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Mirage IIIW proposal by Boeing

alanqua

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Hi everyone,
I've heard that Boeing proposed to produce the French fighter Mirage III, it was named Mirage III W.
Does anybody have more information on it? Any brochure or image?
Thank you very much.
Alain
 

Stargazer2006

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Mirage IIIW was to be a license-built Boeing variant to compete with the F-5A/E on export markets.

It seems that Boeing had Dassault's fighters in good consideration.

W stands for Wichita.

According to Jack Gee's book on the Mirage, this was a variant of the Mirage IIIC intended as a competitor for the F-5A/B in the early 1960s. It would indeed have been built by Boeing-Wichita. It definitely could've lead somewhat earlier to a J9-powered version of the Mirage.
 

alanqua

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Hi,
Nobody has an image of this mysterious Mirage IIIW?
Regards
Alain
 

Deltafan

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Hi
I guess the Mirage III W was very similar to the Mirage III C, because it was foreseen to be a "technical"* Mirage III C (to be built by Boeing in Wichita for W) with an ATAR 9 B jet engine (to be built by Pratt & Withney) and Aïda radar (to be built by Hughes). The weapon system was foreseen to be all american.
*"Boeing construirait le Mirage III W selon la définition technique du Mirage III C, équipé du réacteur Snecma Atar 9 B et du radar Aïda. (...) Boeing sera responsable de la mise au point du système d'armes dont les équipements seront américains". DASSAULT 50 ANS D'AVENTURE AERONAUTIQUE, CARLIER-BERGER, EDITIONS DU CHENE, 1996, page 82.

For the Mirage III VTOL, in 1961 Dassault and Boeing want to work together for the NATO programme of a V/STOL Strike Reconnaissance Aircraft NBMR3 (Sud-Aviation and BAC were foreseen too to be part of the plane of Dassault-Boeing). It was foreseen that Boeing present the plane to the USAF too. Dassault and Sud-Aviation were foreseen to design an to build the prototype and BAC and Boeing to give technical aid. The NATO programme is cancelled in 1962.
In 1963 the USAF had foreseen to buy 3 Mirage III V 03 like (two seats) planes to test them. Boeing was in charge to assemble and prepare the planes. In may 1964, it is foreseen to buy only two Mirage III V 03, but the project is cancelled.
DASSAULT 50 ANS D'AVENTURE AERONAUTIQUE, CARLIER-BERGER, EDITIONS DU CHENE, 1996, page 126.
 

Stargazer2006

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No pics, unfortunately.

Another item from the web:

Dassault then started talks with Boeing, which was seeking to compete with the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter on the export market. This led to the Mirage IIIW programme, involving the Atar 9B engine and the Aida radar. The aircraft was to be built at Wichita (Kansas) in collaboration with Hughes (radar) and Pratt and Whitney (engine). The weapon system (4 tonnes payload) was to be US-made. However, the French government -- in the midst of pulling back from Nato -- did not relish the idea. Added to that, Boeing was planning on delivering the aircraft to the Vietnamese theatre of operations. This only compounded the matter and that was the end of the project.

Source: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3126/is_655_56/ai_n28851436/pg_9/
 

alanqua

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By the way, thanks to everyone for your inputs.
Regards
Alain
 

Jemiba

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The Boeing 837-333 clearly was a Mirage IIIV derivative and surely not suitable for a
competition for a light-weight fighter. In http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,839.0.html ,
#6 Archibald already mentioned the IIIW in this sense, confirmed by deltafan, so I moved the those posts
regarding the Boeing 837-333 to the "Boeing VSTOL/STOL projects" thread.
 

Antonio

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Boeing and the Mirage III.

Source: RAF Flight Magazine 1962
 

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  • Dassault Mirage Boeing RAF and RN.jpg
    Dassault Mirage Boeing RAF and RN.jpg
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Pioneer

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Just stumbled across this alanqua:

"In the early 1960s, the USAF launched a competition to procure a light fighter aircraft for its allies. The idea was to obtain an inexpensive aircraft intended mainly for export to South America, Africa and Asia. In fact, the Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter, which had just flown and had been built according to these principles, was already in the sights. Lockheed's F-104 was also presented in this competition.

Boeing had no fighter to oppose it, but Dassault came to its aid with its Mirage IIIC, which it offered to Boeing. The idea was to have it built under license by Boeing at its factory in Wichita, Kansas.

The new device was called Mirage IIIW (for Wichita, therefore). Pratt & Whitney was to build the Atar 9B under license and Hughes was to build the Aida radar as well. The aircraft obtained would therefore have been very close to the Mirage IIIC, with only the entirely American weapon system. It could carry 4 tons of weaponry.

The aircraft manufacturers were enthusiastic and the negotiations went well. Boeing obtained a product to present to this market and developed its military branch. Dassault could hope to penetrate the American market. The agreement was signed on December 23, 1961. A small model was even made on this occasion. Boeing was planning to deliver the Mirage IIIW to Vietnam and was also starting to take an interest in the Mirage III V. A market of 600 units was expected.

But the project failed after a few months for several reasons. The opposition did not come only from the United States as one might think, but also from France. She was on the verge of leaving NATO Integrated Command and did not like the idea of the Mirage IIIW. In addition to the reluctance of the United States towards foreign military aircraft, it was also necessary to take into account Boeing's desire to devote itself instead to the TFX, a tactical fighter of varying sizes. The F-5A Freedom Fighter was the big winner of this competition.
"

(Source:https://aviationsmilitaires.net/v3/kb/aircraft/show/17429/dassault-mirage-iii-w)


Regards
Pioneer
 

Archibald

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Problem with that story - the timeline is wholly uncoherent !

- France partially left NATO in 1966, not 1961
- Mirage III-V did not flew before 1965 and the Balzac V demonstrator in 1962
- Vietnam war didn't existed by 1961, too

Which doesn't mean the basic story is bullshit. Still quite interesting at many levels !

- It would have been a Mirage V long before 1967, except with Uncle Sam powerful sale machines behind it (= Mirage III-E without the expensive avionics - clear weather combat variant, for export - Israel, cough)

- Note that Aida radar was Dassault "second-hand" in-house option found on Etendard and others aircraft. Usually the Mirages had Cyrano II radar, not from Dassault but from Thomson-CSF.

- Funny to think Hughes would produce a Dassault radar... when you think the Swiss Mirages had a Hughes TARAN system.

- And Pratt Atars ? Hopefully, it would help getting more performance out of the engine.
- There, it is not Dassault but SNECMA matters. Since 1959 they had a deal with Pratt.
They wanted to licence-build J75s for the Mirage IVB.
They ended in 1963-1970 licensing the TF30 for a whole bunch of different Mirages - the -V, the -F, and the -G series.

More generally, while the Mirage III was a fine airframe, there were a lot of critics over

- the Atar lack of power and the lack of alternatives from SNECMA

- CSF Cyrano radars (called Teflon / Tefal by pilots - because they heated a lot, but did not stick to the target - just like the eponymous frying pan technology !)

 

archipeppe

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roblem with that story - the timeline is wholly uncoherent !

- France partially left NATO in 1966, not 1961
- Mirage III-V did not flew before 1965 and the Balzac V demonstrator in 1962
- Vietnam war didn't existed by 1961, too
Dear Archibald, I agree with you.

Such 1961 timeline reminds me of another contest for a lightweight fighter: the one that U.S. Army wanted, and for such reason FIAT G 91s were tested at Fort Rucker (along with F-5 and A-4).

Maybe did such Mirage IIIW proposal fall under such cadre?
In the same timeframe and also for the same reasons even the Vought V-1000 (F-8 for USAF) was proposed, there is a connection between them?
 

zen

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However.....is the real origin of the J79 Mirage III?
 

NoBarrelRolls

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I was about to make the same remarks as Archibald. Wouldn't make more sense, from a business point of view, to sell the Mirage IIIW with American made engine and radar? Specially after the Aida was a very basic ranging radar that was installed in the Mirage 5.
 

archipeppe

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However.....is the real origin of the J79 Mirage III?
Not exactly, the IAI Kfir was son of French embargo against Israel from one side and by need to have common engine with the Phantom II already used by IAF on the other side. Let alone the thrust increase from Atar to J79....
 

galgot

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However.....is the real origin of the J79 Mirage III?
Asked myself that too a while ago when finding that MIIIW-Boeing connection.
Later found that the J79 to mirage integration work for the Kfir was mainly done by Gene Salvay from Rockwell, with some help from Dassault.
So I know he was working for Rockwell at the time, but maybe he worked for Boeing before that ?
 
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H_K

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More generally, while the Mirage III was a fine airframe, there were a lot of critics over

- the Atar lack of power and the lack of alternatives from SNECMA

- CSF Cyrano radars (called Teflon / Tefal by pilots - because they heated a lot, but did not stick to the target - just like the eponymous frying pan technology !)

Neither of which would have been a problem in head-to-head competition against the F-5A.
 

zen

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I think in essence there ought to be some Boeing study for Mirage III with a J79, or even a Dassault study.
Whether that is influential or not on later French and Israeli efforts is open to question.
 

galgot

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I think in essence there ought to be some Boeing study for Mirage III with a J79, or even a Dassault study.
Whether that is influential or not on later French and Israeli efforts is open to question.

Indeed as Dassault fully cooperated with the Rockwell team for the J79 integration, so earlier Dassault J79 integration study could have been used.

This was posted by T.Cooper on ACIG, related to Kfir but interesting nonetheless:

« Here you are: an excerpt from an interview with Salvay by Joe Mizrahi, published in the "Wings" magazine, volume 30/No.4, from August 2000. The article is titled "The Designer of the B-1 Bomber's Airframe". On the page 48 it says:

"It was then that a new and completely unexpected challenge arose, one
that he could never have foreseen. Five thousand miles away, in
Israel, a delivery of Mirage jets, purchased by the Israelis, had been
embargoed by their french manufacturer, Dassault, on the orders of
French president, Charles deGaulle, or so everyone was led to believe.
The Six Days War of 1967, in which Israel had triumphed over a strong
coalition of five Arab states, was over, but the country desperately
needed the promised aircraft. Without them, it was claimed, the
tentative balance in the Middle East could not be maintained.

The chairman of North American Rockwell's board had long since
established a manufacturing presence in Israel, given over to building
transmissions and other auto products, an industry in which Rockwell
was already a leader. He was also promoting plans for building an
indigenous manufacturing base for aircraft, and when its government
approached him to allow several of his picked engineers to travel to
Israel to set up that capability, he agreed. Among those invited to
participate was Gene Salvay.

Several years before, Moshe Ahrens, then a US citizen and a graduate
aeronautical engineer, had met Gene at Wright Field in Ohio. He
remembered the North American designed and as Israeli Aircraft
Industries Engineering vice president, specifically asked for him.
Since Rockwell wanted to expand its overseas business, and America's
aviation industry was in a temporary downturn, Gene, with the
blessings of the US government and his employer, took a one-year leave
of absence and traveled to Israel. What he discovered was not what was
being portrayed in the newspapers.

Instead of an embargo - which was only proclaimed to ease the fears of
their Arab oil suppliers - the French were shipping brand-new Mirage
IIIC jets, complete in knockdown assembly kits, direct to Israel
aboard USAF C-5 cargoplanes. There was no embargo and the Israelis
were not building 50 examples of their own version of the Mirage,
called Nesher, from plans purportedly smuggled out of Switzerland - a
licence builder - but were merely putting them together on a modern
production line as fast as the C-5s could make delivery. Still, the
Israelis did need Gene Salvay's talents. The Mirage, in its original
form, with an Atar 0B engine generating 9,350lbs. of static thrust
(13,250 with afterburning), was not suitable for sustained, heavy
ground attack, a mission the IAF wanted to upgrade. It had neither the
power nor the structural strength. In the completely new version,
Gene, as the chief designer, would create the Kfir. In a near total
makeover, what was once a lightweight dogfighter would be equipped
with 10,000lb thrust GE J79 engine (15,000lbs with afterburning), the
same as that in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. It would also feature
improved munitions capability.

In order to accomplish the transformation, the entire airframe aft of
the cockpit had to be redesigned, since the J79 was not only more
powerful, but had a larger diameter. In order to better mesh the new
engine with his fuselage, Gene consulted with Lockheed designer and
old friend, Ben Rich, who worked out the thermodynamic problems and
communicated the results to Salvay by phone. With the full help of
Marcel Dassault, himself, who was extremely cooperative, plus the
imput of twelve US engineering specialists - eventually the number was
increased to 150 - Gene set up shop for preliminary design. Among his
most dedicated and valuable contributors was Ray Kann, who had worked
on the Doublas DC-9 project.

Within twelve months, engind in June, 1971, Gene and his team had
transformed the Mirage into the Kfir, beefing up its overall
structure, revamping its inlets and exhaust, turning it from an agile
22,000lb interceptor (loaded) into a 28,000lb interceptor/ground
attack machine, capable of carrying twice the offensive load.

While he was at it, Gene also looked over the Arava 101 transport, a
failed, homegrown, high-winged, twin-engined, twin-boomed STOL affair,
which had literally fallen out of the sky during the initial
trials...."

etc., etc. etc.

Now, of course, there are few factual errors re. "Mirage IIIC" vs. 5Js, as well as the inaccurate thrust values for the J79 used in the Kfir in that article.

For example, in the first case, the Mirage 5 has the stretched fuselage of the IIIE, with the intakes lining up with the aft edge of the canopy rather than a foot or two forward, a dead visual giveaway betwen a Mirage IIIC and a IIIE/5/50. If accurate, why would France be sending Mirage IIICs to Israel instead of Mirage 5s, when it was the 5s that Israel had specified ordered and paid for?

The Neshers are, after all, clearly Mirage 5Js, whether built in France or Israel.

In the case of the Kfir's J79, maybe they used a -7 or -11 in the prototype, but the production a/c had what was effectively a -19, with much higher ratings.

Despite such (unbeliveable) mistakes for an author publishing in a magazine claiming for itself for being especially precise in information, Gene Salvay never denied anything that was stated in that article in regards to his person."
 

Archibald

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I think in essence there ought to be some Boeing study for Mirage III with a J79, or even a Dassault study.
Whether that is influential or not on later French and Israeli efforts is open to question.

One thing is sure: there were studies of Mirage F1 with J79 (according to Liébert).
 

famvburg

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Seems like they were planning a Boeing built F.1 as well, maybe against the F-16?
 

Archibald

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Not really surprising. Boeing was markedly absent from the fighter business - between 1944 F-8B and 1997 X-32.
Boeing being Boeing (how funny does that sounds :p - boing boing boing !) they salivated at the fighter juicy market... and tried to jump back into that bandwagon by "hijacking" whatever design they could get their hands on. Including foreign ones.
That what it would take to try and outsmart such colossus as Lockheed, NAAR, Northrop and so many others...
 

galgot

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Found something else about Dassault/Rockwell connection :
"Actually, in early 1968 and in great secrecy, Dassault signed the contract titled “JC3” with Rockwell International for license production of Mirage 5s in Israel. Rockwell was a company hitherto known for production of transmissions and other car-related products, but in mid-1960s it acquired the famous aircraft manufacturer North American and then became curious to expand abroad.

Its agreement with Dassault stipulated delivery of 50 aircraft in the form of knockdown assembly kits, made from parts manufactured by a wide variety of Dassault’s subcontractors, including Aerospatiale and the Reims-Cessna: Dassault manufactured only the front fuselages for 10 two-seaters that were delivered as a part of a follow-on order, in the early 1970s.

There is less clarity in regards of who furnished the necessary SNECMA Atar 09C engines, but it seems that the “production” of these in Israel was organized with help of Belgian and Swiss companies, with specialized tools purchased from France, Australia, and the Fairchild Company in the United States.

The result of all of these efforts was the establishment of Israeli Aircraft Industries in 1968."

Complete article here :
 

Archibald

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Un-be-lie-va-ble. Shame NAR was so busy with the F-15 afterwards... imagine if they had used that Dassault agreement to back the F-1M53 as their very own entry in the Deal of the Century... just to piss off Lockheed, GD, and Northrop. :p
 
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