Dassault Quickly Replaces Falcon 5X with Larger, Longer-Range Falcon 6X

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Dassault Falcon 6X. Source: Dassault Aviation

Dassault moved quickly to replace its canceled Falcon 5X business jet with the new Falcon 6X, a larger and longer-range aircraft targeted at roughly the same portion of the market that the 5X had been.  In December 2017, Dassault canceled development of the 5X, and began the process of terminating its contract with Safran for the supply of Silvercrest engines to power the aircraft.  At the same time, still seeing a market need for a new aircraft in this niche, Dassault announced a new, then-unnamed Falcon business jet.  In February 2018, this new aircraft received the name Falcon 6X.

Targeted for first flight in early 2021 and service entry in 2022, the Falcon 6X is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engines and has a range at Mach 0.80 with eight passengers of 5,500 nautical miles.  While the 6X retains many of the features of the Falcon 5X design, the new jet features a number of changes that go beyond the engine switch.

The fuselage of the Falcon 6X incorporates a stretch of 20 inches forward of the wing, necessitated by the greater weight of the new engines, resulting in a longer cabin and more cabin volume than the Falcon 5X.  The 6X and 5X designs share the same cabin cross-section, claimed by Dassault to be the largest of any purpose-built business jet.  The new engines also required stronger engine mounts and a reinforced internal wing structure.  New fuel tanks provide increased fuel capacity, and Dassault has switched to a nitrogen-generating fuel system for the 6X.

The most direct sales competitor to the Falcon 6X in the long-range business jet segment is the Gulfstream G500.  Scheduled to enter service in 2018, the G500 has a head start on the 6X.  Dassault appears to be taking the long view, though, with company chairman Eric Trappier recently pointing out that Falcon business jets are designed for a production run of 30 years.

Dassault is in the midst of negotiating agreements with potential suppliers as it builds the supply chain for the Falcon 6X.  Starting around 2023, the company intends to produce about two 6Xs per month, depending on market demand.  While a number of the customers that had signed for the Falcon 5X later switched their orders to the Falcon 7X or Falcon 8X, Dassault is in discussions with remaining 5X customers about converting to the 6X.

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