15 MARCH 2021
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One of the richest men in France, Olivier Dassault, died in a helicopter accident on Sunday 7 March.
It was his grandfather Marcel Dassault (originally Bloch) who founded Dassault Aviation making aircraft propellers in WWI. Having survived Buchenwald he built Avions Dassault into a mighty engineering conglomerate and passed away aged 94, his son Serge (Olivier’s father) taking over the baton dying in his office at the age of 93.
President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Mr Dassault in a tweet and said his death was “a great loss”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, lawmaker, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets.
“His sudden death is a great loss.”
Olivier Dassault, 69, was heir to a family industrial empire that made Falcon executive jets and Rafale fighter planes. It also owned many other businesses including the French daily newspaper, Le Figaro. He was a pilot in his own right and with interests ranging from photography to music as a composer.
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David Starkie, United Kingdom
A sad loss. Dassault were great innovators and I remember with nostalgia the post-war Mystere range.