Dassault Falcon 5X
Long-Range Passenger / Business Jet Aircraft
Engine issues delayed, and ultimately ended, the Dassault Falcon 5X business jet program in October of 2017.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The Falcon 5X is being designed by French-based Dassault for the long-range business jet market. Capable of carrying a passenger load of up to sixteen (depending on seat configuration), the aircraft is slated to challenge competing designs on long-haul routes with an estimated range out to 5,200 nautical miles (about 6,000 miles). A first-flight was recorded on July 5th, 2017 and the aircraft is set for series introduction sometime in 2020. However, issues related to the in-development engine have pushed back program milestones.
The Falcon 5X is billed by Dassault as its "biggest, most advanced Falcon jet" to date.
The Falcon 5X was born in a mid-2000 initiative to counter market players like Bombardier of Canada, Embraer of Brazil and Gulfstream of the United States. The original engine fit decided upon was 2 x Rolls-Royce RB282 series units however the changing global marketplace forced a project revision in 2009 which resulted in an all-new engine set being selected - the SNECMA "Silvercrest" turbofan of local design and development. This engine is rated at 11,450lb of thrust output and was first ran in September 2012, though it remains a work in progress as of this writing (2017).
The Falcon 5X has been designed with an overall length of 82.7 feet, a wingspan of 85 feet and a height of 24.6 feet. MTOW is listed at 70,000lb. Performance specifications include a maximum speed of 595 miles per hour with a range out to 6,000 miles and a service ceiling reaching 51,000 feet.
Outwardly the aircraft exhibits sleek, clean lines. The cockpit (with two-crew, side-by-side seating) is set at its usual place overlooking a short nosecone offering good out-of-the-cockpit vision. The fuselage is tubular and lined with rounded windows along the passenger section. A rectangular door fitted aft of the cockpit and ahead of the passenger section allows for entry/exit. The wing mainplanes (of all new design) are low-mounted and swept rearwards, the tips featuring an elegant, upward-curved "winglet" for maximizing fuel efficiency. Indeed "high, fast and efficient" is the name of the game for Dassault engineers and their Falcon 5X. "Flaperons" added to the wing elements are taken from Dassault experience in the military marketplace and enhance short-field performance as well as handling during approach. The tail unit includes a single vertical fin with mid-mounted horizontal planes and this section also seats the engine nacelles at outboard wingstubs. A conventional, retractable wheeled undercarriage is used for ground-running - optimized for full-weight (fuel and cargo) landings.
The Falcon 5X will have the range to shuttle flyers non-stop from London to New York, Sydney to Shanghai and similar routes in-between. Short-field performance (assuming eight passengers) is an integrated quality of the design as is speed. The pilots are granted all-modern features such as a Head-Up Display (HUD), nose-mounted InfraRed camera and the "Enhanced and Synthetic Vision System". An all-new, in-house Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) is featured in the Falcon 5X which assist in controlling the aircraft and adjusting (in real-time) to external environmental forces. The cockpit instrument panel is dominated by four large color displays as well as pertinent mission display panels for both pilots. Seats offer ergonomics to aid in long-range travel. A skylight ("Zenith Window") is built-in over the passenger section as is WiFi capability and expected luxuries for an aircraft of this class (tall cabin ceiling, widebody seats, app-based in-flight entertainment options).
The aircraft is set to carry a complete operating crew of three.
October 2017 - The Falcon 5X program has been cancelled by Dassault citing mounting issues with the intended Silvercrest engines.