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Mirage 4000

Spook

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Spook

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Bazinga said:
I have some pics lying around I took in 1983.
Enjoy
Thanks a lot for the Pictures Bazinga :)

~AK
 

Trident

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I second that, very nice! The second photo shows very well that the canards were not fixed, something that isn't visible in many photos at all!
 

robunos

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Trident said:
I second that, very nice! The second photo shows very well that the canards were not fixed, something that isn't visible in many photos at all!
Also mentioned in the article linked to in reply #40...


" ...(except the front part of the aircraft which is equipped with a fixed canard ancillary wing, dismountable and adjustable in flight)"

This is new to me, I'd always assumed the canard to be fixed... :-[


cheers,
Robin.
 

chuck4

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robunos said:
" ...(except the front part of the aircraft which is equipped with a fixed canard ancillary wing, dismountable and adjustable in flight)"

Perhaps what is meant is the canard can be trimmed in flight, but is not used as an active control surface.
 

kaiserbill

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Thank you for this.

It confirms what I've suspected for years - that the Mirage 4000 canard was not fixed, but movable, even if only slightly, in flight.
 

Stargazer2006

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Thanks a lot for reviving those great memories of Le Bourget '83!
 

Bazinga

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I remember the nostrils of the B-1 had the function of "ride control" to dampen out vibrations during long flights. Could this be it? All the pics I have only show the canards pitched up while on the ground. This suggests to me that this is hydraulically actuated and spring loaded, so when the hydraulics go off, the spring pitches the canard.
If so, the Mirage 4000 was designed for long range. To where? It was still cold war/falklands time but would they really contemplate to go that far? I guess so.
 

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Bazinga said:
I remember the nostrils of the B-1 had the function of "ride control" to dampen out vibrations during long flights. Could this be it? All the pics I have only show the canards pitched up while on the ground. This suggests to me that this is hydraulically actuated and spring loaded, so when the hydraulics go off, the spring pitches the canard.
If so, the Mirage 4000 was designed for long range. To where? It was still cold war/falklands time but would they really contemplate to go that far? I guess so.
The canards on the B-1 are relatively small. They dampened out the gust loads to reduce the stress on the forward fuselage as well. That is not what the canards on the Mirage4000 are for. They're there partly for pitch control and partly to control the airflow over the top of the wing at various increments of alpha.

Range is more a function of vehicle size/fuel fraction in terms of long range versus short range for a given class of vehicle. If you want to see what really affects it, look at the Breguet Range equation.
Warning: the link is a PDF.

As the link demonstrates, it's a combination of the energy contained within the fuel, the lift to drag ratio, the structural efficiency of the vehicle, and the specific fuel consumption.
 

sferrin

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And one thing the Mirage 4000 had a lot of it was fuel. As I recall it had more even than a Flanker.
 

Archibald

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That's one of the delta-wing strength - without horizontal tail the wing can be stretched over all the fuselage length. End result: more wing area, lower wing loading, lot of volume for fuel.
Issues are (were ?) longer take-off run and worse maneuverability - delta wings just hate low speed. Fly-by-wire somewhat helped solving these issues.
That explains most of the Arrow, Mirage 4000 and F-16XL outstanding performances.
From memory, Flanker and F-15 wing area is in the 50- 70 square meters, while the Arrow or 4000 were well past a hundred.
 

Stargazer2006

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Archibald said:
From memory, Flanker and F-15 wing area is in the 50- 70 square meters, while the Arrow or 4000 were well past a hundred.
Sounds extremely large to me. Are you sure it wasn't square feet?!?
 

overscan

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Quoted wing area sometimes includes the portion of fuselage between the wings and the wings proper and sometimes doesn't.

F-15 wing area is 56.5 sq m.
Su-27 wing area is about 62 sq m.
Mirage 4000 was 73 sq m I believe.

Stephane, some basic mental maths would show that it can't possibly be feet. 49 sq ft is a 7ft by 7 ft square. If you've seen any of the above planes, you'll know they are much bigger than that :)
 

Archibald

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My bad, little brain fart (here's what happens when quoting from memory). The Arrow was past the hundred (114 square meters), not the Mirage.
 

Stargazer2006

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Thanks Paul. I got confused because somehow it 70 square meters seemed a lot (over twice the backyard of my former house!) but then I suppose the Mirage 4000 could have covered the surface of at least eight such yards easily...
 

famvburg

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Regarding delta wings not liking slow speeds, ISTR reading about the good old F-106. The way the author put it was something like 'not getting in a dogfight with an old stick in an F-106' and 'slow' being relative I guess, but the inference was if an experienced pilot knew the F-106, he could make it do things it wasn't expected to do. And it wasn't FBW. I wonder if the Mirages were the same, especially the 2000 and 4000. Thanks for all of the pics, I've always admired the 4000.
 

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I recall that the FBW system combined with leading edge devices makes the Mirage 2000 and 4000 a completely different proposition than conventional older delta's?
 

Sundog

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Wing area, if calculated correctly, should always include the area to the centerline of the fuselage. An aircraft's wing, aerodynamically speaking, goes from tip to tip. The lift "doesn't" stop at the wing root. Take the sweep of the leading edge and extend it to the centerline and take the sweep of the trailing edge at the fuselage and extend it to the centerline. That's the wing area used for calculating aerodynamics.

For fuel volume of the "wing," you look at what capacity the "mechanical" size of each side of the wing can hold. I say that because people tend to confuse the mechanical wings and the aerodynamic wing. Mechanically speaking, you have a left wing and a right wing. Aerodynamically speaking, you have the left side of the wing and the right side of the wing and there isn't a "break" between the two, they meet at the aircraft centerline; I'm assuming it's a standard symmetric configuration.

It should also be noted, that although delta wings can hold a lot of fuel, you also generally require a more complex fuel system to control the fuel flow from the tanks to maintain c.m. That was one of the problems with the F-16XL IIRC. It obviously wasn't something that couldn't be fixed, it just that with a conventional configuration, most of the wing fuel is near the c.m.
 

thonthon42

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Hello !
I was in Le Bourget at this time in 1983 when Guy Mitaux-Maurouard (I think !) was flying the "4000", the best French "métal hurlant" (Rafale is for children). It was a great pleasure and now a good remember for me ...
@+++
Thonthon
 

Stargazer2006

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Sundog said:
Wing area, if calculated correctly, should always include the area to the centerline of the fuselage. An aircraft's wing, aerodynamically speaking, goes from tip to tip. The lift "doesn't" stop at the wing root. Take the sweep of the leading edge and extend it to the centerline and take the sweep of the trailing edge at the fuselage and extend it to the centerline. That's the wing area used for calculating aerodynamics.
Thank you so much for this most precious piece of information! I was totally unaware of this. That's also what I love about this forum, you learn stuff every day.
 

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sferrin said:
And one thing the Mirage 4000 had a lot of it was fuel. As I recall it had more even than a Flanker.

I've variously seen 8800kg, 9045kg and "three times the fuel capacity of the Mirage 2000" which makes 9600kg. Only the latter would be (very slighly) more than an early model Flanker, but then the Mirage was supposed to be quite a bit lighter. However, I'd expect the M53 to be noticeably thirstier than the AL-31F (somewhat lower BPR and OPR *far* worse).
 

Sundog

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Trident said:
I've variously seen 8800kg, 9045kg and "three times the fuel capacity of the Mirage 2000" which makes 9600kg. Only the latter would be (very slighly) more than an early model Flanker, but then the Mirage was supposed to be quite a bit lighter. However, I'd expect the M53 to be noticeably thirstier than the AL-31F (somewhat lower BPR and OPR *far* worse).
Wasn't the M53's Lower BPR, etc., due to the M53 being designed for higher speeds at alt IIRC?
 

sferrin

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Sundog said:
Trident said:
I've variously seen 8800kg, 9045kg and "three times the fuel capacity of the Mirage 2000" which makes 9600kg. Only the latter would be (very slighly) more than an early model Flanker, but then the Mirage was supposed to be quite a bit lighter. However, I'd expect the M53 to be noticeably thirstier than the AL-31F (somewhat lower BPR and OPR *far* worse).
Wasn't the M53's Lower BPR, etc., due to the M53 being designed for higher speeds at alt IIRC?
That's what I recall as well. One of Airtime Publishing's books said the M53 produced more thrust than the early F100s at speed and altitude.
 

sferrin

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Trident said:
sferrin said:
And one thing the Mirage 4000 had a lot of it was fuel. As I recall it had more even than a Flanker.

I've variously seen 8800kg, 9045kg and "three times the fuel capacity of the Mirage 2000" which makes 9600kg. Only the latter would be (very slighly) more than an early model Flanker, but then the Mirage was supposed to be quite a bit lighter. However, I'd expect the M53 to be noticeably thirstier than the AL-31F (somewhat lower BPR and OPR *far* worse).
The 21,000lbs and change is what I read.
 

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The best account of the Mirage 4000 I have is the three part Fana article on Super Mirages by Alexis Rocher.


He says 9045kg of fuel, including 675l in the vertical tail, 3 times that of the Mirage 2000 (which was rather short of fuel).It was also flown with giant 2500l drop tanks.


What follows is my own opinion:


Regarding M53, SNECMA built and tested TF30 derivatives, but these were considered too costly, too complicated and too heavy to use on the Mirage series. The Mirages had cheap, simple, reliable ATAR engines, which were technically a generation behind the US and UK but the only major compromise ATAR gave was on fuel burn. The higher technology US/UK engines were more fuel-efficient, but more expensive, and often heavier - and on a lightweight export-oriented fighter, the benefits of lower fuel burn not as important as other factors.

M53 represented a half-step between ATAR and TF30, a simple single shaft low bypass ratio turbofan which was cheap, reasonably light, not too ambitious technologically and easier to maintain than TF30, but more fuel efficient than the ATAR turbojets. It performed much better at high speed and altitude than the TF30 would do due to its low bypass ratio and was lighter weight than TF30, but roughly equal thrust. Similar considerations lead to the USSR perservering with turbojets for an extra generation - the early turbofans were too complex, expensive and difficult to maintain, and the weight penalty outweighed the greater efficiency for short-range fighters.

With the available technical base in 1970 France, F100/AL-31F level performance was simply unachievable, and if achieveable, unaffordable. M53 was a sensible compromise.

To what extent the parameters of the M53 determined an expedient emphasis on high speed, high altitude performance in ACF and Mirage 2000, I leave to your imagination. Note that M88 moved much closer to UK/US engine technology and design.
 

RAP

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I always liked this aircraft.
 

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overscan

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I liked it, but unless it was procured to replace Mirage IV in the F-15E type role I can't see its purpose. Well, perhaps it was a play for the Saudi fighter requirement like P.110.
 

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For the fans of the Dassault Mirage 4000, in the next Fana de l'Aviation monthly (in French, sorry), there is the first of some articles about this plane.

From its web advertising, Le Fana shows us the first and the last pages of this article :

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LeFanaDelAviationMagazine/photos/?ref=page_internal



 

Foo Fighter

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It could have been a very impressive airframe, just for interests sake, how would the 400 compare to the Rafale? I know, different tech and different times but put differently, how would the 4000 have stacked up against its peers versus how the Rafale would compare to its own peers and which would have the greater relative ability? Sorry, I have sinusitis, it's like thinking through concrete, heavy duty concrete....
 

Deltafan

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Difficult to say…

And I think that for comparisons between 4000 and Rafale with their peers, there will be as many opinions as forumers-posts ;D

But I think that with the 4000, there would have been no Rafale like we know it, but maybe only a one-engined Rafale (with Advanced M-53), close to the shape of the Yugoslavian Novi Avion, for French Navy (even if the French Navy wanted the F-18, at least at the beginning, to replace the Super-Etendard and, above all and quickly, the most older F-8).

With money, the big Mirage 4000 could have been more easy to enhance (bigger place than in the 2000 for more efficient systems) and to maintain in service (because less quickly obsolete, as a fighter-bomber, than the 2000), with costs not growing a lot, with the time, for new built models. It could have been a French F-15, with no need of (big) change for the shape. Even today, it could have been a good opponant, with its good flying capacity (with advanced M-53 too) and the systems of the Rafale.


But France was and is a no-money-land, and, moreover, one M-53 or two M-88 drink less than two M-53 (and France even chose to close its own little oil fields, absolutely not empty, for "ecological reasons" to continue to buy oil in other lands... :p). There was no future in France for the 4000... :-\
 

galgot

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I think for a Fr Gov to find economically acceptable to get a twin jet fighter, it had to be able to replace and do the work of ALL combat aircrafts then in service in the AF AND Navy, that is MIII/5s, Mirage IVs, Jaguars, Mirage F1s, Etendards/SuperEtendards, Crusaders ,(that’s a lot…). The M4000 was too big and expensive for that, and moreover would have been difficult to adapt it to carrier operation on small Fr carriers.
Dassault managed to sell the Rafale to FrAF/Navy cause it was intended to do all that, AA combat, strike, recon, and even nuc strike both from land and carrier, and replace the old stuff. Rafale was a generation after the 4000, so could do the same and more, while being lighter, so finally acceptable for a fr Gov.
Though still a very expensive toy, and deliveries spread several times.

But the 4000 is a beaut for sure.
In term of capabilities, I would really think of it as a "double M2000" :)
Engine more optimized for Hi supersonic, but twice. Almost same aerodynamics and controls system but a bigger airframe , thus more internal fuel so more range (and that was a problem with the 2000).
 

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With the benefit of post-Cold War hindsight, the timescale for the Mirage 4000 would have been far earlier than the Rafale and the range would have been more appropriate to modern expeditionary warfare. It's taken a long time for the Rafale to develop any export orders and the M88 hasn't found any applications beyond the Rafale, although the same could be said of the Eurofighter and EJ200. The Rafale suffered from the same post-Cold War funding delays as the Eurofighter and F22, and the same cost escalation due to the extended timescales. I think that a Mirage 4000 fleet could have fulfilled the same mission as the 2000N and 2000D, albeit with 1/3 fewer airframes purchased due to costs. Beyond that production run, the larger airframe might have given it more credibility than the Mirage 2000 in an export market that was suddenly redefined by the fall of the Soviet union and the unexpected availability of the Su-27.

As it turned out, the French made comparable decisions to the Eurofighter member states and the United States, so there really isn't any grounds for particular criticism. Nobody saw the end of the Cold War coming and everyone made the same mistake of delaying fighter programs in a counterproductive bid to save money.
 

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How hard would it have been to make the beast supercruise?

Also, all the air show stories remind me of the old Paris show rule: never schedule an interview to coincide with the Mirage family demo.
 

galgot

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Moreover , the M53 is a VERY noisy engine, so TWO M53 .

Here 68 hires pict I took of the bird at Le Bourget museum back in 2012, together with some of the Rafale A. Surely (don’t call me Shirley) better picts exist, but if these can please M4000 lovers :
https://we.tl/t-hxAL0FYPAB
 

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resized and attached:
 

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