After pioneering digital design in the aerospace industry 25 years ago, Dassault Aviation has implemented what it calls “the digital factory.” The Falcon 7X was the first aircraft to be produced using this concept, and the result was some impressive gains in manufacturing efficiency. Now Dassault has taken digitization one step further, by simulating the processes of aircraft completion and maintenance.
How can the Rafale be produced–and offered for export–at an economic price when the production rate is only about one aircraft per month? Official French statistics give a unit production cost of only ?64- to ?70 million in 2008 prices, depending on variant, excluding amortization of development costs, but including value-added tax of 19.6 percent (which would not be payable on export aircraft).
Yesterday during the NBAA Awards Luncheon, Olivier Dassault accepted the NBAA Meritorious Service to Aviation Award for his father, Serge, who wasn’t able to attend due to other business in Europe. The elder Dassault was chosen for NBAA’s most distinguished honor because he is “one of the most innovative leaders in business aviation,” according to NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. Serge is currently chairman and CEO of Dassault Group.
The recipient of this year’s NBAA Meritorious Service Award to Aviation– the association’s most distinguished honor–is Serge Dassault, chairman emeritus of Dassault Falcon Jet.
While some members of Congress have taken an antagonistic stance toward business aviation in recent times, two senators from Arkansas expressed their support for the industry at a forum held last month at Dassault Falcon’s Little Rock National Airport facility.
NBAA’s board of directors last month announced the 2009 recipients of the association’s annual Meritorious Service to Aviation and John P. “Jack” Doswell awards. Serge Dassault, chairman emeritus of Dassault Falcon Jet, will receive the 2009 NBAA Award for Meritorious Service to Aviation. Richard “Dick” Van Gemert, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Jet Aviation Holdings USA, will receive the 2009 NBAA John P.
At the General Aviation Jobs for Arkansas Forum held last week at a hangar at Dassault Falcon’s facility at Little Rock National Airport, politicians joined officials from Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft, about 100 community leaders and more than 500 Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft employees to focus on general aviation’s contributions to the Arkansas economy.
Thales, Europe’s third largest civil and defense aerospace group, makes its first appearance at Le Bourget since it acquired a new shareholder and executive board last month.
Managing aircraft programs is a complex process that should not be underestimated. This is one of the clearest messages to have emerged in recent years and is evidenced when one considers the 787 supplier issues, A380 wiring problems and A400M delays. It costs the industry vast sums of time and money.
“The layoffs came primarily in initial engineering and design. Less affected were our main production activities such as building interiors, painting and flight test,” a Dassault Falcon spokesman told AIN in regard to the layoff of 111 workers last week from the Little Rock Completion Center.