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Dassault Aviation cancels Falcon 5X new bizjet because of engine

Anastasia Dagaeva
December 14, 2017

Dassault Aviation said it was scrapping development of its Falcon 5X business jet due to delays and technical problems with its French-supplied engines and pledged to launch a new model powered by a rival supplier Pratt & Whitney Canada. 

The decision comes after repeated difficulties for the Silvercrest engine developed by France’s Safran and forces some tweaking of plans by Dassault to refresh its fleet in the face of rising business-jet competition. The French plane-maker noted that Safran had recently disclosed an additional delay and new performance shortfall in the Silvercrest development, making the 2020 entry into service of the aircraft impossible, reported Reuters.

The first Silvercrest engines were originally planned to be delivered to Dassault for 5X testing by the end of 2013, but technical issues delayed that timeline. In 2015 and 2016, more serious technical issues led Safran to announce a new schedule that would lead to engines being delivered for Falcon 5X flight testing by the end of 2017. This past fall, Safran experienced problems with the high-pressure compressor and informed Dassault of an additional delay and a performance shortfall, making a revised 2020 entry into service of the aircraft impossible and leading to order cancellations as customers’ patience ran out, according to Flying magazine

In a statement, Dassault said it “initiates the termination process of the Silvercrest contract leading to the end of the Falcon 5X program and plans to start negotiations with Safran”. “I have decided to launch a new Falcon project powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines… scheduled to enter into service in 2022,” Dassault CEO Eric Trappier told Financial Times.  The as-yet-unnamed new aircraft will feature the same cabin cross-section of the 5X and a 10 186 km range.