Air show Las Vegas, October 2013. At the foot of the model of the future Falcon 5X, last-born of its aircraft business, ignoring the heat that alternates with the icy blast of the air conditioning, Serge Dassault, 88-year-old, is concerned about the reactions of the first visitors. “That is what you think of it ? Don’t you find that the cabin is spacious ? “The question of whether it expects to acquire this jet of which the first models will be delivered at better than five years later, he responds instantly :” Why not, may as well be. “A new challenge time for the one who never ceases to affirm :” I will continue always to work, like my father did until his last days. “
Three years later, in April 2016, under the glass roof of the Grand Palais, in Paris, in front of a thousand guests invited to the centenary Dassault Aviation, here depicting the life of Marcel Dassault since the invention of the propeller “Lightning” in 1916 up to the development of the Rafale, a few weeks before his death. Always in the shadow of this father, with which the reports have been very difficult.
So much so that in 1986, at the time of the succession, to which nothing had been settled, the minister of defence of the time, André Giraud, on behalf of the government, attempted to oppose his appointment. In vain. His arrival was “preceded by a reputation quite unflattering,” says Anne-Marie Rocco in his book Serge Dassault (Flammarion, 2006). “The responsibility belongs primarily to his father and to his silence supported on the ability of his son to take up the torch family. “
Taking the reins of the group at 61 years old, at an age when many are thinking about their retirement, Serge Dassault – died Monday, may 28, in Paris, of a ” heart failure “, according to the family – will not cease to do better than his father. If he has not his genius to invent the aircraft, it will develop the group…