Unbuilt & Prototype Mirages 1955-1980

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6 June 2006
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Nord 5000 Harpon

Durandal, Durandal IV and Durandal IVM (naval variant)


Breguet 1002
Here we are.
First, the sources of the photos (the pictures come from Jean Cuny book, Les avions de combats francais 1945-1960)

Mirage III-01

Mirage I



Now the photos and pictures

From up to down
MS-1000, Br.1002, Nord Harpon

(well I have some difficulties uploading the pictures) ??? :mad:
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :'( :'( :'( :'( :( :( :( :(
I'm stubborn... please moderator, delete some of these posts...

Morane Saulnier MS-1000

Breguet Br.1002

Nord 5000 Harpon

Durandal and derivatives.

SNCASE Durandal (photo)


Mirage 01

Mirage III-01 (AkA Balzac I)

Durandal IV

Mirage IIIA
Correction : the Mirage II never flew (not easy to follow this program, and I went nut with this damned file atachment :( )

The Mirage II and III-01 were both evolution of the I, with more power. The failure of the Gabizo engine (two powered the Mirage II) prompted the choice of the single Atar Mirage III-01.
This meant that the prototype of the Mirage II was scrapped, salvo the wings which were used to build the Mirage III-01!

Good article on the Trident here
Nice work Archibald

At the end you succeded with the pics ;)

What about starting a new topic on Mirage unbuilt versions?. I have read your contributions at whatifmodelers and keypublishing and I think it could be very interesting to enjoy your knowledge here.

Ok, that's a good idea. I have a pile of these projects :) to share with you...(I recntly asked on Dassault website informations on the Mirage F3 :) )
The first Mirage to fly was named the Mirage-01. It took the air for the first time on june 25th 1955. It was powered by two Vipers with 730 kgp each. It also had an oversized tail. Totally underpowered, it nevertheless managed to break the sound barrier in dive, reaching mach 1.3.

The -01 was quickly improved into the Mirage I. It was still powered by Vipers, but they were now boosted at 930 kgp by a simplified reheat. At SEPR rocket also added power. The results were much better, the plane reaching mach 1.3... in horizontal flight.

Caracteristics of this early Mirages can be found at Aviafrance.
More to follow...
Next step in the Mirage family was the Mirage IV... well, this family is really a mess!
The Mirage IV is more than a twin-engines Mirage III : it's genesis is much more complex.
The Mirage III-01 which flew in november 1956 lacked the Atar-9, shock cones in the air intakes. As a consequence, its top speed was around mach 1.7.
In the early Mirages, every change in the number (I, II, III meant different engine Ie more power)
The plane needed more power...a new engine. So, once again, the name was changed to Mirage IV. Under this name, various engines configurations were studied
- 1 Atar-9 (Mirage IVA /B)
- 1 Super Atar
- 2 atar 9 (Mirage IVC)
and some variants with rocket engines (Mirage IVF)

The Super Atar was never realised.
By lack of funds, the AdA chose the Mirage IVA. Finding that it was quite similar to the Mirage III-01, they named it Mirage IIIA. This plane flew on 12th May 1958, and was the first "real" Mirage III.

But the Mirage IVC was still alive... the AdA wanted it to replace the Vautours (its main competitor was the SO-4060) but once again budget cuts forced the cancellation of this aircraft.
It was nevertheless bringed back to life when De Gaulle "seized" power in may 1958 and decided to develop the nuclear deterrent.. the heavy fighter evolved into a light bomber. This one inherited of the Mirage IVA designation!! It flew in June 1959.
But the atar-9 limited the MTOW to 33 tons, cutting range to 2500km.
As this was clearly insufficient, a scaled-up variant was envisaged. Range, MTOW, wing area were nearly doubled. Of course, the engine power had to follow... as SNECMA was unable to create a 13000 kgp engine, foreign designs were selected.
those were
- J-75
- Olympus
- PS.13 Iroquois (yes, the Arrow engine...)
- RB-142 Medway (spey ancestor)

The J-75 was declared the winner and the Mirage IVB program started in march 1959. It was abruptly stopped in september because of its foreign engine.
The Mirage IVA was back, the range problem was solved by buying tankers in 1964...
Source http://www.mirage4p.com/slides/Historique/p02.htm
According to Stratis.org,
Par contre, la taille (surface, longueur du fuselage) et la motorisation sont en constante évolution. Devant les possibilités offertes, les exigences opérationnelles grandissent et les ingénieurs de la GAMD y répondent par toute une gamme d'avant-projets monoréacteurs qui portent le nom de Mirage IV. Leurs surfaces varient de 25 à 40 m2, leurs moteurs sont des ATAR de 6 à 7 et même 9 tonnes de poussée mais aucun ne répond entièrement à l'ensemble des souhaits de l'Etat-Major et pour tenir les exigences de montée de plafond à Mach 2, ils ont besoin de la poussée supplémentaire d'un groupe fusée. C'est pourquoi Marcel Dassault a proposé également un biréacteur ATAR 9 qui, avec ses 12 tonnes de poussée installée, est le seul à couvrir toutes les missions proposées sans l'assistance d'un groupe fusée.

"The size and mass of the fighter are not fixed yet in 1956. As a consequence, the requirement of the AdA are growing and Dassault propose various single-engine projects under the name
Mirage-IV. Their wing area is between 25 and 40 m2, their engines are Atar ranging from 6 to 9 tons of thrust (Atar-9 and Super Atar)
But none of them had enough power for the AdA requirement in climb rate and height, so they need rocket-engine.
That's why Dassault also propose a twin atar-9 machine which is the only to fulfill the whole performance requirement without rocket. "

among those single-engine+rocket projects were the Mirage IVA, IVB and IVF.


ATAR 9/6000 kgp
wing area 29 m2
empty weight 6400 kg / 7380 kg
Top speed MACH 2 à 2.5 / mach 2.5
Ceiling ? / 18000
Time to climb to 55000 ft / 15000 m. 3"5 / 6'

MIRAGE-IV F" (IV-A with rocket-motor)

Engine ATAR 9 de 6000 kgp + SEPR rocket, 750 kgp
Span 7.60 m
Length 14.50 m
Wing area : 29 m2
Empty weight : 6790 kg
Top speed :mach 2.5
Ceiling: 24000 m
time to climb to 55 000 ft : 3'20

Mirage IV C

2 ATAR 9/6000 kgp
Wing area 43 m2
Take off weight 11010
Top speed 2.9 à 11000 m
ceiling 20000
Time to climb to 55 000 ft 3'20
Y a pas de quoi :)
The Mirage IVM was an interim variant, a kind of mix between the IVC heavy fighter and the IVA light bomber, on request of the Aeronavale (which wanted nucelar deterrent a la US Navy from a big carrier, the PA-58 Verdun)

Mirage IVM
Single seater
Engines : 2 ATAR 9 de 6000 kgp
Span : 11.75 m
Length: 19.35 m (16.30 m with the...cockpit folded. That's not a joke)
Height : 5.30 m (5 m folded)
Wing area : 70 m2
Take off weight : 9.5 t
MTOW catapulted : 16.5 t
Landing max. weight : de 9.7 à 10.5 t
Mach max. : 2
Ceiling : 20500 m
Time to climb to 40 000ft/12000 m : 1’57

Mirage IVB
Wing area 130 m2
Length 28 m
span 16m
MTOW 57 tons
range 5000 km
top speed mach 2.2
pometablava said:
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.

The Mirage F-1 was a good fighter for its time - although its time ran out when the YF-16 appeared.

A J-79 engined Mirage F-1 would have been aerodynamically superior to the IAI Kfir, not to mention the F-104S - which was still in production in Italy at the time!
;D Not totally outdated - see what the Iraqis did with their EQ in the 80's- :)
The Improved F1E would have had FBW and M53 engine -better armed to fight the YF-16 !-
Don't forget that the YF-16 - in 1975- was only a raw prototype. Nevertheless, the announcement of a buying of 650 of them in January 1975 by the USAF pushed the decision of the Belgium governement.
But I agree, a better answer to the F-16 was the Mirage-2000...
I really don't want to start a "deal-of-the-century" polemic here!

PS concerning the Kfir and the F-104S they dated back from the 50's (Mirage III and... F-104). That's why the F1 would have been superior...

More Mirage stuff to follow...

PS you mean a kind of american kfir ? Well the J-79 and Avon were the equivalent of the Atar in time, power, technology, spreading...(albeit a bit more powerful).
Mirage F and G

I decided to join the two families because all the aircrafts are (more or less) linked together, from the F2 to the ACF.

At the beginning of the 60's, the AdA as many airforces was obsessed by the vulnearbility of its runaways. That's why many programs were setup to shorten or even supress the take off (and landing) run. Of course there was also the problem of the Mirage III succession...
The first and obvious move was in favor of VTOL Mirages. That was before discovering the difficulties of this kind of aircrafts. As an insurance, a STOL swept wing aircraft (full of flaps!) was also required.
At the time, the need was for a long-range, two-seat strike aircraft to complement the Mirage IIIE (as the Argies discovered 25 years later, range was too short, and a two-man crew would have been better...)
The Mirage IIIF2 was born. At the beginning of the 60's, relations between Israel and France reached a peak, and the latter was seeking a replacement for its Vautour (timescale was around 1970).

The Vautour constructor, now Sud-aviation (from 1st March 1957 and the merge of SNCASO and SNCASE) proposed a vastly upgraded Vautour. Major Yohash Tsiddon was responsible of the project for the IAF, so the plane was name Tsiklon. (picture from "les avions de combat francais" by Jean Cuny)

More to follow...


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This mean June 1963... well, we have a kind of ancestor of the Mirage F2, this time with a delta wing (instead of the swept wing). The canopy looks strikingly similar, the engine is a TF-106...

This plane really look like the missing link between the ultimate Mirage III developments (the V and 50 are straight developments, sub variants of the IIIE) and the first "differents" Mirages (biggers, with differents wings...)

Maybe it was a bigger development of the IIIE, with a TF-106 to boost range. Sadly, with its delta wing, it had bad STOL abilities...we can imagine that Dassault stayed with the fuselage of this aircraft, but replaced the delta wing by a hypersustented, high mounted swept wing to allow STOL. Hence the Mirage F2....

For info, the Mirage IIIT was a single seat testbed based on a Mirage III. It flew on 4th June 1964 with Jean Coureau at the controls (already mentioned it!)
Well, dear Jemiba if you have others projects like that in your hard disk, don't hesitate to post :)
So we can see that both the Fairey FD2 and Convair F-106 connections have some basis in fact. Fairey's contribution however was in the initial stages, and the real advances that made the Mirage III a Mach 2 success were:

Uprated engine (French, based on original German design)
Area-ruled fuselage (US, e.g. F-102B/F-106)
Conical camber wing (US, e.g. F102B/F-106)
Intake shock cones (US, e.g. F-104)
overscan said:
Uprated engine (French, based on original German design)

BMW-003 (900 kgp of thrust).
Atar (first test benched, 26 th march 1948) : 1700 kgp
First production engine : 2200 kgp
Atar 101 family power grew from 2200 kgp to 4400 kgp (Atar 101G)
Then the Atar-9 variants reached 6000 kgp (Mirage IIIC) 6700 kgp for the 9K-31 of the Mirage IV and 7200 kgp for the 9K50.
Hermann Östrich (ex BMW) actually worked on ATAR for SNECMA.

ATAR 101 was a straightforward derivative of the BMW 003 (7 stage compressor, 1 stage turbine), while ATAR 8/9 had a revised configuration (9 stage compressor, 2 stage turbine) but remained conceptually similar (single spool design, when most others were moving towards twin spools), and was simple, robust, and cheap, with little use of exotic alloys etc.
And around Oestrich was the "groupe O" . There was a good article in Le Fana de l'Aviation of September 2002. Details about the Groupe O, superb "3D" rending of some flying wing projects they draw (I remeber the man who made it is member of this forum :) ), and photos of Atar-powered prototypes...
The name ATAR means "ATelier Aeronautique de Reichenbach" (my poor german... sorry!).
Thanks for the details again! now I understand better why the available thrust suddendly rose from the Atar-101 to the Atar-9 variants...
In 1959, searching for more powerful engine to power the Mirage IVB, SNECMA bought 10.9% of P&W shares. This gave the french firm a license build on all the engines of the american constructor, including the J-58 (renamed M-35, it was proposed for Concorde in 1963!)
Later, derivatives of the JTF-10 engine were studied on both sides of the atlantic. The JTF-10 power was gradually augmented. Three variants were developed and used in France (Le Fana de l'aviation, october 1997)
- TF-104 (5800 kgp)
- TF-106 (8400 kgp)
- TF-306E (10300 kgp)
First aircraft to use these engines was the Mirage IIIT. Before that, they were test in flight by on an SNCASO Armagnac cargo. Then the VTOL Mirage IIIV used it for horizontal flight (the IIIV-01 had the
TF-106, the IIIV-02 had the TF-306E).

The Mirage F2 was an atempt for a long range strike fighter. Influenced by the TSR-2 but much less ambitious, it flew on 12th June 1966.
At the time, in march of the same year, De Gaulle had taken the controversial decision of bringing out France of OTAN. Among many consequencies was the need for a much more powerfull interceptor than the IIIC.
That's why Dassault proposed two projects
- a scaled-down, single seat F2, the F3
- a private venture, the Mirage F1. (some source says that the F1 was developed using the fuselage of the Mirage V married with a hight swept wing to obtain STOL).

According to Dassault passion, two mockups were build. Quite surprisingly, the AdA chose the F1. Knowing De Gaulle, it was surely because of the american engine in the F3... this was not acceptable!

Mirage F1B Mirage F2
8.44 10.50
15.55 17.60
8T 9.5T
16.2T 18T
Atar 9K50 7000 kgp TF30 9500kgp
25 m2 36 m2
ooops! some problems here...
Same player shoot again...

Mirage F1
Span 8.44 m
Length 15.55 m
Empty weight 8T
Max Weight 16.2T
Powerplant Atar 9K50 7200 kgp
Wing area 25 m2
Top speed mach 2.2

Mirage F2
Span 10.50 m
Length 17.50 m
Empty weight 9.5 T
Max Weight 18T
Powerplant TF-106 8500 kgp
Wing area 36 m2
Top speed mach 2.1

Mirage F3

Span 9.04 m
Length 16 m
Empty weight 9.3T
Max weight ?
Powerplant TF306E 10300kgp
Wing area ?
Top speed mach 2.2
Variable geometry Mirages (G, G4 and G8)

First VG program in France was the TALP of the aeronavale. This was a requirement similar to the Tomcat Ie using VG wings to have a long loiter time over the sea.
Dassault proposal was the MD-800 (may 1964). breguet launched a vast VG program various studies under the name Br.122 (1220) 122A, 122B plus a bigger project similar to the
Pics of these projects to follow...
Der Flieger 8/1965“ described this model as a Sud Aviation fighter with VG wings. Archibald or Jemiba (or anybody else), can you confirm the manufacturer? If yes, any idea of a type designation?
This look like an AFVG... the program was lauched on 17th May 1965. Maybe a Sud Aviation proposal for it ?
Footnote about the french firms : in 1966, they was still four firms, two public (Nord and Sud aviation) and two private (Breguet and Dassault)
Dassault absorbed Breguet in 1967, Nord and Sud merged to create the SNIAS (Société Nationale des Industries Aerospatiales, later Aerospatiale.)
So I suppose that the four tendered for the TALP and VG program.
it's not easy knowing the ultimate project of the public firms : Cuny's books on French aircraft stop in 1960. Breguet is covered until 1970 (when it disapeared into Dassault). This mean that Mirage projects are not well covered, as Nord and Sud last studies...
Aparently even Tony Buttler has difficulties finding info on the
Mega Mirage mach3 project of 1969 (aviation magazine of Le Bourget 1969)...
Mega Mirage mach3 project of 1969

I'm fascinated about this project, Archibald. I have this issue from Aviation Magazine before Tony published the pic in Air Enthusiast and no there no clue in the original magazine to track more info about this design. I can't belive that nobody in France could give more info about it. Some engineers implied in this project from 37 years ago should be alive (probably retired) anywhere for sure so nobody from a pro aviation mag can find them?. But if a first rank aerospace researcher can't find the info, what happends? ???

Maybe one day Tony can give us an answer to that mistery...
Ok, I have a simple idea. Some days ago I searched datas about the Mirage F3. I wrote to Dassault passion, and a guy name Luc Berger send me the plans of the plane today.
So, why not asking him if he knows about this damned MegaMirage ?

I know this project from Deino and Key Publishing...
And I plan to do a model of the beast, kitbashing a MiG-25 and a Mirage IV. I have to buy the Mirage IV!!
So, why not asking him if he knows about this damned MegaMirage ?

Great idea!!..keep us informed. Could you please show us the Mirage F3 drawings too?

I plan to do a model of the beast

..don't forget to show us the pics (not only at whatifmodelers.com). I think I already sent you the Mega article but if you need hi-rez scans please let me know ;)

BTW, I saw your F.1E model at whatifmodelers. Your model has enlarged intakes from a Mirage 2000. Do you have dawings from the real F.1E M53 project?

Well I can also send a letter to Le Fana de l'aviation (after all, they already talked about the project in their article on the ACF in July 2004). But it's not an easy task having a letter published!!! Ig that work, this could be interesting because this magazine is quite well known (nearly 40 years old). Maybe formers Dassault emplyes read it currently... ;)

For the plans of the F3, it's a 1.50m*1.50 sheet of paper (I took a photo of it I have to watch the result).
Aparently it's a copy of the original plans from Dassault, dated from July 1966.
Well, the dimensions are corresponding (9.04m span, 16.5m long) but the surprise is the plane is a... two seater. So I send a mail to the guy asking him if there was palnned two seat and single seat variant of the F3 (just like the F1).
Also asked him about the Mirage G4 (to follow)

Well now I have to send a third mail to him aslking about the Mega Mirage... hope he won't be fedup!!! :p

Dassault passion is the association for the preservation of (Dassault)history...
Waiting for that (it's sunday...) here's the Mirage F3


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Thanks Archibald :)

I searched this since a long time ;)
Ok, I have some questions for them (I'll try Mirage G4, Mirage 3000, MegaMirage and the like.)
Pometablava I really want to see this famous Aviation Magazine article. Could you send me a copy of it ? (don't know if I asked you that before... I have doubts...)
Here's the plan : I asked Luc Berger (the responsible of Dassault passion) about the Mirage G4 and the single-seat F3. I'll wait his answer before sending him another mail about the MegaMirage (this week...)
Waiting for that I post the MegaMirage here... mysterious drawing...
Short resume of what we know about this project
- Aviation magazine, june 1969
- a model showed at Le Bourget airshow, 1969
- mach 3 with two M53 engines.
- mention of the plane in Le Fana de l'Aviation, July 2004 (ACF)
- Air enthusiast article (Tony Buttler)
- the 3-view is available in the Whatif modelers forum, Secret projects, Key publishing AF...


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forget something :
- names MegaMirage or Mirage-6000
Some discussions on the project
Vg Mirages (1967-1974)

Even before the end of the AFVG program, Dassault had lauched its own VG rearch program... in paralel. In the end, the firm killed the AFVG program. On 6th June both Mirage F1 and Mirage G were presented to the press. They represented the (projected) future of the AdA...

some years ago there was an exellent article on VG Mirages on the web.
The author was Henry Matthews and he planned a monography of the VG Mirages. Do you know this name ?
The Mirage F3 plans are quite reminiscent of a fixed wing AFVG, don't you think?
Hope to have more infos on the Mirage G4 soon. The program was named RAGEL for Reconaissance, Attaque, Guerre Electronique Lointaine (Long range recon, strike and ECM)
According to Bill Gunston, the initial thinking on AFVG for the UK was a fighter (to replace Lightning, Phantoms, possibly Buccaneers) and a strike aircraft for France. However, as the project progressed the UK role became more strike based (TSR2/F-111 replacement, using many avionics elements from the TSR2) while the French were looking at a 36,000lb fighter able to fly off their carriers.

Later on in the program France were supposedly going to have 125, 30 of which would be naval fighter versions.

De Gaulle said he would approve AFVG providing it could outperform the Phantom. This led to a separate study, in early 1967, to cost the required modifications to achieve a higher ceiling, and increase in speed from Mach 2.2 to 2.4.

I'm not sure the French were ever really serious about AFVG however.
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