American 71 Heavy, contact departure 126.47
- 17 January 2006
- Reaction score
One of the more interesting aircraft for me has always been the Dassault Mirage IV, long the mainstay of France's airborne nuclear deterrent. Basically a 50% scale up of the Mirage III/V series of fighters and given twin engines, it was one of the few supersonic delta wing jet bombers to enter service (the other as far as I know off hand being the Convair B-58 Hustler).
When the British government cancelled the very promising BAC TSR.2 strike aircraft in 1965, Dassault offered an "Anglicized" version of the Mirage IV which would have had British avionics planned for the TSR.2 as well as Rolls-Royce Spey engines instead of the SNECMA Atar engines. License production was even offered to the British- however, political realities what they were in those days and the French not ranking high on the esteem list with NATO following Charles de Gaulle's unilateral withdrawal of the French armed forces from NATO in 1966, it was a stillborn idea- the British wanted the F-111, that went nowhere with the delays and cost escalation in the F-111 program, so they ended up with a land based version of the Blackburn Buccaneer and it wasn't until the arrival of the Panavia Tornado in the early 1980s that the RAF finally had an outstanding tactical attack bomber.
At any rate, suppose the Brits cancelled the TSR.2 earlier and took up Dassault's offer for a British Mirage IV? Based on new information that Thorvic sent me on the specifics of the Mirage IVK:
1. Fuselage stretch in the region of the intakes to counterbalance the heavier weight of the Spey engines.
2. Increased depth of the aft fuselage by bulging the upper countours to accomodate the Spey engines.
3. Increased intake size to accomodate the higher air mass flow of the Spey engines.
I'm not exactly sure where the SLAR would have been fitted, but it seems that the nav/attack radar would have been in the belly radome.
For this one, I've decided to stick with the anti-flash white even though I believe by this point (1967) the switch to low-level camouflage was taking place as well as the first IVKs, if built, wouldn't have been delivered until 1969. But it's a WHAT IF!!!
I decided to go with a slightly recessed weapons/fuel pod centerline, a sort of smaller version of what the Hustler used. I figure there'd be some fuel in there as well as one or two WE177 bombs. Use up the fuel, drop the bombs, and ditch the pod and haul ass home.
Colors are standard for the RAF's 1960s nuclear bomber fleet- anti-flash white all over with pale colored roundels and markings. I've always thought planes looked pretty sharp in the RAF's nuclear anti-flash white scheme. The tail markings are accurate for what was used by the No. 617 Squadron at that time on their Vulcan bombers. No. 617 is most famous as "The Dambusters" and in 1966 was based at RAF Scampton on the east coast of England.
Next up, a more realistic camouflaged version........stay tuned!