Marcel Dassault, Benno-Claude Vallières (on the right), Jean-François Cazaubiel (on the left) with Jean Cabrière behind him in front of the Mercure 02, Air Inter.

The company’s history has been written by engineers and test pilots.

Marcel Bloch

Marcel Dassault

Marcel Dassault will be remembered especially as a man with a formidable desire to create, and forward-looking determination.

Portrait of Louis Cortot

Louis Cortot

Compagnon de la Libération, awarded many prestigious decorations, Louis Cortot had spent most of his working life at Dassault Aviation.

Portrait of Jean Coureau

Jean Coureau

A prodigious acrobatics pilot, Jean Coureau piloted various maiden flights, including for the Mirage III C, Mercure 01 and Mirage 2000.

Portrait of Henri Deplante

Henri Deplante

Henri Deplante first met Marcel Dassault in 1930, when he applied for an aircraft-designer job that Marcel Bloch (the company that later became Dassault) had posted in Les Ailes, an aviation periodical.

Constantin Rozanoff, in front of a Mystère IV

Constantin “Kostia” Rozanoff

Constantin Rozanoff paved the way for Dassault to enter the days of jet-powered aviation, flying the Ouragan and Mystère II’s maiden flights.

Portrait of Jean-Jacques Samin

Jean-Jacques Samin

Samin was appointed deputy technical director in 1970, and technical director in April 1981. His promotion to the position of technical general director in January 1987 came as recognition for his outstanding skills.

Portrait of René Bigand

René Bigand

Appointed as chief test pilot at Dassault in 1959, René Bigand completed maiden flights in a number of civil and military aircraft: Mirage IV, Mirage IIIB, Mystère 20, etc.

Portrait of Paul Boudier

Paul Boudier

Paul Boudier was the first pilot to break the sound barrier on an armed airplane (Mystère II) and completed various maiden flights (Etendard IV M, Communauté, Spirale).

Portrait of Charles Monier

Charles Monier

Charles Monier, test pilot engineer at Dassault Aviation from 1947 to 1953, notably contributed to the development of the Ouragan, Mystère II and Mystère IVA.

Georges Brian in front of his MB 153

Georges Brian

Within Dassault Aviation, Georges Brian was at the controls for the maiden flights of the MB 303, MD 315 Flamant and Etendard IV.

Portrait of Daniel Rastel

Daniel Rastel

Daniel Rastel had a flying career spanning 36 years and totaling 5,838 hours on aircraft ranging from the SPAD VII to the Mirage III.

Portrait of Alain Trétout

Alain Trétout

After several years at the CEAM, the test pilot Alain Trétout notably worked on the Mirage F1, which he presented at the Le Bourget air show in 1971.

Portrait of René Fromentel

René Fromentel

René Fromentel joined Avions Marcel Dassault in 1951 and worked there throughout his career, from the Mystère II to the Rafale, for which he invented the air intakes.

Portrait of Pierre Gallois

Pierre Gallois

Pierre Gallois, Marketing Director of Avions Marcel Dassault, opened a number of export markets and was one of Marcel Dassault’s closest advisors.

Portrait of Xavier d'Iribarne

Xavier d’Iribarne

Xavier d’Iribarne was responsible for coordinating the Mirage III, Mirage IV, Alpha Jet, Mirage F1, Etendard, Super Etendard, Mercure and Mirage 2000 programs.

Portrait of Jean Cabrière

Jean Cabrière

With Henri Deplante, Jean Cabrière oversaw the design and development of all company aircraft and missiles, from the Ouragan to the Rafale A technological demonstrator.

Portrait of Yves Thiriet

Yves Thiriet

Yves Thiriet helped with the sale of more than 2,000 Mirage IIIs, Mirage F1s, Alpha Jets, Super Etendards, Jaguars, Mirage 2000s and Atlantics in 33 countries.

Benno-Claude Vallières in his office in Saint-Cloud

Benno–Claude Vallières

Having developed the Company’s production potential, Benno-Claude Vallières created the industrial capacity, enabling Marcel Dassault’s designs to become reality.

Portrait of François Cordié

François Cordié

François Cordié was head of design for the Étendard VI, Mirage III-V and Mirage F1, and the first engineering director of the Hermes spacecraft.

Portrait of Gérard Muselli

Gérard Muselli

Gérard Muselli tested the Etendard VI with an Orpheus engine and took part in the testing of the Mirage III, following Roland Glavany.

Portrait of Hervé Leprince-Ringuet

Hervé Leprince-Ringuet

Born in Lille in 1933, Hervé Leprince-Ringuet enrolled at the École de l’Air in 1952 and received his fighter pilot license in the spring of 1956. 

Portrait of Elie Buge

Elie Buge

Elie Buge, prototype test pilot at Avions Marcel Dassault, acceptance tested the Super Mystère B2, Etendard IV M, and Mirage III, with over 1,000 flights on the latter.

Jean-Yves Lazard at the center

Jean-Yves Lazard

Director of the Argenteuil plant in 1975, Jean-Yves Lazard then promoted to deputy managing director in 1987, and subsequently managing director of production from 1989 to 1992.

Portrait of Claude Villa

Claude Villa

A member of the X-48 graduating class from École Polytechnique, Claude Villa joined the Saint-Cloud design office in 1951.

Portrait of Gérard Pierron

Gérard Pierron

In charge of the Mirage F1, Mirage 50, ATL2, Super Étendard, Alpha Jet programs, Gérard Pierron became Director of Military Aircraft Programs in 2003.

Roland Glavany in front of a Mirage III A 01

Roland Glavany

In 1964, Roland Glavany took command of the Istres base, before joining the Equipment program bureau one year later where he took on the responsibility for the Jaguar, Mirage F1 and Alpha Jet programs.

Portrait of Bernard Sigaud

Bernard Sigaud

Appointed as engineering director of the Brétigny site, before becoming director of the weapons systems department in 1987, Bernard Sigaud ended his career as director of the Rafale program from 1991 to 1998.

Portrait of Paul Jaillard

Paul Jaillard

Graduated from SupAéro in 1950, former director of military exports Paul Jaillard was the architect of a number of commercial successes.

Mirage 2000-01 during its first flight at Istres (South of France), on March 10, 1978.

Jean-Claude Arnoux

Graduated from SupAéro in 1969, Jean-Claude Arnoux was a great systems engineer and a former digital technical director.

Portrait of Claude Frey

Claude Frey

Claude Frey served as Missions Director for Total Quality from 1988 to 1993, when he was appointed Director of the Falcon customer service.

Portrait of Jacques Estèbe

Jacques Estèbe

Promoted to Deputy CEO (1976), Jacques Estèbe appointed Vice-President for Industrial and Social Affairs in 1986.


René Sébenne

René Sébenne became Xavier d’Iribarne’s right-hand man, managing the Dassault-Breguet merger alongside him. In this role, he took on the management of both the Vélizy and Saint-Cloud sites, and redefined how each operated respectively.

Portrait of Jean-Claude Veber

Jean-Claude Veber

Former managing director of Production, Jean-Claude Veber passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age of 96.

Christian Decaix, Charles Edelstenne, Serge Dassault and Michel Herchin (right) at the presentation of the National Order Grand Officer medal of the Legion of Honor to Mr. Jean-Claude Weber

Michel Herchin

Appointed Industrial and Social Senior Vice-President, then Vice-President for Industrial and Social Affairs until he retired in 1998, Michel Herchin was in charge of the major industrial streamlining efforts initiated in 1987, as well as the development of the Saint-Cloud 2000 site.

Jean-Marie Saget in front of the Mirage F1, 04/29/1969

Jean-Marie Saget

Jean-Marie Saget took part in the testing of all Dassault Aviation fighter aircraft, then of its civilian aircraft and of the Atlantique 2. He was responsible, among others, for the Etendard IV M, Mirage III V (vertical take off), Mirage F1, Mirage G8 (variable jib), Alpha Jet and Mirage 4000 programs.

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