Falcon 7X works towards approvals for world’s highest airport


Falcon 7X F-WFBW / msn 01 at Daocheng Yading Airport

The Falcon 7X has undertaken a series of trials at the world’s highest airport.
Falcon 7X F-WFBW / msn 01 at Daocheng Yading Airport

Falcon 7X F-WFBW / msn 01 at Daocheng Yading Airport

Dassault’s Falcon 7X recently undertook a series of trails at Daocheng Yading Airport in China’s Sichuan province, dubbed the world’s highest commercial airport.

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At 14,470 ft (4,411 m), Yanding Airport is 1,145 ft (350 m) higher than La Paz’s El Alto Airport in Bolivia.

Dassault says the request to certificate the Falcon 7X was initiated by Chinese customers, keen to use the aircraft at the many smaller airports in western China.

The 13-day tests began on 25 August, with a series of preliminary test flights at Jiuzhai Huang Long Airport near Chengdu. With a CAAC (Chinese Civil Aviation Authority) test pilot at the control, Falcon 7X (msn 1 / F-WFBW) proceeded to Daocheng, breaking the record for the highest ever landing by a business jet.

While at Daocheng the Falcon 7X underwent a series of manoeuvres designed to test the performance of the aircraft and engines at altitude, including simulated engine failures.

“The aircraft handled flawlessly in all conditions of flight and the engines, APUs and pressurization systems performed perfectly,” said Dassault Aviation test pilot Philippe Dumas. “This performance highlights the unparalleled ability of the 7X to operate from difficult short airstrips in the most challenging conditions.”

Once all test results have been verified, the Falcon 7X will be certificated to a maximum of 15,000 ft, and will be the first time that approvals have been jointly award by both the European EASA and the Chinese CAAC.

“These performance benchmarks highlight the incomparable operating flexibility of the Falcon 7X,” said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO. “Together with its great range, speed and operating economy, this helps explain the immense popularity of the 7X in the burgeoning Chinese market.”

There are currently 17 Falcon 7Xs registered in China, and Corporate Jet Investor is aware of at least one further aircraft due to be delivered before the end of 2014.