Dassault Aviation has confirmed that business aviation pioneer Serge Dassault died on 28 May at the age of 93.

“It is with an infinite sadness that we learn of the death of Mr Serge Dassault, chairman and chief executive of Groupe Dassault, and the former chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation,” the company says.

Starting in the early 1960s, Serge Dassault built a business aviation empire atop the combat aircraft business launched by his father, Marcel.

After developing the Ourangan and Mystere series of jet fighters, Marcel Dassault dispatched his son to the US to understand a then-burgeoning market for jet-powered transports for business executives.

The result was the Mystere 20 twin-jet, which leveraged technology from the Mystere IV fighter. Upon the aircraft’s first flight in 1963, the Mystere 20 impressed an observing delegate from Pan Am, who wired Juan Trippe to say, “I found our bird”.

The Mystere 20 spawned a product family numbering more than 20 models during more than five decades.

Serge Dassault assumed control of the overall company upon the death of his father in 1986. He presided over the renaming of the original company — the Societe des avions Marcel Dassault — to Dassault Aviation four years later.

Charles Edelstenne replaced Serge Dassault as chairman and chief executive of Dassault Aviation in 2000. In turn, Eric Trappier took over the same role 13 years later, while Serge Dassault remained chairman of the overall group of companies, which includes Dassault Systemes.

Source: Cirium Dashboard