Marcel Dassault: Aircraft Designer

Marcel Dassault is a French industrialist who founded Générale Aéronautique Marcel Dassault. He was born in Paris on January 22 in the year 1892.

Marcel Dassault
Marcel Dassault (Credit: Dassault Aviation)

Originally named Marcel Bloch, he was the son of a Jewish doctor. After he obtained an engineering degree from Breguet School, he went to study aircraft design at National Higher School of Aeronautics and Space. During World War I, he designed an aircraft propeller which was used by the French Air Force. Later, he founded Société des Avions Marcel Bloch aircraft. Before the Second World War, he again designed and sold a reconnaissance plane although he was prevented from mass producing it due to the armistice. During the war, he was arrested and imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the Germans.

After the war, Marcel reestablished his aircraft business and went on to produced successful jet fighters which were primarily sold to the French Air Force. Among the most popular of his products were the Ouragan, Mystere, Etendard, and Mirage. He became so rich that he was able to purchased several landmark buildings in Paris and turned them into hotels.

In 1949, Marcel changed his family name to Dassault which means battle tank. His company was acquired by Breguet in 1971 forming Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation (AMD-BA).

Marcel died in 1986 at the age of 94 leaving two children with his wife Madeleine. Since 1951, he had been a member of the French National Assembly. After his death, his son restructured his aviation company and renamed it as Dassault Aviation.


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