Trvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1241 times:
Dassualt manufactured it and I know Air Inter bought a few. It was very short-lived. You may be able to find a description of it in some of the older aircraft recognition books i.e. 1980s. I think the full name was the Dassault Breuget-Mercure.
Samurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2461 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1231 times:
Apparently, it was a major commercial failure - the Mercure didn't have very good range, about 1100 km, and probably that Dassault didn't have the know-how like Airbus to market a commercial jet, as it's primarily a French military contractor. Even a 737-200, to which it bore a similarity and was modeled after, has far better range, about 3500 - 4000 km. Given its short range, I imagine that its fuel consumption rate must've been astronomical.
I have read once that Dassault tried to team up with McDonell Douglas to produce and market an improved Mercure variant, but it never materialized.
Trident From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1224 times:
The Mercure first flew in 1973. The Airbus A300 prototype had only flown for the first time the previous year so the two aircraft are contempraneous. Dassault's knowledge of the market place was probably as good, if not better, than Airbus's at the time. The Mercure was a private venture and had to be discontinued when sales failed to materialise. Airbus, on the other hand, had government support from most of the particpating countries (Britain excepted) and so was able to get through the lean times, which lasted for almost a decade.
The Mercure was launched on the basis of Air Inter's order and, in the end, no more orders were received. It entered service in 1975 and were finally withdrawn in 1991 (Ithink). Even second hand, nobody wanted them. Although Dassault was primarily known for its military aircraft, it did (and still does of course), manufacture the Falcon range of executive jets. In the 1970's the company merged with the Breguet company and for a while went under the title Dassault-Breguet. It now just uses the Dassault name again.
Tr1492 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1205 times:
Everyone here hit the mark. The Mercure was very similar to the 737-200, including using the same P&W engines, but Dassault went ahead with full-scale manufacturing after receiving an initial order (10) from Air Inter. Around 1985 the prototype was refurbished and added to Air Inter's fleet. Yes, the biggest mistake Dassault seems to have made was starting up manufacturing the Mercure with only one order for ten planes, and with little or no interest forthcoming from airlines of the time. Another tidbit I did read about was that the French government paid a subisidy to Air Inter to offset the extremely high cost of spare parts for the Mercure. All Mercures have been replaced by A320's, and at least one or two Mercures have been/are being restored for display.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 7041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1185 times:
The Mercure was larger than the 737-200 and carried more payload, therefore shorter range - the fuel tanks were simply much smaller. It was optimised for short routes, for instance Air Inter's domestic routes in France.
But with such a short rance it wasn't frexible in an airline fleet, that killed it. Of course it might have been developed into a more flexible plane, but the competition was tough against DC-9, B737, B727, BAC 1-11, Trident etc.
In the end I think that it was in fact developed into a great plane. Some ten years back I saw a Mercure and an A320 parked side by side in Paris CDG and I remember thinking that it was strange engines one of those A320's. Maybe we should rename the A320 into Mercure Mk.2 ? The similarities are really striking.
Does anybody know if there really is a connection?
As far as I know the Mercure did very good service for Air Inter for almost twenty years with a perfect safety record. That's not a bad reputation for an old plane.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs