER, which is capable of a range of 13,900 kilometers (7,500 nautical miles).