Serge Dassault, 79-year-old patriarch of leading business and military aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, at last has realized his dream of becoming a French lawmaker following his election to the French Senate at the end of September. Meanwhile, his newly acquired daily newspaper is already causing him a headache.
According to Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, the French aircraft manufacturer is planning on moving some of its activities out of Europe because of the weak dollar’s effect on its bottom line. The company’s production is based in Europe and its costs are calculated in euros, but it sells its airplanes in dollars. Since 2005, the U.S. dollar has depreciated 30 percent against the euro.
Bill Kerherve, chief test pilot for Dassault Aviation, and test pilot Philippe Deleume took the Falcon 7X simulation bench on its first virtual flight in December, testing the design’s fly-by-wire controls, according to the company. “I was particularly impressed by the superb handling qualities through the entire envelope,” said Kerherve.
Under a special FAR, Dassault Aviation received a two-year exemption from meeting upgraded flight-data-recorder rules applicable to Falcon 900s and 900EXs operated under Part 135. Dassault claims that it would be a “significant expense” to have to develop and retrofit a new flight-data acquisition unit the company said would be required to enable the resolution of all required FDR parameters.
Dassault has selected International Communications Group (ICG) to provide Iridium satellite communication systems and handsets as options for the entire Falcon Jet line. ICG is at Booth No. 3705 with information about its ICS-100, ICS-200 and CIS-10 Iridium transceivers. Under the contract, Dassault will also offer to install ICG equipment, including cordless phone systems, ringer assemblies and PTA 12 dialer.
Significant cost and time savings achieved through the use of advanced digital design and production software on the Falcon 7X have persuaded Dassault that the development of new business jets smaller than the 5,700-nm 7X trijet might be economically more viable than the company had previously thought, although senior v-p of civil aircraft Olivier Villa declined to reveal what size of jet would likely be next in line for creation on company e
The competitiveness of the French aerospace industry continues to be battered by the historic weakness of the U.S. dollar against the euro. The country’s labor laws aren’t helping matters and the industrialists are looking to France’s new government to instill a new approach to employment.
Dassault Falcon Jet’s Little Rock, Arkansas completion center is ramping up its capacity to meet demand for Dassault’s newly certified Falcon 7X, while continuing to fulfill commitment with regard to the Falcon 900EX, 900DX and 2000EX.
Dassault’s fly-by-wire Falcon 7X is nearing the finish line and is expected to receive EASA and FAA type certification either by the end of this month or early next quarter. The first delivery–of S/N 05 to a European customer– should also take place in the second quarter, according to a Dassault Falcon Jet spokesman.
Dassault Aviation confirmed at its annual results briefing in Paris last month that it will launch a super-midsize Falcon, probably next year.