...As Falcon 7X Racks Up 100th Test Flight

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Meanwhile, flight testing of Dasault's latest tri-jet, the Falcon 7X, continues with the company announcing the type's 100th flight, which took place Nov. 15. The mini-milestone involved the serial-number-two aircraft, and lasted 01:35. Since that flight, all three test aircraft have flown again with the 103rd flight being the return of s/n 03 from the U.S. where it attended the annual NBAA convention. The Falcon 7X flight test program is expected to reach 1,200 flight hours before achieving certification, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2006. Since its first flight on May 5, 2005, the Falcon 7X has accumulated over 330 flight hours. "We flew the aircraft all the way down to 85 knots," said Dassault test pilot Dominique Chenevier, "and were very impressed by the ease with which the aircraft responded to control inputs." During the NBAA convention, Dassault announced that ongoing design enhancements currently being tested could increase the range of the airplane close to 6,000 nm (the original projection was for 5,700 nm).