Rolls-Royce has kicked off the flight-test campaign for the new Pearl 10X business jet engine that will power Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 10X flagship.

Installed on the inboard starboard wing of the propulsion specialist’s Boeing 747-200 flying testbed (N787RR), the Pearl 10X first became airborne on 18 March during a commissioning flight from Waco in Texas. A second longer sortie followed two days later, according to tracking data from FlightAware.

10X frankenplane-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Pearl 10X is installed inboard on 747’s starboard wing

The Jumbo Jet – which is also fitted with a Trent 1000 powerplant in addition to a trio of RB211 engines – was subsequently ferried to Rolls-Royce’s flight-test centre in Tucson, Arizona on 29 March, the official start of the test campaign.

Rolls-Royce says the Pearl 10X engines due to be evaluated over the coming months at Tucson will go on to power the Falcon 10X’s first flight.

Philipp Zeller, senior vice-president Dassault, business aviation, at Rolls-Royce, says: “We are excited to enter into this important next phase of the engine development programme with the start of our flight-test campaign.

“All the tests completed to date confirm the reliability of the engine and show it will meet the performance requirements to power Dassault Aviation’s flagship.”

Assembly of the initial Falcon 10X is due to begin later this year, with service entry targeted for 2027.

Pearl10X close-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Pearl 10X will later power the Dassault Falcon 10X

Neither Dassault nor Rolls-Royce have disclosed the exact thrust figure for the Pearl 10X, simply saying it is rated at more than 18,000lb (80kN).

To date, the programme has accumulated over 2,300 test hours, including ground runs of the Pearl 10X and the Advance2 core demonstrator.

Ground tests have so far validated the performance of the 3D-printed combustor and the new accessory gearbox, which allows for additional power extraction from the engine.

Innovations on the Pearl 10X include the Advance2 two-spool core, including a 10-stage high-pressure compressor, a two-stage shroudless high-pressure turbine combined with a high-performance low-pressure system.

It shares a common architecture with the less powerful Pearl 700 for the Gulfstream G700, including a 132cm (52in)-diameter blisked fan.

The Pearl 10X is the first Rolls-Royce engine selected to power a Dassault business jet. 

FTB underneath-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Flight-test activities will be carried out from Tucson, Arizona