Mirage F-O (for Australia = Ostralia)Yeeeees ! I saw this one in Liébert book. It was a supersonic trainer by Dassault. If anybody can get a glance inside Liébert book - I'm quite sure it is inside.
Note that we have a delta, a VG, and a swept-wing. Of the three, swept wing is the one that makes the more sense.
Agreed.This feels like it was aiming at the same Australian requirement for a supersonic lead-in fighter trainer as the CAC CA-31 and CAC/BAC AA-107. The performance figures (Mach 1.55 at altitude) and the timeframe (1967) match and Dassault certainly would have known about the requirement due to their ongoing involvement in the delivery of, GAF/CAC license built, Mirage IIIs to the RAAF. The choice of the J85 matches too as this was the engine initially considered for the CAC CA-31.
Most Dassault prototypes and mockups probably were made in the same corner of Saint Cloud plant / hangar / whatever. Dassault is not a very big company...Funny btw, that picture is apparently at the exact same spot as the earlier Dassault ECAT proposal Cavalier mockup:
Does anyone have a source for three views of the Mirage F.0 and the CA 107?Guess the RAF and the US Navy won out with the RAAF
Strange how the stuff from the 60s looks more 21c than what we actually have.The Hawk 127 lead-in fighter prepares qualified Air Force pilots for operational conversion to F/A-18A and F/A-18B Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets.www.airforce.gov.au
Not a bad answer in these current times, across countries, languages and on an aircraft from 50+yrs ago.The Mirage Fo, ("o", is the French vowel sound used to represent the sound at the beginning of, "australien"), is a synthesis of the different studies of the ECAT programme, which developed into the Jaguar, and the Mirage F2, without delta and with the canopy of the latter, and tends, by its dimensions, to return to the origins of the French national programme, before the inflation of weight caused by Franco-British cooperation. Two engines were studied during the second quarter of 1967, one using a single Rolls-Royce RB172, given for 3,600 kgp of thrust. Its wing has a leading edge sweep of 48°, with Crusader slats, flaps, ailerons and spoilers with a length of 11.20 m and a wingspan of 6.60 m. It has an MVE of 2,900 kg and carries 2,000 litres of fuel. The pendulum-type landing gear has only one wheel per leg and retracts into the fuselage, forward. The air inlets are semi-circular with no intake ramps. The aircraft can carry a 30 mm gun in a pod under the fuselage and various loads under a wing point: the take-off weight with gun is 4,650 kg and it is quite supersonic.
The other engine is based on two GE J85 engines and was the subject of a presentation model in Australian colours.
The presentation leaflet describes the aircraft as follows:
- Formula directly derived from that of the Mirage Ill F2 which flies successfully, for a supersonic training and ground support aircraft, small, inexpensive with proven engines; the performance is superior to that of the F5 despite its smaller size and 13% less wing area, thanks to elaborate manufacturing processes demonstrated on the F2; the developments envisaged on the J85 suggest a rapid increase from M 1.5 to M 2.
- General characteristics :
- 2 GE J85-13 reactors of 1230/1850 kgp static thrust pg/pgpc,
- length: 11.65 m,
- wingspan: 6.50 m,
- Height under load: 3.40 m,
The Mirage Fo with RB172 engine of January 1968.
- Reference wing area: 14 m²,
- Arrow at the leading edge of the canopy: 48°,
- canopy lengthening: 3,
- Relative wing thickness: 4,5 %,
- MVE: 3,400 kg,
- take-off weight, with a full tank (2100 l): 5 200 kg,
- maximum permissible mass: 7 200 kg,
- Maximum Mach at sea level: M 0.98 and at 38000 ft: M 1.55,
- ceiling: 50,000 ft,
- Autonomy on school missions with two additional tanks at M 0.6 and 30,000 ft: 2.6 h. In supersonic, smooth regime, range of action of 550 km with 4.6 min at M 1.5 and 36000 ft, - in support mission, with two 400 kg bombs or one gun pod or one 600 l tank under fuselage and with, under each wing point, one 400 kg bomb or one 600 l tank, range of action at low altitude and M 0.6 from 230 to 450 km depending on the mission.
The plane has a geometry very similar to that of the Adour engine version but this time the landing gear retracts aft, on the underside of the fuselage. 20% lighter than the ECAT aircraft, the Fo does not envisage the carrying of gears and the SNA is rather rudimentary, close to what was proposed at the origin of the program, without radar. The return to a larger wing is the consequence of the F2's observed good performance in the low speed range, and promises high speeds, but the aircraft would then have required variable section air inlets, which is not in the direction of simplicity or economy.
The Dassault representative that responded did not know the Australian reaction to this proposal, which must have been serious enough for Dassault to incur the cost of manufacturing a model; what need does this aircraft meet, when in hindsight, no purchase in this range of aircraft was made at that time by Australia?
It should be noted that, at the same time and until the end of 1968, the LAC was in negotiations with the Commonwealth Aircraft Company (CAC) for the definition and construction of a strike trainer in the spirit of the Jaguar, and that, as with Dassault, the latest studies would involve a variable geometry aircraft.
The connections with the CAC AA-107 become obvious.
Great thanks to Dassault Aviation for their wonderful response. We'll now be able to add an entry to the website on our what-if page.