The Evolution Of The Dassault Jet Line

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Dassault Falcon's New 7X Takes First Virtual Flight ...

Dassault is in the middle of an interesting period. It's seeing the birth and development of new aircraft programs that shed some light on a bleak aviation industry.

Last month in St. Cloud, France, Dassault Aviation performed the first simulated flight of the Falcon 7X, establishing a preliminary standard for its fly-by-wire controls.

"This virtual 'first flight' was very exciting," said Bill Kerhervé, Dassault Aviation's chief test pilot. He and test pilot Philippe Deleume worked together to evaluate the flight controls. "I was particularly impressed by the superb handling qualities through the whole flight envelope," he added in a company press release.

The Falcon 7X will be the first business jet in the world with fly-by-wire flight controls. While a new feature for its bizjet line, Dassault has used this technology on its fighter jets for decades. The Falcon Simulation Bench (BSF), on which Kerhervé and Deleume flew, comprises a 7X flight deck functional mock-up coupled to a real-time simulation bench, with an artificial environment projected onto a screen in front of the cabin. It provides the ability to perform full simulated flights -- from takeoff to landing -- testing all the airbrakes, flaps, slats and gear configurations for different weights, speeds and CGs. By 2004, the BSF will be linked to a Global Test Bench, which will be fully representative of the entire flight-control system of the aircraft, including hydraulics and electrical power generation.

... While The Falcon 2000EX EASy Also Spreads Its Wings

On January 29th, at Dassault Aviation's facility in Mérignac, France, 2000EX EASy s/n 6 took to the skies for the first time. Test pilots Dominique Chenevier and Etienne Faurdessus were at the controls.

The successful flight lasted two hours and twenty minutes, and according to company officials, provided a healthy quantity of positive data. The autopilot was engaged and reportedly worked without any problems. "As anticipated, we did not encounter any anomalies or problems during the flight," said Christine Courault, EASy Program Manager. "The aircraft is on the right track for certification and delivery," he added in a company statement.

The reminder of the Falcon 2000EX EASy flight test program will conducted at Dassault Aviation's flight test facility in Istres.

Dassault's EASy flight deck has been in development since the mid-1990s, when Dassault felt the need for a fully integrated cockpit management system. Dassault claims the EASy is a "powerful and uncluttered flight deck, ready to process and communicate today's safety innovations as well as those that will surely appear in the future." EASy is built on Honeywell's Primus Epic system.