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Five decades ago, Dassault conceived and launched the Mystère-Falcon 20 – our first true purpose-built business jet. Twenty different models have followed in the years since, each with the same sleek lines, smooth handling and peerless reliability and efficiency inherent in that first Falcon.

Today, more than 2,250 Falcons have been delivered to 82 countries around the world and our fleet has surpassed 16.2 million hours of flight time – testimony to the reputation for quality and performance that the Falcon family has acquired within the aviation community.

But numbers alone fail to convey the breadth and depth of that reputation. For more than anything, business aviation operators are attracted to Falcon by the passion for excellence that the Falcon brand represents. A passion shared by the engineers, factory technicians, skilled craftsmen and other specialists who design, build and service Falcon aircraft. A passion handed down by company founder Marcel Dassault and carried on to this day.

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John Rosanvallon

President & CEO Dassault Falcon Jet

“Our company has always been a leader in this industry and we will continue to set the pace in the years ahead,” says Dassault Falcon Jet President and CEO John Rosanvallon. “Moreover, the best is yet to come.”

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  • 1965
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  • 2009
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  • 2011
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Based on technologies designed for the Mystère IV fighter and bearing more resemblance to an airliner than to an executive aircraft, the Mystère 20 rolls off the assembly line in Bordeaux-Merignac, France on April 1, 1963.

Pan Am delegation headed by Charles Lindbergh beside Mystère 20 prototype on May 4, 1963, just before maiden flight. Mandated by CEO Juan Trippe to find the right aircraft to equip Pan Am’s new executive aviation division, Lindbergh (fourth from right, in hat) quickly wired back: “I’ve found the bird.”

On June 10, 1965, test pilot Jacqueline Auriol set a new world speed record, flying the first production Mystère 20 1,000 km at a speed of 859 km/h.

Falcon 10 prototype during cold test campaign. Nicknamed “the corporate bullet” by admirative pilots, the 4-6-passenger Falcon 10 could fly coast to coast across the US in two hops faster than most aircraft of the time that could cross the country nonstop

FedEx's hub at Memphis International Airport, Tennessee, in the 1970s. In 1971, FedEx founder Frederick Smith selected the Mystère 20 – rebaptized the Falcon 20 – as the basis for his then-fledgling overnight freight service.

Falcon 20 alongside Pan Am 747. In 1972, Pan Am and Dassault set up a joint venture, Falcon Jet Corporation, to market and support Falcon aircraft sold in the Western Hemisphere and other overseas markets. Dassault later bought out Pan Am’s share and changed the company’s name to Dassault Falcon Jet.

Falcon 50 over New York City. Introduced in 1976, the Falcon 50 was designed to carry 8-10 passengers across the U.S. or over the Atlantic non-stop. The tri-jet configuration is selected to provide better redundancy, safety and a larger cabin with a pressurized baggage hold. Its exceptional performance and versatility have made the Falcon 50 a very popular airplane.

Equipped with Garrett ATF-3-6 engines, this Falcon 20 spinoff was selected in 1977 to meet the U.S. Coast Guard’s medium-range surveillance aircraft requirement.

Falcon 900 rolls out in 1984 in Bordeaux-Merignac, France. Unveiled at the 1983 Paris Air Show, the 4,000 nm Falcon 900 met growing operator demand for a large-cabin business jet with true intercontinental range.

The Falcon 2000 flies for the first time on March 4, 1993. It is the first executive aircraft to be designed by computer. It was conceived to meet operator demand for a transcontinental business jet combining superior performance and cabin comfort with low operating costs.

First flight of EASy-equipped Falcon 900EX on February 22, 2002. Developed in partnership with Honeywell, EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) is designed to enhance safety by simplifying flight management tasks, improving crew coordination and ensuring optimal situational awareness at all times.

Falcon 7X first flight on May 5, 2005, in Bordeaux-Merignac, France. Dassault flight test pilots, Yves Kerhervé and Philippe Deleume greeted by Serge Dassault and Charles Edelstenne.

Falcon 7X at London City Airport. The 7X is the largest, longest range business jet certified to fly into and out of London City – one of the world’s most challenging airports. All in production Falcons are now approved for London City operations.

2000th Falcon jet is handed over in July, 2009 to Koç Holding of Turkey. The company is among the top 50 companies in Europe and a member of the Fortune Global 200.

Introduced in May, 2011, the Falcon 2000S offers a sleek, elegant cabin crafted in collaboration with BMW Group Designworks USA. In January 2012, Dassault and BMW received the prestigious 2011 Good Design Award for this specially designed interior.

Falcon 20 s/n 1, recently restored by IT Mercure, a team of enthusiasts who also rebuilt the last Mercure airliner. Due to be presented at the Paris Air Show in June, the venerable aircraft will be at the center of this year’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Share your Falcon story with us

The Falcon story couldn’t be told without mentioning our family at large. Falcon operators across the globe are a special breed – they help each other out in times of need, perform humanitarian missions, and fly their Falcons to some of the most remote corners of the earth. The dedicated teams that service and maintain these magnificent birds are also a close-knit community that freely shares its knowledge and experience. This family album celebrates our unique and shared heritage. And we want you to add your story here.

E-mail us at falcon-communications@dassault-aviation.com with your high-res photos and a short write-up of 70 words maximum (please provide us with your name or nickname, date or year the picture was taken, if possible name of the people on the picture).

Note: The submission of your photograph(s) implies the legal right of Dassault Falcon to utilize the image on our website, social media platforms and in other publications.

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50 Years of Passion and Innovation - Dassault Falcon

50th Anniversary Logo

Our 50th anniversary logo highlights two key words – Passion and Innovation – that are at the heart of our company and its employees.

Passion

Passion represents the very essence of the company’s spirit. It is what encourages our people to reach beyond their limits, question conventional beliefs, conceive and design original solutions.

Passion is what feeds our enthusiasm to achieve exceptional results.

Innovation

Innovation is the product of passion, intelligence and daring.

Each year, Dassault invests millions of dollars in a variety of new technologies that show the promise of improved performance, safety, comfort and efficiency. The result is a line of aircraft that share unique qualities and are prized by their owners.

The visual concept

Our design of an overlapping “5” and “0” reflect the fusion of passion and innovation that makes Dassault Dassault.

In keeping with our 50 year milestone, our artist went back to the International style typography of the 1960s. The typeface is also known as the Swiss Style and is characterized by a keen attention to detail, precision, craftsmanship and refined and inventive lettering.

Resurrecting the Mystère Falcon 20

Mystère Falcon 20 s/n 001 story

The first Falcon business jet, the Mystère 20, was born on the pages of a notebook belonging to Paul Déplante, engineering director of Dassault’s plant in Bordeaux-Mérignac. In November 1961, Déplante drew a simple ink sketch, a cutaway of an aircraft cabin, with two rear-mounted engines. Two years later, in April 1963, s/n 001, the Mystère 20 prototype, rolled off the production line. It was the first Falcon introduced to America. When Charles Lindbergh and a delegation from Pan Am saw s/n 001, Lindbergh called the airline’s chairman, Juan Trippe, and said, “I’ve found our bird.” The same aircraft, piloted by famous French aviator Jacqueline Auriol, broke several world speed records in 1965. For years, s/ n 001 had value. As long as it was flying. But eventually, s/n 001 had to land.

A new Mystère 20

A group of former airline and Dassault employees called IT Mercure (because their first job had been to resuscitate one of Air Inter’s Mercure airplanes – a Dassault airliner) came across Mystère 20 s/n 001 in 2010. By the time they received the aircraft, it was in dreadful shape.

The team knew it would take a long time to tackle the devastation wreaked by corrosion on the fuselage and interior of the aircraft. They set a goal. In 2013, Dassault will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mystère 20. They had to be done by then. The engine pylons were the worst victims of corrosion. The IT Mercure team machined out the corroded parts and replaced them with aluminum and composite sheets. The engine cowling looked to be in slightly better shape, but looks can be deceiving. The interior was also totally corroded. They were sanded inside and out and then repaired by hand.

The windows were nearly opaque at this point. And because s/n 001 was a prototype, the windows were not all the same. The windows were restored by a young woman of Polish descent, an example, says the IT Mercure team, of how the passion for beautiful aircraft transcends age, and in this case, geography. The airbrakes had to be completely removed for a full repair and restoration. Smooth composite was used to replace the corroded portions, and the rough and rusted surface was buffed and painted back to life. The wings were eaten nearly clean through, and they too were put through the arduous process of being brought back to life by hand.

Three years later, the airplane is completely restored. A few weeks ago, the final touch was applied with the exterior paint and the Mystère 20 was given back its famous blue, white and red livery. Congratulations to the IT Mercure group for the incredible job and for bringing back to life another aeronautical legend.

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Dassault Aviation

Direction Générale des Avions Civils
78 Quai Marcel Dassault
92552 Saint-Cloud Cedex 300
France​
+33-1-47-11-40-00

Dassault Falcon Jet Corp.

Teterboro Airport,
Box 2000
South Hackensack, NJ 07606
USA
+1​-201-440-6700