Dassault Aviation unveiled its long-awaited Falcon 5X at the company’s static display here at NBAA 2013 yesterday afternoon. “Some of you have come a long way,” Dassault Falcon Jet president and CEO John Rosanvallon said in welcoming the 200 or so attendees to the company’s pavilion. “I assure you, you will not be disappointed.”
Dassault Aviation is poised to name a successor to long-standing chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, who is due to retire on January 9 after more than half a century of service at the French aerospace group. A company spokesman told AIN today that an announcement of a successor will be made “in the next few days.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 said it received orders for 52 Falcons in the first six months of this year, compared with 62 for the whole of last year. The company, which also said it had orders for 92 Falcon 7Xs as of June 30, forecasts that by year-end it will have orders for 100 copies of the new trijet. The first 7X is earmarked for delivery next spring to Serge Dassault the company’s majority stockholder.