Dassault rolled-out the first Falcon 8X on 17 December during a dedicated customer event at its 60-year old manufacturing facility at Bordeaux-Merignac.
The ultra-long-range business jet was unveiled at the European Business Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition in May and the French airframer is now readying the tri-jet for its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2015.
This aircraft will be dedicated to flight envelope expansion, while a second 8X – now assembled and scheduled to fly in the second quarter – will focus on performance. A third fully conforming aircraft will help with cabin systems and preparation for entry into service.
The 19-seat 8X is a stretched and longer-legged version of the 7X, which was launched in 2007 and is poised to hit its 250th delivery milestone.
The fly-by-wire 8X sits at the helm of Dassault’s 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 – allowing its to connect Paris with Beijing and Sao Paolo with Los Angeles and Moscow.
The 8X has more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307D engines and a redesigned ultra-efficient wing derived from its stablemate.
It also boasts a 13m cabin featuring up to 30 interior configurations.
Speaking at the roll-out ceremony, Dassault president Eric Trappier said: “The 8X will be Dassault’s biggest Falcon ever, but will remain amazingly light and agile. Totally at home operating at small demanding airports such as Aspen, St Morritz and Cannes.”
He added: “With the 8X Dassault’s future looks big and bright.”
Certification of the $57million aircraft is scheduled for the middle of 2016, leading to first deliveries in the second half of the year.