Dassault is preparing to roll out the first Falcon 8X on 17 December at its Bordeaux-Merignac facility and says the ultra-long-range business jet remains on track for first flight in the first quarter of 2015.

This aircraft will be dedicated to flight envelope expansion, while a second 8X – now under construction and scheduled to fly in the second quarter of 2015 – will focus on performance. A third fully conforming aircraft will help with cabin systems and preparation for entry into service.

The 19-seat tri-jet was unveiled in May. It is a stretched and longer-legged version of the 7X – of which more than 250 versions have been built since its launch in 2007.

The 8X sits at the helm of the six-strong high-end Falcon business jet family, whose entry-level product is the 3,350nm (6,200km)-range super-midsize 2000S.

The flagship aircraft has a range of 6,450nm (11,950 km) – 500nm more than the 7X – more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D engines and a redesigned ultra-efficient wing derived from its stablemate.

The 8X also has a 13m cabin featuring up to 30 interior configurations.

Certification of the $57million business jet is scheduled for the middle of 2016, leading to first deliveries in the second half of the year.

Source: Flight International