Dassault consolidating MRO network, says 6X tests proceeding smoothly

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(PHOTO: Dassault Aviation)

With new major development in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai and new line service bases in several additional European cities, Dassault Aviation is consolidating its recently acquired MRO capabilities to reorganise its worldwide support network. The company can now offer major inspections at a range of new locations, dispatch GoTeams to more remote places, and share expertise across its global network.

Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier said, “In 2019, we acquired TAG Maintenance Services (TMS), ExecuJet MRO Services and RUAG’s MRO operations in Switzerland to build up our factory service capacity, and are now investing heavily in these premier service networks to foster sustained organic growth. Two examples of this strategy are our new ExecuJet MRO facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, which replace smaller preexisting operations and are poised to become regional service hubs for our growing fleets in Asia and the Middle East. These strategic moves will elevate the quality and consistency of Falcon service around the globe.”

ExecuJet MRO locations in the Middle East, Asia and Australia have brought Falcon factory service to parts of the globe where Dassault previously had a relatively small footprint. And thanks to the addition of experienced Dassault MRO expertise, ExecuJet MRO is now able to offer major inspections at these facilities as well. In recent months, ExecuJet MRO Services has completed six-year C checks for Falcon 2000 and Falcon 900 aircraft in Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Perth and Sydney, allowing operators in these areas to turn to maintenance resources nearby, instead of having to fly to Europe or North America for heavy maintenance and modifications. The new maintenance facility in Kuala Lumpur measures 130,000 square feet and was designed to accommodate Dassault’s latest models–the long-range Falcon 6X and the ultra-long-range Falcon 10X with its 109-foot length and 28-foot height. ExecuJet MRO expects to transition operations there in the second half of 2023. The 163,000 square-foot Dubai facility opens in 2022.

Falcon 6X testing proceeding

(PHOTO: Dassault Aviation)

Dassault Aviation’s new extra widebody Falcon 6X continues to march through key certification milestones. The first flight of the Falcon 6X was on 10 March. Three test aircraft are now flying. Pratt & Whitney Canada is in the final stages of the certification process for the 6X’s PW812D engine, with all required certification testing complete. Final reviews are currently underway with Transport Canada, and certification is expected to follow shortly. Each test aircraft is currently flying two to three times a week, several hours per flight. Test points beyond Mmo and Vmo have been completed and every aspect of flight testing, from system development, aircraft performance and envelope expansion, is proceeding.

Pilots continue to express delight with the ease of handling of the aircraft. “The flying qualities of the 6X are truly extraordinary, even by our exacting Dassault standards. We are extremely satisfied with the way the aircraft is performing during the test campaign,” said Philippe Duchateau, Dassault Aviation’s chief test pilot.

Aircraft No. 3 is equipped with a full cabin and is being used for acoustic and thermal testing, as well as evaluating cabin pressurisation and airflow for maximum passenger comfort. Engineers are confident of achieving noise levels as low as on its Falcon 8X sister ship—currently the quietest aircraft in business aviation. The first production aircraft, aircraft no. 4, is also being fitted with a full interior and will serve to demonstrate operational maturity of aircraft systems. Unit no. 4 will embark on a world tour in mid-2022. Initial green aircraft delivery to Dassault’s Little Rock, Arkansas completion facility is scheduled for early next year.

Dassault’s product support organisation is in the advanced stages of preparing for the aircraft’s entry into service. Spares are on order for delivery to strategic locations around the world to ensure maximum support for flight departments from Day one. The 6X is scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2022.

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