OPERATOR I 40 T he Falcon 10 Mer discreetly celebrated forty years of service in the French Navy. More than a simple business jet, the Falcon 10 within the very prestigious and no less discreet Escadrille 57S, have become, over the last four decades, an essential vector for pilots in fighter jet professionalization. Generally, the public has a distinct image of the jets, which can be summed up by the Rafale taking off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. However, this image cannot be far from a more complex reality, where the training and instruction of pilots in certain procedures remains preponderant throughout their careers. To this end, the French Navy has been operating the brand’s small twin-engine cloverleaf jet since 1973. Originally designed as a light business jet, it soon proved to be a true small fighter, with exceptional performance.
A business jet with the performance of a fighter jet The Falcon 10 was designed in 1969, in order to complete the success story of the Falcon 20, and proved to be a particularly innovative aircraft, particularly in its design. Shorter than its predecessor, the Falcon 10 was in fact the first aircraft in France to have a three-dimensionally calculated wing, a small technological revolution at the time. In addition, the small twin-engine jet will become the first aircraft in the world to use carbon fiber for all of its wing cells. Building on its strengths, the smallest business jet ever produced in the Falcon range was certified in 1973. Later, its range, and more precisely its cruising speed of Mach 0.86, earned it the nickname «Corporate Bullet». This led to a decision in 1972, when the French Navy authorities, looking for an aircraft capable of carrying out training missions for Super Etendard crews, selected this «business jet». Over time, the Falcon 10 Mer will have shared its parking lots with four generations of machines: F-8E (FN) Crusader, Étendard, Super Étendard and Rafale. Ultimate Jet I 41