Mirages I - III/5, Prototypes & Projects

Archibald

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The Mirage III was the result of an evoluting program launched in 1953. At first, it was for lightweight interceptors to reach mach 1.5 with a single AAM.
At the time, only 3 publics firms (SNCA N, SE and SO) and some private (Breguet, Dassault and Morane Saulnier) were able to build this kind of aircrafts.

The Nord-1400 Gerfault was not a contender for this program; the Nord Aviation entry was the Nord 5000 Harpon (I made a thread on it recently)
Others were the MS-1000 and Breguet 1002. These remains paper projects, but three others aircrafts flew (between 1953 and 1956)
- The Mirage 01/ I and then II
- The Durandal
- The SO-9050 Trident
All were powered by small engines such as the Turbomeca Gabizo of 1500 kgp of thrust or the Viper. This program was the high altitude complement of the NATO LWF fighter.

Then , the program evolved to a mach 2 interceptor. The Mirage II was never finished and its wings were used for the very first Mirage III, the -01 (17/11/1956).
The Durandal had flew in April 1956, the Trident had become the Trident II.

Then, in 1956, the program evolved again to a multirole mach 2 fighter, eliminating the rocket-powered Trident.

So the final oposed the Mirage III-01 to the Durandal, both powered by the 4500 kgp Atar-101 completed by a SEPR rocket (1500 kgp).
Operational variants would have had the Atar-9 of 6000 kgp of thrust, these were the Mirage IIIA and Durandal IV.
As the Mirage was clearly superior to the Durandal, it won the competition and the Durandal IV was never build.

Nord 5000 Harpon
 

Archibald

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Here we are

Dassault MD-550 'Mirage' 01 (1955 )
Span : 7.30 m
Length :12.80 m
Empty weight :3320 kg
MTOW :5150 kg
Engines : 2 Armstrong Siddeley 'Viper' 744 kgp each.

Dassault MD-550 'Mirage' I (1955)
Span : 7.03 m
Length : 11.50 m
Empty weight : 3330 kg
Maximum weight : 5070 kg
Engines : 2 Bristol Siddeley 'Viper' (980 kgp) 2 SEPR 66 rocket motors of 1500 kgp
top speed :1380 km/h at 11000 m (35000 ft)
 

Archibald

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I'll not enter in the field of the Mirage III sub-variants (too many!) just mentioned some interesting one (sometimes well known!)
- Mirage IIIK was a Spey powered variant for GB.
- Mirage IIIT was a flying testbed for the TF-104/106 turbofans (first flight 4/06/1964 with Jean Coureau. The plane, as the F-111 and Tomcat later, was plagued by engines stalls)
- Mirage IIIM was the Aeronavale variant (not very realistic, considering that the landing speed of a Mirage III is around 200kt...)
- Mirage IIIW was to be a licence build Boeing variant to compete with the F-5A/E on export markets.
- Mirage IIIO was the Australian variant, the prototype had the
Avon-300 engine whereas the production aircrafts stayed with the Atar 9.
- Milan was the first atempt to fit canards on a Mirage III. They were fitted on the nose (not on the air intakes a la Kfir) and could retract on the fuselage.
- Mirage V( 1967) 50 (1979) and NG (1982) were improved variants
(with less and less success along the years...)

The Mirage IIIF, IIIG and IIIV designations applied in fact to nearly 100% new aircrafts. The IIIV designation stayed whereas the two others were quickly dropped in favor of the single letter F and G.

Footnote : the Mirage III-01 Balzac (1956-1965)

The name Balzac was applied to the early Mirage III-01 of november 1956. This plane had a long life as testbed for the Mirage IIIA/B/C/E and was still flying in 1961.
It was then changed into a subsonic VTOL demonstrator by replacing its Atar 9 by an Orpheus+ 8 RB-108 lift engine. Know as Balzac V (Vertical) it was only subsonic, with a flight time of 12 minutes.
The plane flew in 1962, crashed for the first time in February 1964 at Melun-Villaroche, killing CEV test pilot Jacques Pinier.
The plane was repared, and crashed again in September 1965 killing Major Neale.
 

Antonio

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

I didn't knew about this variant. Boeing first thought to enter USAF's LFW competition (won by the GD F-16) was a Mirage F-1 with US avionics/weapons and J-79 Engine. It seems that Boeing had Dassault's Fighters in good consideration.
 

elmayerle

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Archibald said:
W stands for Wichita. I don't know more about this project :(

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.
 

Jemiba

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A version still not mentioned here, I think:
Mirage IIIT2, powered by a TF-106, as the IIIV's cruise engine, and intended as a
long range reconnaissnace and strike a/c, but at first just as an developing a/c for
the IIIV.
source:
Flying Review vol.19, 1963. The model was shown on the 25th
Salo International de l'Aéronautique et de #"Espace.
 

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Archibald

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Hey, this look like an operational variant of the Mirage IIIT! Never heard about this one, Jemiba...
To my mind, this project had two origins :
- Or it was an alternative to the IIIV just in the case of a failure of the VTOL aircraft...
- Or it was a Mirage III variant developed BEFORE the IIIV (1960-1963 ?) abandoned, and then resurected to be use as a testbed...
It is aparently based on a Mirage IIIB, but the canopy look more a Mirage F2/ G... very, very interesting project! Where do you find it ?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Interesting account of Mirage design evolution in Salvador Mafe Huertas Dassault-Breguet Mirage III/5 Osprey Air Combat 1990

  • MD.550 - Mach 1.15 in shallow dive. Drag way too high for the limited thrust.
  • Fairey Aviation provided FD2 data to Dassault, as a result MD.550 fin and dorsal spine redesigned, length and wingspan reduced slightly. Renamed Mirage I. Speed increased to Mach 1.3 in level flight with rocket boost
  • Mirage II was a larger development with a larger wing based on Fairey data and two Turbomeca Gabizo turbojets. Not built.
  • Mirage III (01) had almost identical wing to the Mirage II project, but new "area-ruled" fuselage based on US research. SNECMA Atar 101G.2 turbojet. Mach 1.52 in level flight.
  • Refitted with conical "shock cones" similar to the F-104, achieves Mach 1.6 (jet engine) and Mach 1.9 (with rocket boost).
  • Mirage IIIA - increased thrust Atar 9B, wing redesigned to reduce drag and increase lift. Conical leading edge camber adopted [as recommended by NASA Ames research and implemented on F-106 and B-58 - my addition]. Mach 2 reached.
 

Archibald

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I have to found the source (sorry) but the Mirage-II was partially built. And the wings of this unfisnished aircraft were used for a "speed built" of the Mirage III-01. (why speed built ? because Dassault was late against the Durandal, but also because the program had changed once again).
Thanks for the more detailed story Overscan.

Footnote : Mirage IV and Mirage-2000 tails were changed around their first flight just because old Marcel Dassault found they were ugly... that's not a joke! (Fana de l'aviation August 1998 about first flight of the 2000)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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  • MD.550 - Mach 1.15 in shallow dive. Drag way too high for the limited thrust.
  • Fairey Aviation provided FD2 data to Dassault, as a result MD.550 fin and dorsal spine redesigned, length and wingspan reduced slightly.
  • Renamed Mirage I. Speed increased to Mach 1.3 in level flight with rocket boost
  • Mirage II was a larger development with a larger wing based on Fairey data and two Turbomeca Gabizo turbojets. Not built.
  • Mirage III (01) had almost identical wing to the Mirage II project, but new "area-ruled" fuselage based on US research. SNECMA Atar 101G.2 turbojet. Mach 1.52 in level flight.
  • Refitted with conical "shock cones" similar to the F-104, achieves Mach 1.6 (jet engine) and Mach 1.9 (with rocket boost).
  • Mirage IIIA - increased thrust Atar 9B, wing redesigned to reduce drag and increase lift. Conical leading edge camber adopted [as recommended by NASA Ames research and implemented on F-106 and B-58]. Mach 2 reached.

As you can see, Fairey research was useful, but not the whole story.
 

Matej

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Mirage III-V
 

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Matej

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Last one for today: Mirage IIIA n.01
 

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Jemiba

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Comparison between the -01, -02 and the two-seat -03/04, as proposed to the USAF
 

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Stargazer2006

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Here is a cleaned-up/enhanced version. I will try and improve it some more tonight.
 

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ivran

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Does somebody have better drawing of this aircraft,This is the best what I have , I like Mirage III variants Thank in advanced,
I have story Saga des Mirages but there have not good drawing, cutaways, and colors
 

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ivran

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Any color drawing of Mirage III 001,like this
 

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toura

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Hi Ivran
Mirage III a 01
 

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toura

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Mirage iii 3 views
 

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toura

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color... but not very good !!!
 

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toura

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MIRAGE iii as at Le Bourget museum
 

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Rickshaw

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Out of a matter of interest, are there any three view drawings of the Mirage II ?
 

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By Jean M Cuny.
 

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toura

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Hi Kadija_man

Is this of interest for you ?

Dassault studies of delta wing before the MD 550.
 

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ivran

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And Mirage II in color
 

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Arjen

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Again, by Jean M Cuny
 

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Arjen

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toura said:
HI arjen
Yes....after modifications.
Bye
To elaborate on that: the Mirage III-001 prototype started life with short air intakes, as in the first two images. Then it received longer intakes with shock cones, as in the next two images. The last two pictures show the first pre-production aircraft, Mirage IIIA-01. All pictures from the excellent 'Mirage III - les monoréacteurs Dassault à aile delta - Tome 1' by Bernard Chenel, Eric Moreau and Patrick Audouin.
 

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Arjen

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Related topic: prototype Mirage III-001 was converted to the Balzac V VTOL testbed.
 

toura

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HI ALL
MIRAGE III T
 

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Jemiba

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GTX said:
Does anyone have any more information on this Mirage IIIO 'Plus' proposal, especially drawings?

No, but it could have been an interesting bird ! At least a (much smaller) intake is already known from the Kfir.
 

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topspeed3

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Arjen said:
. The last two pictures show the first pre-production aircraft, Mirage IIIA-01. All pictures from the excellent 'Mirage III - les monoréacteurs Dassault à aile delta - Tome 1' by Bernard Chenel, Eric Moreau and Patrick Audouin.

Is it possible to get the main dimensions of this Mirage IIIA-01 ?
 

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The current issue of Le Fana de l'Aviation has a 16 page article on the Milan program and the planes modified with the "moustache" on the nose.

- Mirage 5J n° 2 "Astérix" (fixed canards) - september 1968 - june 1969
- Mirage IIIRD n° 363 "Astérix" (fixed canards). It kept its 33-TL markings from ER 3/33 for the trials - october 1968 - january 1969
- Mirage IIIR n° 344 with retractable canards (may 1969 - january 1970)
- Milan S 01, formerly the Mirage IIIE n° 589, re-engined with an Atar 9K31 and later an Atar 9K50 and 2 different noses (with or without an Aida radar). It first flew on may 29 1970. It was returned to the standard Mirage IIIE configuration in 1977 and re-entered Armée de l'Air service.

The cover of this issue shows the Milan S 01 flying in front of an A-7D over the swiss Alps and can be seen on the artist's website, Christophe Gibelin. Click on the Potez 25 and drag it to the left in order to get to the next illustrations.
 

hesham

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That's very nice Cafe,


specially Milan artist drawing.
 

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