Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dassault cancels Falcon 5X program after engine developmental delay


Dassault Aviation has cancelled its twin engine Falcon 5X business jet program, after recurring technical issues experienced by Safran to develop the Silvercrest engine.

The ultra-wide business jet will be replaced by a new Falcon program with an entry into service in 2022. The new jet will powered by a Canadian PWC engine, rather than the 11,450 lbf (50.9 kN) thrust French engine.

The delivery of compliant Silvercrest engines was originally planned for the end of 2013 in accordance with the Falcon 5X flight test schedule.

In 2015 and 2016, major technical issues have led Safran to announce a new schedule leading to engines delivery for the Falcon 5X flight tests by the end of 2017.

Consequently, Dassault Aviation had to postpone the entry into service of the Falcon 5X from 2017 to 2020, a 3 year delay which also resulted in 12 customer cancellations in 2016.

Equipped with a preliminary version of the engine, not compliant with the specifications, the Falcon 5X performed its maiden flight, on July 5, 2017, and started a preliminary flight test campaign, limited by engines capacity.

In the fall of 2017, Safran experienced issues with the high pressure compressor and informed Dassault Aviation of an additional delay and new performance shortfall, making the 2020 entry into service of the aircraft impossible.

Considering the magnitude of the risks involved both on the technical and schedule aspects of the Silvercrest program, Dassault Aviation initiated the termination process of the Silvercrest contract leading to the end of the Falcon 5X program and plans to start negotiations with Safran.

The replacement program will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW800 engines, which have a thrust range of 10,000–20,000 lbf (44–89 kN). The aircraft will have a 5,500 nm range and is scheduled to enter service in 2022.