On March 10, 2021, Dassault Aviation test pilots Bruno Ferry and Fabrice Valette took off on the first flight of Falcon 6X from France’s Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport. That flight launched the flight test phase of the widebody 6X, Dassault’s newest flyby-wire plane. The twin-engine 6X is powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW812D (D for Dassault), with each engine delivering 13,500 pounds of thrust. The PW812D features a 44-inch single-piece fan, a 4.5:1 to 5:1 bypass ratio, and the low emissions Talon X combustor.
The pilots flew the plane for two hours and 30 minutes and tested handling qualities, engine response, and key systems while climbing to 40,000 feet and reaching Mach 0.80. Ferry was quoted saying that “the 6X flew exactly as predicted by our models. From a pilot’s perspective, it flies like a Falcon, which is to say with perfect precise handling in all phases of flight. Fabrice and I are honoured to have made the latest first flight in another fantastic Falcon.”
Said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO, Dassault Aviation: “Today’s flight is another milestone in Dassault history, made all the more satisfying by the remarkable efforts of the entire Dassault organization and its partners over the challenging past year. We dedicate today’s achievement to Olivier Dassault, who died tragically on Sunday. Olivier was a Falcon pilot who perfectly embodied his family’s boundless passion for aviation.”
Following the first flight, S/N 1 flew on to Dassault’s flight test centre at Istres-Le Tubé Air Base near Marseilles to continue the flight test programme. It will be joined by S/Ns 2 and 3 (Dassault Aviation is producing three Falcon 6X test aircraft for the purposes of type certification.)
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