AIN has learned that Dassault has reduced the size of the Falcon 7X-dedicated facility extension the company plans to build at its Bordeaux-Mérignac plant. In September, Dassault announced plans for an 18-position assembly hall. The plant was to be built in two phases for a total area of 290,000 sq ft (excluding offices).
At its Saint-Cloud headquarters near Paris, Dassault began presenting its 2001 results with military precision at 9 a.m. sharp on March 6. This was almost ironic as the manufacturer, still famous for its Mirage and Rafale fighters, confirmed its main business is now Falcon business jets, which accounted for 76 percent of last year’s revenues.
Serge Dassault has purchased three local newspapers in the area in which he is expected to campaign for a seat in the French National Assembly in next year’s legislative elections. The three weekly newspapers were bought from Semif, a subsidiary of the France Antilles group owned by press magnate Philippe Hersant.
G. Edison Allen, chief pilot and director of aviation for Dassault Falcon Jet and a well known figure in business aviation, died on April 25. The following address was given by John Rosanvallon, president of Dassault Falcon Jet, at Allen’s funeral in Eastman, Ga., on May 5:
Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne is “satisfied” with the business and military aircraft manufacturer’s financial performance for the first half of this year.
Last year’s dot-com nosedive has taken its toll on the startup companies planning to build new business aircraft and seeking ever more elusive investor funding. Notably, Century Aerospace in June indefinitely shelved its plans to build the entry-level six-place, twin-turbofan Century Jet.
Independent cabin completion and refurbishment specialist Duncan Aviation recently signed a long-term contract with Dassault Aviation to complete green Falcon 7Xs. According to a spokesman for Duncan, the first 7X arrived last Saturday at its Lincoln, Neb. facility and is due to emerge as a finished airplane in the first quarter of next year.
Since production ended nearly 20 years ago of the small, sleek Falcon 10, Dassault has concentrated on building larger business jets. But Dassault Aviation chairman Charles Edelstenne disclosed at the NBAA Convention last month that he has asked his engineers and marketers to “reopen the question” of developing a smaller jet again.
Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis has been named EADS Socata’s western hemisphere repair center. Under the terms of the agreement, Midcoast becomes the authorized repair center for the structures built by EADS Socata for the Falcon 7X.
AINtv’s David Lombardo talks with Dassault Falcon Jet president and CEO John Rosanvallon about the future of Dassault and the Falcon 7X. Click here to view.