Dassault Aviation has entered “exclusive negotiations” with Alcatel-Lucent to take over its 20.8-percent stake in defense electronics specialist Thales. The buyout would boost Dassault’s stake in Thales to 26 percent and mark a strong return to defense electronics for the French airframer at a time when the economic slowdown is threatening sales of business jets.
Conceding that the market has suffered a “significant slowdown” in the U.S. and Europe in the past few months, Dassault chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, speaking at an NBAA breakfast gathering today, noted nevertheless that the order book at Dassault Falcon remains “solid, with very few cancellations.” He said that the company has sold 500 aircraft worldwide over the past three years.
Dassault Falcon yesterday announced the long-anticipated upgrade to the Honeywell Primus Epic-based EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) flight deck: the EASy Phase II system with synthetic-vision system (SVS) technology.
After 12 years at Dassault Falcon, Gerald Goguen has joined Greenwich AeroGroup as executive vice president. Located in Greenwich, Conn., Greenwich AeroGroup owns three maintenance and FBO businesses: Atlantic Aero (Greensboro, N.C.); Western Aircraft (Boise, Idaho); and Summit Aviation, (Middletown, Del.). “It was an exciting opportunity,” Goguen replied when asked why he left Dassault Falcon.
Dassault is working quietly on the design for what could become a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). In June the French aircraft manufacturer announced the creation of a “common working group” with Sukhoi to study such an aircraft.
Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne is confident about the future of the French company’s broadening line of Falcons as it ramps up completion efforts for the 7X and prepares to launch its new super-midsize jet. But the pressure of a weakening dollar that is affecting all European aerospace companies is making the company cautious about future models.
Remote-controlled model specialist Aviation Design has started offering 1/7th model kits of the Dassault Falcon 7X business jet and expects many of the customers to be pilots of full-size aircraft. EBACE Convention News was able to see the E10,000 ($15,500) model flying at Lausanne airport, on the north side of Lake Geneva, on Sunday.
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:
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.