Falcon 5X delayed once again at Dassault Aviation
The Falcon 5X model, currently in development at Dassault Aviation, saw the date of its first commercial flight once again being postponed due to issues with its engine according to a statement released by the company.
Dassault had initially introduced the Falcon 5X in November 2013 in Las Vegas, which was developed under the acronym SMS, a nickname that was supposedly meant to steer competition towards thinking that the plane would become a Super Mid-Size, where in reality it is an airplane capable of long-haul flights.
Indeed, the project plays a crucial role in Dassault Aviation's strategy, which saw the company with a market cap of €11,2 billion, invest over €1 billion into the development of the airplane, its largest ever investment into a business jet line.
Straying away from the competition to build the airplane with the largest range, the Falcon 5X would have an autonomy of 9,600 km, paling in comparaison to the 15,000 km for Global's Bombardier. The manufacturer however hopes to create a new category for a long-haul airplane with the comfort of an ultra-long haul airplane.
The Falcon 5X would feature a cabin height of 1.98 meters and a beam of 2,18m making it wider than the G650, a much larger airplane. Amongst other details that Dassault worked on in this model are the portholes, which are 10% larger than on its Falcon 7X. Its most significant innovation, may however be the "zenith porthole" built into the Falcon 5X's roof, allowing natural light to come into the cabin.
Dassault's latest delay in delivery is another hit to a programme that has already been severely impacted by its late schedule. Officially presented in 2013, the first Falcon 5X was supposed to be delivered in 2016 but engine issues delayed the delivery by 4 years already to 2020. Although a first test flight earlier in 2017 showed encouraging results, the delivery of the Falcon 5X was still pushed further than 2020.
"Safran (engine manufacturer - BEAM) informed us that the ongoing tests have revealed some performance issues with the high pressure compressor. We haven't yet analyzed all the consequences, but we already know that the 5X entry into service, which had been rescheduled in 2020 in accordance with the latest engine development plan, will have to be postponed again."
Eric Trappier, CEO, Dassault Aviation
Upon the release of this information, Dassault Aviation stock was down 3,5% in early session trading on Tuesday. Despite this pitfall, the company's stock is still up 30% over the course of a year.