Three of the most prominent names in France’s aviation history, Latécoère (1937), Breguet (1939) and Dassault (1971), took part in founding and developing the Biarritz facility.
Creation of workshops
Pierre Georges Latécoère decided to build the first aircraft production workshops there on two farming estates in 1936.
He founded Société Méridionale Aéronautique with Louis Breguet in 1939. The company was dismantled in 1940, and the facility ended up in the latter’s hands.
By merging with Bréguet, Dassault is setting up permanently in Biarritz
The Br1150 Atlantic and Br121 Jaguar were serially produced in Biarritz, starting in 1960 and 1965 respectively. Société des Avions Marcel Dassault acquired them in 1967, when the company bought 66% of Breguet Aviation’s capital.
The Biarritz facility was integrated into Dassault Aviation in 1971, when Dassault and Bréguet merged into AMD-BA (Avions Marcel Dassault-Bréguet Aviation).
Biarritz becomes responsible for manufacturing complex structures
Biarritz then specialized in producing and manufacturing composite parts for civil and military aircraft. The first composite part ever to equip an aircraft, the Mirage III‘s honeycomb-carbon rudder, was produced there in 1974. In 1978, it serially produced the composite parts for the Mirage F-1 and Falcon 50, and the Mirage 4000 composite subsets and tailfin it supplied to Saint Cloud. Parts for the Mirage 2000, Rafale and all the Falcon aircraft followed.
Biarritz also took charge of building complex structures, like the Super Etendard pilot’s seat bucket (1975), and the beginning of the Alpha Jet’s nose fuselage serial production (1976), 500 units of which were finally manufactured. It then became responsible for the Rafale and Mirage 2000 aft fuselages, and the Rafale’s tailfin assembly.
In 1999, Biarritz assumed full responsibilities for industrial coordination of upstream subset and segment suppliers (at national and international level) for all the Falcon types.