Marcel DassaultBorn in Paris, France, on 22 January 1892, Marcel Bloch was the youngest of four children. “One sunny day in the school playground, I looked up at the sky and saw the Count of Lambert’s Wilbur Wright passing the Eiffel tower for the first time. I had never seen a plane before. There and then, I knew that aviation had become part of my heart and thoughts,” he later said. Bloch graduated from Ecole Supérieure d’Aéronautique, a school of aviation, in 1913. During World War I, several notable aircraft utilised the Eclair propeller, which was designed by Bloch. Shortly after designing the propeller, he developed the SEA1 light observation aircraft with the help of two friends. Three more aircraft followed before the end of the war in 1918. Bloch then worked in the automobile and real estate industries, but after witnessing the Spirit of St. Louis landing at Le Bourget Airport, he returned to the aviation industry.

In 1936 he founded an aviation manufacturing company. Its aircraft were used to defend France during the early stages of World War II. When France surrendered to German Forces, Bloch refused to cooperate with the enemy. He was subsequently imprisoned and later sent to a concentration camp. After the Second World War, Marcel Bloch changed his surname to Dassault, a code name his brother had used whilst serving with the French Resistance. In 1949, Dassault designed the Ouragan, France’s first jet fighter. Dassault’s company was responsible for developing the legendary Mystere and Mirage series of fighters, including the Mirage IV nuclear bomber. His company also produced the Falcon series of executive jets. Marcel Dassault died on 17 April 1986.
Dassault Aviation Falcon 7X in formation with a Rafale fighter
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