Falcon 8X enters final stage of certification

Dassault Aviation’s new flagship ultra long range business jet, the Falcon 8X is entering the final stages of its flight test and certification program as work proceeds to prepare for maiden customer delivery later this summer.
© Dassault Aviation - V. Almansa
 The flight test program involving three prototypes have nearly completed all certification test requirements, and to date have accumulated over 650 flight hours in 325 flights.

After undergoing thermal, acoustic and cabin amenity testing at the Little Rock Completion Center, s/n 03, the first 8X equipped with a fully fitted interior, returned to the Istres Flight Test Center near Marseille earlier this month to prepare for cold soak trials.

Intended to demonstrate aircraft system functionality under extreme weather conditions, the soak trial campaign was conducted at Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, on the northwestern shore of Canada’s Hudson Bay, from March 9-11.

All systems, including avionics, electrical, hydraulic and digital flight control systems, performed flawlessly during the tests despite temperatures that dipped as low as -27° F (-33° C). All cabin systems were successfully tested on ground after APU startup and cabin warm up. Full capability under extreme cold conditions was also demonstrated in flight at the end of the campaign.

The third prototype, which is fitted out with a complete commercial interior, is scheduled to carry out a one-month round the world tour to demonstrate its operational performance and reliability in a variety of conditions.

During the tour, the 8X will make landings on airfields which are hard to access owing to their high altitude (Aspen, La Paz) or runway length (Telluride/Colorado), conduct hot/cold weather tests, a series of about ten short flights on the same day, one after the other, and so on.

© Dassault Aviation - V. Almansa
A total of about 65 flights is scheduled, representing 140 flying hours and a distance of 55,000 Nm.

The 8X is powered by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D turbofan engines, rated at 29.9 kN each. The triple engined configuration shorten transoceanic routes, allow takeoffs from shorter runways, impart redundancy and also contribute to the 8X’s slow and stable approach speed — a mere 106 knots (197 kph).

With 6,450 nm (11,945 km) range and outstanding short-field performance, the 8X links important city pairs nonstop and accesses 500 more airports in the U.S. alone than its competitors.

The 8X has a 13 m long cabin offering a head room of 1.88 m and a comfortable cabin pressurization of 3,900 ft while cruising at 40,000 feet.