Dassault is nearing assembly of the first Falcon 5X (serial number 1), following the joining late last month of the main centre fuselage sub-assemblies of the large-cabin, long-range business jet.
The centre fuselage rear lower and upper sub-assemblies are part of the main centre section, which includes the cabin and baggage hold.
The structures arrived in March at Dassault’s Biarritz plant in southwest France, where they were joined to the wing centre section. The main centre section will be joined imminently to the forward section – comprising the cockpit, entryway and galley – and the rear section, which carries the empennage and powerplant, to form the complete fuselage.
The fully assembled and pressure-tested fuselage is scheduled for delivery to Dassault’s final assembly plant in Mérignac, near Bordeaux, in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, automated wing assembly is well advanced at the Martignas plant, near Mérignac, and work on equipping the first wing has begun.
The wings are due to arrive at Mérignac at the same time as the fuselage and the 5X's Snecma Silvercrest engines. Serial number one – the first of three 5X's that will be used in the flight test campaign – is scheduled to take to the skies for the first time next year, opening the aircraft's flight envelope.
The 5X – launched late last year – is the French airframer's widest Falcon to date. The twinjet is on target for certification in 2016 and first deliveries in 2017 and, says Dassault.