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Falcon 5X Rolls Out

The 5,200-nm-range Falcon 5X will offer the largest and tallest cabin cross-section of any business jet and is expected to make its first flight later this summer

Issue: 06-2015By R. ChandrakanthPhoto(s): By Dassault Aviation

Dassault Aviation on June 2 lifted the veil on the highly anticipated Falcon 5X, which establishes a new benchmark in the large cabin, long range business aviation market. Presented at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Mérignac final assembly facility, the 5X will offer the largest cabin cross-section of any purpose built business jet. And its 9,630-km-range will permit it to connect majority of the world’s most heavily travelled city pairs namely New York-Moscow, Johannesburg-Geneva, London-Miami and Shanghai-Sydney.The first flight is expected before the end of this summer and certification by the end of 2016.

The new twinjet will be more fuel efficient than any other business jet in its category and will feature an approach speed of 105 knots, down in the turboprop range, offering more airport options for business jet operators. Announced at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas in October 2013, the Falcon 5X will be equipped with a new ultraefficient wing, an advanced digital flight control system derived from the Rafale fighter jet and a brand new Snecma Silvercrest engine offering 15 per cent better fuel efficiency than any other power plant in its thrust class.

“The Falcon 5X was designed to answer operator demand for an aircraft in the 5,000-nm-range that could provide more space and comfort than existing large body jets while combining handling qualities, low speed performance and operating economics which are the hallmark of Falcons,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “Customers have already responded to the new aircraft with enthusiasm and we expect it to become every bit as popular as the 7X, the fastest selling Falcon we’ve ever built.”

“Technology is what sets the Falcon 5X apart from other executive jets. Part of this aircraft’s genius is that it successfully achieves two seemingly opposing objectives. It sets a new standard in economy and fuel efficiency while offering the tallest, the quietest and the most comfortable cabin in the industry. We wanted this wide cabin to be every bit as innovative as its airframe and systems and that’s just what our designers did. Our design studio endowed the cabin with a sleek, harmonious look, where every detail has been designed to ensure optimum passenger comfort, environment control and connectivity. Enlarged windows and the galley skylight further enhance the feeling of comfort and space in the aircraft,” Trappier said.

The 5X pilots will love the new cockpit, with considerably increased window area, more ergonomic seats and the third generation EASy flight deck that significantly enhances flying safety, always a primary concern at Dassault. Every system has been designed to reduce pilot workload and improve safety, like the new Head Up Display, big and wide with exceptional fidelity, brilliantly combining infrared and synthetic vision.

Advanced Ground Testing Underway

Final assembly and testing of the Falcon 5X is taking place at the Mérignac facility near Bordeaux (France), which has seen the delivery of more than 8,000 Dassault civil and military aircraft, including 2,300 Falcons, since it opened in 1949.The first 5X was powered up and started system ground tests last autumn. It was joined by aircraft Number 2 earlier this year. Testing on the global simulation bench, which replicates the 5X’s main systems, is well advanced and the static and fatigue test campaign on a dedicated airframe has begun. Testing of the Falcon 5X’s Silvercrest engine is also progressing, both on the ground and on Snecma’s flying test bed.

Largest Cabin Cross Section

When designing the Falcon 5X, Dassault interacted extensively with customers to determine their cabin needs. The industry has been moving towards wider cabins and for the 5X operators wanted the best mix of functionality, spaciousness and comfort. The Falcon 5X is designed to offer a totally new cabin experience. The cabin will be 1.98-metre-high – the tallest in the industry and 2.58-metre-wide. The extra width will offer more space for individual seating, affording passengers greater privacy when desired, especially in the aft cabin during overnight flights. It will also offer a wider aisle, allowing for easier movement between cabin lounges.

The Falcon 5X cabin will be nearly 11.80 metres long excluding the cockpit and baggage compartment and will comfortably accommodate up to 16 passengers. It will feature three distinct lounges that Falcon owners will be able to customise to their own needs and taste.

Contemporary and Harmonious Interior

The Dassault Interior Design Studio was involved from the earliest stages of the development programme. A high design priority was to create flowing, uninterrupted lines to enhance the feeling of space and de-clutter the cabin. The new lean and light cabin seat design is emblematic of this approach. Dassault’s designers paid close attention to other details such as creating hidden compartments for electronic devices and electrical chargers and designing LED signage that is invisible when not illuminated. More natural light will flood the cabin thanks to 28 windows that are significantly larger than on previous Falcons. The galley will even feature a ‘sky light’, another industry first providing additional brightness in a part of the cabin that is usually devoid of natural light.

The cabin will be equipped with FalconCabinHD+, the most innovative cabin management system available. The system, developed in cooperation with Rockwell Collins, utilises the latest fibre optic network to distribute crisp, high-definition audio and video content throughout the cabin and gives passengers total control of cabin functions in one easy-to-use solution. Cabin sound levels will be as low as in the Falcon 7X, among the quietest in business aviation and offer a very comfortable cabin pressurisation level of 3,900 ft while cruising at 41,000 ft.

New Engines, New Wing

Developed with the exacting requirements of the Falcon 5X in mind, the all-new Silvercrest will bring to business aviation its innovative technologies derived from Snecma’s long experience in military aviation and its role as General Electric’s partner in the best-selling CFM56 commercial engine. It was the logical choice to power the Falcon 5X. Delivering 50.95 kN of thrust each and featuring the best bypass ratio in its class. The Silvercrest power plant will permit a significant reduction in fuel consumption, maintenance cost, NOx emissions and noise level. The powerful engines and the new wing will enable the aircraft to handle approaches up to six degrees, allowing it to serve challenging airports such as London City Airport or Lugano, Switzerland. And it will come with a sophisticated in-flight health monitoring system, known as ForeVisionTM, designed to automatically transmit onboard data to Snecma support teams to detect anomalies inflight. This technology, previously available only on commercial airliners, will be the first ever installed on a business jet.

Digital Flight Controls

The Falcon 5X will also be the first aircraft in business aviation to use flaperons, active high-speed deflection control surfaces that can act both as flaps or ailerons. Their design and philosophy stem directly from Dassault’s experience with front line fighters. Integrated with the Digital Flight Control System, the flaperons on the 5X will operate exclusively in active mode, considerably enhancing roll authority. However, their benefits will be most apparent on approach, especially during approaches with a steep descent profile.

Next-Generat ion Cockpit

The Falcon 5X will be equipped with the third-generation of Dassault’s award winning EASy interactive cockpit, including a new flight management system and two Electronic Flight Bags integrated into the front instrument panel. Among the enhancements will be a larger, new-generation Elbit Systems HUD that provides a wider field of view and shows combined EVS and SVS data. The cockpit will also be capable of accommodating dual HUDs.

In addition, the Falcon 5X will be able to see farther than previous Falcons thanks to the new Honeywell RDR 4000 radar. The new radar system will allow hazardous weather to be seen from the cockpit at distances of up to 510 km and provide pilots with a more accurate depiction of hazardous areas, including better vertical definition of thunderstorms.


The Falcon 5X will feature an onboard real-time self-diagnosis system dubbed FalconScan that will set a new standard for the business aviation industry. Where previous Falcons used onboard diagnostics to monitor hundreds of parameters, the 5X system will make use of onboard computers and patented algorithms to monitor more than 10,000 different system readings. With Dassault’s FalconBroadcast service, the 5X will provide real-time notification of in-flight events and maintenance status via satellite, making it possible to begin troubleshooting while the aircraft is still in the air.