The Falcon 5X, an all-new widebody business jet by Dassault Aviation, has flown for the first time, the company has announced. The flight lasted for two hours. The Safran Silvercrest engines installed on the test plane are a “preliminary version,” Dassault said. According to the company, “design issues” have delayed the engine’s development four years beyond the initial timetable. The flight tests will continue for a few weeks, Dassault said, to “help streamline the development process.” The actual flight validation and certification tests will be performed next year, after “Safran delivers certifiable engines meeting Dassault’s specifications,” the company said. Deliveries of the 5X are expected to start in 2020.
“We’re committed to limiting the consequences of the four-year engine development delay as much as possible, and the short preliminary flight-test campaign is part of this effort,” said Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation. “We will closely monitor the validation tests on the modified Silvercrest, which are scheduled by Safran in the few coming months, as their results will be critical” for keeping the certification on schedule. Safran says the new engine, when it’s ready, “will fly higher, faster, and farther than what’s now available [and] bring business aviation into a new era.” The 5X design also has a new “ultra-efficient” wing, Dassault said.
Besides the 5X, the engine has been chosen by Cessna for the Citation Hemisphere business jet. “The Silvercrest’s fuel consumption is up to 15 percent lower than other engines in its category,” according to Cessna, “and it allows business jets to reduce their nitrous-oxide emissions by up to 40 percent and cut their noise footprint by half.” First flight of the Citation Hemisphere is expected in 2019. Click here to view AVweb’s video tour of the 5x.