Dassault Rolls Out First Falcon 5X; Set To Fly This Summer

Dassault unveiled the first Falcon 5X prototype at its Bordeaux, France factory before an audience of about 500 customers, operators, suppliers and certification authority representatives. The 5,200-nm twinjet is being prepared for its first flight this summer.

Flight-test equipment for the 5X is said to have been improved over previous programs and will, among other benefits, help predict aircraft system reliability. Entry into service was once pegged for mid-2017, but the effects of the Silvercrest engine program delay, announced two weeks ago at the EBACE show, are still under evaluation. Snecma is now planning to have the engine certified in the summer of 2016.

The 5X’s cockpit features the first-ever combined vision system, where Elbit merges synthetic and “real world” vision for enhanced situational awareness in poor weather. Sensors can be found in infrared, visible light and “almost radar” wavelengths, according to a Dassault executive.

Cockpit windows are 30-percent larger than on previous Falcons. “This provides enhanced visibility on visual approaches and allows you to better anticipate the flightpath,” Its flight control surfaces include flaperons, which combine flaps and ailerons.

Senior vice president for civil aircraft Olivier Villa explained this enables the pilot, in a steep approach, to fly the attitude independently from the slope angle. In the cabin, the 8.5-foot (2.58 m) fuselage cross section enables layouts with a full-size bed.

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