Delays in developing the Snecma Silvercrest engine set to power Dassault’s Falcon 5X business jet cost Safran a one-off €654 million ($720 million) charge last year, resulting in a 12% drop in operating profit for the French company, to €1.7 billion.
During its 2015 annual earnings call on 25 February, Safran confirmed Silvercrest certification is now 18 months behind schedule and the 5X – the launch platform for the powerplant – is set to make its first flight in 2017.
European and US certification for the clean-sheet, widebody twinjet are earmarked for 2019, leading to service entry in 2020.
Snecma has carried out more than 500h of flight tests on a Gulfstream GII testbed and a further 3,500h of ground testing. These have revealed “the need to carry out additional developments in order to extend the engine’s operational life and optimise its performance”, says the company. Enhancements include designing and producing new parts, it adds, with engine certification now anticipated in the first half of 2018