FlightAware Discussions

Unusual Aircraft - Upper Midwest USA

In the 4 months I’ve had my receiver, I’ve seen very little (if any) activity that I consider notable. However, this afternoon I noticed this aircraft tracked via MLAT. tar1090 indicates it’s from France and is cruising at the unusually high altitude of FL470. Although the transponder squawk code is listed, there is no flight plan or registration information. All of these things are highly unusual relative to what I normally see here over West Michigan.

Does anyone have an idea of what this aircraft may be and why so little info is available?

It’s a Dassault Falcon 7X. Service ceiling is FL510. Took off from Bordeaux, France about 8 hours ago, now over central Illinois

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I wonder why such a modern sophisticated aircraft would not be sending a reliable GPS position and therefore fall back to MLAT.

I was tracking him on ADBSx until just north of Springfield, IL, then lost him entirely. No longer see him on ADSBx or FlightAware.

The F-WWHS seems to be an old registration, at the time it was built.

The newest is N256JC and belongs to Jetcraft Corp , a company that buys and sells aircraft, based in Raleigh, NC 27623.

Maybe they did not want to be seen…

Business jets often cruise at 45K ft or above, so there is nothing unusual about that.
F-WWxx is a temporary manufacturer registration for either for type certfication test flights or pre-delivery test flights or ferrying between manufacturing sites. French manufacturers (Airbus, Dassault, ATR, Socata, etc…) have a limited number of these registrations that they swap around between different aircraft.
This aircraft belongs to Dassault Aviation and is either undergoing flight tests (which is unlikely so far from home) or being delivered to customer who hasn’t registered it yet, or maybe ferrying to a service facility for interior furnishing or a paint job before final delivery.

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Also, while having an avionics issue on an aircraft which is either factory new or just returning from a major overhaul/ refurbishment isn’t seen that often after it’s been released for delivery, it certainly does happen. That’s especially true for refurbished aircraft recently returning to the fleet if any or all the avionics were upgraded or removed and replaced.

Still, good eye, yo! I too love finding these obscure oddities debonair l seemingly trying to blend in with the noise. I don’t think this was something like that, but who knows.