Falcon 8X makes maiden flight


Dassault’s new Falcon 8X has taken to the skies for the first time in a flight that lasted for 1 hour 45 minutes. Announced by Dassault at 2014’s EBACE, the Falcon 8X is a one metre stretch of the Falcon 7X.

To stretch the fuselage, Dassault had to strengthen the wing-box and wings, with the process allowing additional fuel tanks in the central fuselage. The extra fuel that the 8X can carry on board gives the aircraft an additional 500nm range boost over the 7X that the aircraft was developed from.

At the controls for the first flight were test pilots Eric Gérard and Hervé Laverne, who, following departure from Bordeaux’s Mérignac Airport, levelled the aircraft off at 5,000 ft, before raising the landing gear and starting flight handling tests.

During the first flight the aircraft reached a maximum height of 40,000ft, at a top speed of Mach 0.80.

“Throughout the flight, the Falcon 8X demonstrated excellent handling qualities, the hallmark of all Dassault Aviation aircraft,” said Dassault test pilot Eric Gérard. “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 honoured to fly such a handsome and well-engineered aircraft.”


Dasasult says the second and third aircraft should join the flight test program in the coming months.

Serial number three is earmarked to leave the programme midway through the year and will fly to the company’s Little Rock completion centre where is will be outfitted internally for more testing.

“Today we reached a key milestone in the Falcon 8X programme, and are right on target for mid-2016 certification and second half 2016 deliveries,” said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “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.”

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