Dassault Aviation’s newest and widest-cabin business jet is closing in on its entry-into-service date as the French airframer delivered its first customer Falcon 6X to get a full production interior at its 1.25-million-sq-ft completion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. While Dassault has not disclosed the 6X launch customer, the green twinjet, S/N 5 and registered as F-WZOC, lifted off January 28 from France’s Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport at 9:09 a.m. Central European Time on an 11-hour, 16-minute flight and arrived in Little Rock at 1:25 p.m. local time (view FlightAware track).
“The arrival of the first Falcon 6X at Little Rock marks a very positive milestone in this program,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “Our teams have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare for 6X completion and we are benefiting from very good momentum as we move towards certification.”
Completions will be performed in a $60 million, 250,000-sq-ft hangar Dassault built in Little Rock in 2015 for the Falcon 8X trijet and the Falcon 5X twin. There, the extra-widebody jet will undergo a couple of newly designed processes to accelerate the completion and delivery process. The processes, designed by engineers, include “one-shot installation” of interiors, as well as a “virtual plateau” that can display any system or component on the 6X. It is enabled through Dassault Systemes 3D CATIA software, allowing workers to visualize and plan for completion of the aircraft, which is aimed at reducing schedule risk and budget.
A Dassault spokesman told AIN the “one-shot installation” enables cabinets to go into the airplane without being pre-fit. Eventually, bulkheads and cabinets will no longer need a trim because installation tolerances will be built into the design, he added.
The 6X was announced in 2018 and Dassault rolled out the airplane in a virtual ceremony in December 2020. In March 2021, the first test 6X, S/N 1, completed its initial flight. Since then, two other 6Xs have joined the flight-test fleet. One of the test aircraft is undergoing extreme weather and endurance testing.
According to Dassault, S/N 4 is currently being fitted with a full interior in Bordeaux-Mérignac and will demonstrate the operational maturity of its systems. It is expected to begin a world tour at the end of the first quarter.
The 6X’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engine received Transport Canada certification in December 2021, with certification by EASA and FAA to follow. 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. With eight passengers and three crew at a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.80, the 6X’s maximum range is 5,500 nm. At Mach 0.85 that drops to 5,100 nm. Mmo is Mach 0.90 and the maximum altitude is 51,000 feet.
Type certification of the 6X is anticipated by year-end. Once in customer production, the 6X will boast the largest cross-section dimensions of any purpose-built business jet with a width of 102 inches and a cabin height of 78 inches (1.98 meters).