Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 5X is back on track following a two-year delay to the programme announced earlier this year, with company executives confident that the wide-cabin jet will be ready for service entry in 2020.
The French airframer pushed back the development timeline of the twinjet in January this year following problems with the Safran Silvercrest engines.
However, Eric Trappier, Dassault chief executive, speaking at the show, said the 5X was now “moving ahead in accordance with the revised schedule”.
Olivier Andriès, chief executive of Safran Aircraft Engines, underscores Trappier’s confidence, noting that “the issues we have faced are now behind us”.
Andries declines to specify the precise nature of the problems, but says the performance of the 9,500-12,000lb-thrust (42-53kN) turbofan degraded due to issues with the airflow through the engine.
Upgrades are being progressively added to test engines being flown on its flying test-bed – a modified Gulfstream GII – operated from San Antonio in Texas. However, the full suite of changes is yet to be incorporated.
Certification is on track for “spring 2018”, says Andriès, “which is totally compatible with Dassault’s schedule”. So far it has accumulated more than 6,000h of ground and flight tests of the powerplant, 600h of which were on the flying test-bed.