Sunday May 29, 2016, the President of the French Republic, Mr. François Hollande, and the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs. Angela Merkel, officially inaugurated the Memorial of Verdun in front of, in particular, representatives of Dassault Aviation, his Chairman & CEO, Mr. Eric Trappier and his Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Loïk Segalen.
Dassault Aviation has funded the renovation of the Verdun Memorial. It had also deposit with this memorial museum an Éclair propeller from a Spad VII pursuit plane. This propeller was the first aeronautical design by Marcel Dassault to enter production. In addition to the Spad, it was also used on the Caudron, Nieuport and Farman airplanes that participated in the first large-scale aerial battle in history, in the skies over Verdun in 1916. The Éclair would also mark the start of the aviation career of Marcel Bloch, who would go on to design both civil and military airplanes between the two world wars. At the end of the Second World War, returning to France after being deported, Marcel Bloch would change his name to Marcel Dassault.
This sponsorship agreement spotlights the roots of Dassault Aviation, the last major family-owned aerospace company in the world, still owned by its founder’s family and bearing his name. It honors Marcel Dassault’s contribution to the allied effort in the First World War, and also pays tribute to the memory of the generation that sacrificed their lives to defend their nation.