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Dassault optimistic, with one exceptionDassault optimistic, with one exception

Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation’s chairman and CEO, painted a guardedly optimistic outlook for the company.


Dassault captures its Rafale fighter and Falcon 8X together during a formation flight. Photo courtesy of Dassault.

The sales environment is always challenging, he said, but with U.S. deliveries holding steady, its Falcon 8X seeing a smooth entry into service, its 600th Falcon 2000 delivery, four new Falcon 2000s sold to the Japanese Coast Guard, upturns in sales of Dassault’s Rafale fighter jets, and its nEUROn unmanned combat aerial vehicle drawing interest as an artificial intelligence testbed, Dassault sounded a confident note during its press conference Oct. 9 at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention in Las Vegas.

But there was a fly in the ointment. Trappier said that the company’s next long-range business jet, the Falcon 5X, will experience yet another delay in its entry into service. Problems with the 5X’s new Safran Silvercrest had already caused a slippage to a 2020 introduction. But Trappier revealed that another problem—this having to do with the engine’s high-pressure compressor—will push the airplane’s debut back again, to an unspecified date. The compressor problem has yet to be fully analyzed, Trappier said.

Dassault has already demanded compensation from Safran for the first delay.

Even so, Dassault Falcon Jet CEO John Rosanvallon projected calm. With the U.S. economy on the positive side, GDP and corporate profits up, and a strong stock market, 2018’s outlook is encouraging.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Topics: Jet, National Business Aviation Association

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