Dassault Aviation chief executive Eric Trappier is confident that the airframer’s revised development timeline for its ultra-long-range Falcon 10X will hold, despite continued issues in the supply chain.

Earlier this year, the French airframer disclosed that it had pushed back first delivery of the 7,500nm (13,900km)-range jet to 2027 from its previous target of late-2025.

Dassault Falcon 10X

Source: Dassault Aviation

Dassault’s Falcon 10X is now due to enter service in 2027

But Trappier, speaking at a pre-EBACE briefing this morning, said that following an internal reassessment and conversations with suppliers “we are confident that [the rescheduling] will work”.

“The schedule of the programme is totally in line with the fact that every supplier committed itself to the programme,” he says.

Trappier says the Falcon 10X’s development was slowed as its launch in 2021 coincided with continued Covid-related restrictions, including remote working, which proved “less effective than it should have been”.

Problems with the supply chain affected progress with the preceding Falcon 6X, causing Dassault to wait before that jet had gained certification – a milestone achieved in August last year – “in order reschedule the 10X development”.

Nonetheless, the airframer is making progress. Major structures, including its fuselage, empennage and composite wing, are now in construction, in support of a first flight likely to take place in 2025.

Some 4,500h of Falcon 10X system testing has now been accumulated, says Carlos Brana, executive vice-president of civil aircraft, highlighting recent assessments of the aircraft’s brakes and hydraulics.

Rolls-Royce has also begun flight trials of the twinjet’s Pearl 10X engine aboard its Boeing 747-200 flying testbed.

“This means that right now we start knowing exactly what the 10X is all about,” says Brana.

In addition, Dassault’s chief test pilot Philippe Duchateau has begun ‘flying’ the 10X on a full-flight simulator and flight-control system test bench. “It flies like a Falcon,” he says, praising the effectiveness of the jet’s digital flight-control system in compensating for the extra weight and length of the aircraft.

But problems with the supply chain persist. “It has not yet been stabilised”, says Trappier, adding: “We don’t expect the issues to be fully resolved this year.”

There is better news on the Falcon 6X, however. “We have never seen an entry into service as smooth as this one,” says Trappier.

Dassault has brought its first production aircraft (MSN004) – a company-owned demonstrator – to EBACE, where it is on the static display.

“I encourage you to look at it because it is rarely on the ground. Since December, it has been in the air nearly every day, flying all over the world,” says Trappier.

Having entered service on 30 November, the ultra-wide-cabin jet has been on an extensive world tour, where it has racked up over 500h across more than 300 flights.

That included a 5,645nm trip between Paris Le Bourget in France and Sao Paulo in Brazil against a “stronger than average” 38kt (70km/h) headwind. Dassault advertises the Falcon 6X’s maximum range as 5,500nm.

A first customer jet was also handed over to Zurich-based Cat Aviation in February.