The 5,200 nm Falcon 5X was unveiled at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada last October and performed its first virtual flight on the simulator last November. It will complete assembly and begin ground tests this summer.
The aircraft will feature the largest cabin cross section and the most advanced flight controls in the industry. First flight is expected in the first half of 2015 and entry into service mid 2017.
Joined Together in Biarritz
The center fuselage subassemblies – the front and rear lower subassemblies and the upper subassembly – are part of the main center section, which includes the cabin and baggage hold. They arrived in March at Dassault’s Biarritz plant in southwestern France and were joined there to the wing center section in mid-April.
Next month, the main center section will be joined to the forward section, comprising the cockpit, entryway and galley, and the rear section, which carries the empennage and power plant, forming the complete fuselage. Once fully assembled and pressure tested, the fuselage will be ready for shipment to the Mérignac plant, near Bordeaux, for aircraft final assembly. Fuselage delivery is expected in the summer.
Meanwhile, automated wing assembly is well advanced at the Martignas plant, near Mérignac, and work on equipping the first wing has begun. The wings are due to arrive at Mérignac at the same time as the fuselage.
System Delivery Underway
First aircraft equipment and systems have been delivered, including the Héroux-Devtek landing gear. The Snecma (Safran) Silvercrest® engines will soon start podding operations and are due to arrive later this summer.
Landing gear tests have been completed and tests on other systems have begun, including avionics, fuel and air conditioning systems.
“We are extremely pleased with the way work is progressing,” said Olivier Villa, Senior Vice President, Dassault Aviation, Civil Aircraft. “The center fuselage subassemblies fit perfectly and we expect to have the aircraft fully assembled and ready for testing by the summer, right on schedule.”
“Thanks to our experience with the ultra long range Falcon 7X, the 5X benefits from fully mature production processes” said Villa, “and we are in a position to capitalize on and leverage that experience for the 5X.”
The 5X uses the latest iteration of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, Version 6, which permits the aircraft to be designed, built and supported using a single database that is shared by Dassault and all suppliers and subcontractors involved in the project.