France Mirage Saga ( english version )

Article écrit par : Claude Balmefrezol

Mis en ligne le 23/01/2008 à 19:23:46

The Mirage Saga

Version Française



The Mirage saga mirages made the fortune of the Dassault family. Indeed this type of aircraft was built more than 1000 model for many air forces, and it gave birth to a series of “childrens” recognized or not recognized. Among  this official children l we will present the history of the Mirage 5, but above all we need to do just a small step backwards to find out who was the father Marcel Dassault Mirage.

Marcel Dassault 1892 1986.


Marcel Dassault 1910 (internet source)
  Marcel Dassault 80s (Internet source)

.  20 years ago die a bigs name of the story of the aviation . The engineer Marcel Dassault. And If a lot of people associate the name at the  Dassault Mirage we must not forget that this brilliant engineer father of a lot of planes that have equipped the AAF (Armée de l’Air Francaise ).
C. Guynemer and Old Charles equipped with a propeller Eclair (Internet source)

But back in the early twentieth century. Marcel Dassault was born under the name of Marcel Bloch in 1892 and it was one of the first graduates of the Ecole Supérieure de l'Aeronautique
.  He worked with Henri Potez and develops the propeller of the  SPAD VII wha has name Eclair. But his company SEA(Societé des Etudes Aeronautiques) did not survive to the WW1. Vexed it abandons a time aeronautics to work in estate agency . But the devil tickle him and in the early 30 he returned to his first love He founding the company, Marcel Bloch  and he produce some differents aircrafts for the AAF as the famous French Bloch 152.




MB 200 (internet source)  MB152 (Internet source)




  The Second World War brings a lot of misery. For its origins it is deported to Buchenwald.
Also upon his return he decided 1946 to change its name and religion, and changed its name to Dassault, which was the code name of his brother-resistant.
Then began a meteoric rise with a line of planes that will start with the Ouragan, the Mystere, the Super Mystere and the saga of Mirages to speak only military aircraft , because we found also  a family  of civilian aircraft like the famous Falcon.
It was in time to see his newest children the  Rafale before his  death in 1986 leaving at  his son an industrial empire. Thanks to his talent at the work of its employees and workers he reinstated France as a leader of the European defense Industrial. The future seems to be moving more towards the civilian and military planes. The Rafale will have a successor french 100 %?
It is not sure but in the meantime  Marcel Dassault with all the fighter planes issued of this plants and factories offices will be make a dream.



                                  Chapeau bas M. Marcel! The show must go on

History Mirage The origin of the delta-winged fighter is subject to various versions
For some it was founded in France in 1931 when a patent named "Autoplan was registred He described a the main wing was drawing an arrow or isosceles triangle, he was baptized DELTA as a result of its similarity in shape with the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. Its inventor was Nicolas Roland PAYEN
In 1933 PAYEN decided to build the Pa 100 for the Deutsch cup race.The Fléchair  is the arrow aircraft Powered by a Gnome and Rhone he fly for the first time at Etampes on April 17, 1935. This was the first flight of an airplane delta in the world.



Logo Payen (Internet source)  Nicolas Payen Born 1914  2004  Pa 22 (internet source)




In 1939 ONERA(Organisme d'état sur Aeronautique) submit the new plane (new prototype the Payen Pa 22) at the test in the wind tunnel . But following the defeat there will be no official suites
But the Germans interested in this project as he seeks to prepare the aircraft for flight tests He fligth for the first time in October 1941 at Villacoublay in Junkers industrial units. It is destroyed by the bombing while the aircraft was about to be transferred to Germany. Thus ends the story of 1 ° delta French Plane
Fotr others the origin of the delta wing is in Germany in the 30's.
It is necessary to take account of the first tests began in 1928 at the Rhon-Gesellschaft Rositen on the slopes of the Wasser Kuppe with gliders flying wings and tailless aircraft made by Alexander Lippisch.
 For the purists. Alexander Lippisch is the father of aircraft "futuristic" as Lippisch DM1 who was a delta-wing aircraft, a glider derivated But we must not forget he's inspired by the work of another German engineer Von Busemann which launched the following theory
  In order to approach  highest speeds we must reduce the thickness of the wings to reduce drag and delay the onset of shock waves
But who said reducing the thickness of the wing said least resistance thereof and the constraints could lead to the disintegration of  wing . The delta wing his the solution to these problems and more strength as it is no longer ' tail design of the aircraft is being simplified

 But these benefits also have their drawbacks as an approach speed quite high.
After the war, based on their experiences and on the work of germans engineers seized by Allied, Western engineers are attracted by this type of aircraft.
Thus Delta planes will be able to fly begins with the 7002 CONVAIR ,piloted by Shannon an September 18, 1948 in the USA, which will become the CONVAIR XF - 92, the ancestor of 102 F and 106 F, followed a year later by the England AVRO 707 on 06 November 1950, the BOULTON PAUL P111 on October 10, 1950, and the IDF FAIREY November 26, 1951. For his part in the Far North in 1952 Sweden built his SAAB 210 which later became the DRAKEN





Saab 210 (internet source)

And to conclude this series on Oct. 30 took place on 1st flight of the largest four british jets"AVRO-VULCAN who is the head serial bomber said of Series V (Valiant and Vulcan Victor)




Valiant (internet ) Victor (internet) Vulcan(internet)


The cold be at its height and the fear of the Americans is to undergo a Blitz at the Russian  sauce Also it is necessary to produce a fighter able to oppose at  the cloud planes with the  Red Star.
In Europe and in France it is also working on the draft delta-winged aircraft
Thus was born Feb. 4, 1953  the Program 1953 of a light fighter which will be a pure interceptor able to break the  waves of Soviet bombers. The specification of the program are

The aircraft must have a weight of less than 4 tons, capable of reaching 15000 m in 4 minutes, fly at mach1.3 able to catch an enemy flying at mach 1at more than 25 km
He coud fly in taxiway above his own runways during  5 minutes and he must be able to carry a missile of 200 kg.
 The industrials set to work and very quickly  prototypes take air
The first is SO 9000 Trident Sud Ouest Aviation
, which flies for the first time on March 2, 1953. It is powered by a 3 interceptor rocket engines from 1500 kgp relayed by 2 Turboméca "Marboré II."
Then Dassault with its Mystère Delta MD 550 (2 MD 30 turbojet 750 Kgp), which will make its maiden flight on July 25, 1955
And finally the SE 212 Durandal of SNCASE in Toulouse which flies only on April 20, 1956.



Durandal (Internet source) Trident (Internet source)  Mystere Delta Mirage future I (internet source)




The Mystery Delta It can be regarded as the ancestor of the Mirage. It reached Mach 1.15, however, slightly piqued. After changes in factory (drift and wing span reduced New engine with post combustion very ahead of its time) this aircraft very promising although under motorized returns on the runways on June 25, 1956 but with a new name Mirage I.
He has also a group of takeoff rocket SEPR
The Mirage I
The Mirage I will not have a great career because the AAF now want in July 1956  ,a plane with more powerful radar and mono reactor
For grilling stages Marcel Dassault bought at the government the prototype of  MD 550 No. 02 unfinished
I begin chirurgicals operations graft a new wing on the fuselage equipped with a 101 engine ATAR G, fitted for the the Durandal of
Sud Est aviation.
The aircraft then becomes the Mirage III
The aircraft took off on November 17, 1956 with orders to Roland Glavany. His numbering 001, quickly earned him the nickname of "Balzac". On January 30, he cross mach 1.52 without rocket booster.
e first orders
Soon orders come. First, in May 1957, with an order for 10 Mirage III A, which will serve in  pre series for the development of the Mirage III C, the first operational Mirage III.
These aircraft receive the new reactor ATAR 9B of 6000 Kg p. In October 1958 it will exceed Mach 2 and after  Mach 2.2 with rockets ,
It is the first euroepan figthe ti reach Mach 2 before the  English Electric Lightning Each Each plane will be assigned  to a specific task

The 10 planes are assigned specific spots
Mirage III-A-01:
exploration of the flight domain and, aerodynamics tests. (Reactor Atar 101G-1 of 44 kN)
Mirage III-A-02: tests of the rocket SEPR: pre production version with reactor Atar 9B of 59 kN and increase in the wings (from 29 to 34.85 m2
Mirage III-A-03 and 04: elevators
Mirage III-A-05 and 06: Cyrano radar, new drift
Mirage III-A 07 to 09: braking, landing ,arms
Mirage III-A-10: Operational Testing at Mont de Marsan

The Mirage III. 
This aircraft has allowed therefore to France from entering the very exclusive club of countries that have the ability to fly an airplane at Mach 2 in the sixteen after the Soviets Americans, but before English.
This aircraft has been a success in many view it is a multipurpose aircraft initially conceived as fighter later evolving into the fighter bomber
It is a single-seater although a two-seater version for training has been designed and perhaps with a few quick adjustments converted into airplane good for the war
It has been implemented in the late 50's and flies today. It is very popular in France, including through a comic strip the adventures Tanguy and Laverdure, as well as TV soap  know as the  Knights of the sky



Comic strip  (Internet source) Actors (Internet source) Characters (Internet source)

It gave day to manies versions official and non-official
The Mirage III is derived directly from the Mirage IA. This is a delta-wing aircraft entered service in the AAF in 1961. The aircraft originally designed as a pure interceptor was to become over the years a multipurpose aircraft capable of carrying as many interceptions as reconnaissance missions or ground attack.
Dassault with this aircraft had wanted to combine the ease of maintenance with a high operational availability. This bet was won and whether you persuade you have to study the accounts of fighting in which the aircraft took part in the Middle East particularly in the Israeli Air Force, where he was able during these battles of the war 6 days to perform an average of 12 operational sorties daily
But how did it come to this jewel ? After this rapid background of the Mirage III  we return quickly at the  description of “beast”.
It is therefore an entire plane with a metal wing delta.. The fuselage in in connection with the surface  law and consists in 7 different sub-assemblies. The cabin of the plane is compact but the internal layout is classic and logical for the time
It was even ahead of its time because the measuring devices were miniaturized except for the radar and the dashboard
He also had a navigation system fairly sophisticated automated The wings are thin but they still allow the landing gear to come and live there, and even contain gasoline tanks enough.
These wings have internal stiffeners which are actually torsion boxes covered with wallboard.
The moving parts ailerons, flaps drifts are set in motion by a hydraulic system that allows pilots to save his efforts.
The tricycle landing gear has disc brakes for a good braking and over the plane has a parachute housed in its tail.
 This aircraft can use land summarily equipped.
 For his motorisation it has an engine derived from the german  reactor engine Jumo  of WW2  It is the ATAR of the SNECMA
Different engines will be mounted on the Mirages and make a list would be pointless and tedious. If you are interested you go on specialized bookshops or surf on the Internet
He also has a rocket engine that allows it to play with the post combustion
As it is a bit short on legs he can win for missions in distant canisters wing in the case of tanks that can go from 600liters to 1700 liters
The weapons system
 A jet fighter is good but his weapon system. For a fighter the weapon system must be well-used and well-directed
For that the Mirage III has a radar which plays an important role. This one is housed in the nose of the Mirage III at the time it was one of Thomson-CSF Cyrano III.
 But it is restricted only to intercept air because it did not have the capacity to detect downwards. But since different types of radar equipment was installed on this aircraft.
 The radar is enslaved to a viewfinder that allows the selection of weapons depending on the type of mission (Air Air Air Sol low or high altitude)
Countries that have acquired Mirage III have installed their own avionics. The aircraft has mostly installed permanently  and it is important for an airplane of his generation of 30 mm cannon DEFA.
Indeed, these guns have been desired by the Israelis at the beginning and they have proven very useful. The Mirage may also carry different types of weapons under the wings
Missiles anti air short or medium-range AIM.9 Sidewinder or R550 Matra Magic



R Magic 530 (internet source) AIM 9 Sidewinder (Internet source) M550 (Internet source)


It can also carry missiles in a central position as Matra 530.
The pylons field can also carry different baskets with rocket bombs  ECM  or photos
It can also receive protection containers (dummy)
The mirage R III has in his nose instead of the radar a battery of cameras and optical Omera 31. (See article on the Belgians  tp:// Mirage)
  As you can see the aircraft has been made all the sauces by its users and its missions . For example Swiss Mirages have strengthened their cells on account of the use in this country

Several prototypes have also seen the light of day.
Mirage IIIT:
bench flight test reactor SNECMA TF104 then TF106 built under license) for the Mirage IIIV. It made its first flight on June 4, 1964 and is being tested until 1966.
Balzac V  planes to vertical take-offs and landings based on the Mirage III 001, designed to validate the formula adopted for the Mirage IIIV before the final development of engines for the aircraft
The Mirage III V  to V ertical take-off.
The Mirage G variable geometry.
The Mirage Milan plot. Version planned for Switzerland, which bought the F5 F
The Mirage 3 1982 And  other planes acknowledged or not like  Nasher developed secretly in Israel, the Dagger, the Chetta Pantera and also Kfir
Finally I will present a somewhat longer Mirage 5 to liaise with the article by Jean-Marie Brams published in the history of the site.

The Mirage 5.
This Mirage is the result of a study carried out simultaneously by engineers and Israeli french
While the Mirage III gave satisfaction to the Jewish state  but he wanted for his aviation air force ( Heyl Ha Avir) a less sophisticated aircraft to carry out ground attacks with bombs and rockets
The aircraft was to be stripped of radar and have an electronic attack and prevail over bombs and gasoline.
 A Mirage III was chosen as mule, which will become the Mirage 5
Its engine SNECMA ATAR9C confers a thrust of 4275 kg with engines rockets surcharge. L
On May 19 th  1967 the aircraft flies for the first time and the speed of mach 2 is reached
The aircraft was then named officially Mirage 5. Israel will commission and pay 50 aircraft of this type, but due to the embargo that followed the 6 Days Wae these aircraft were never delivered, they were reimbursed and then it is the AAF who will be in charge at the beginning of 1972 1990's
 The aircraft was then constructed for export notably Belgium with 106 planes
Thereafter, orders came from everywhere, Peru, Argentina, Abu-Dhabi, Pakistan, Venezuela, Sri Lanka.
The Mirage 5 differed from the Mirage III by a radar telemetry Aïda two new anchors for Air-to-ground missiles can take advantage of Sidewinder missiles. Other amendments will then be made
 In 1981 a new version was created It is in fact a Mirage 50 modified with the new reactor ATAR 6K50
The Chile in which commanded 50 flew until 2006 supplemented by a delivery from Belgium.

Tecnical data  Mirage III

Weighing 13 tonnes maximum 700
Carriage of external loads 4T
Length 15.03 m
Wingspan 8.22m
Height 4.51m
Motorization Atar 9C more rocket engine
6200 kilos
Thrust rocket engine 1500 kilos
  Armament 2 guns of 30 mm DEFA supplied over 125 shots each according to the defense missions. Missions 2R 550 air defense Magic 1 R530
Missions anti three missiles 2 R 550 and 1 R530.
Nuclear bomb AN 52 more nacelle of countermeasures.
Recognition No weapons outside. Pods recognition
Ground Attack 2 rocket Pods of 18.60 mm

High altitude speed
Mach 2.2
Speed Low altitude Mach 1.1
Ceiling 18400 metres
Range 1200 km

Version of Mirage III (source Wikipedia)   Mirage III 001: Prototype derived from the Mirage I (Atar reactor 101G-1 of 44 kN)
Mirage IIIA: preproduction version with reactor Atar 9B of 59 kN and increase in the wings (from 29 to 34.85 m2)
Mirage IIIB: version training
Mirage IIIB-1
Mirage IIIB-2 (or Mirage IIIB-RV) with the possibility of in-flight refuelling
Mirage IIIC: series version plane interception (11800)
Mirage IIICJ: version export to Israel
Mirage IIICS: Export version destined for Switzerland
Mirage IIICZ: version for export to South Africa
Mirage IIIE: Attack version any time with turbojet Atar 9C-3 of 59 kN (maximum takeoff weight of 13700 kg)
Mirage IIIBE: version training

The sub export versions of Mirage IIIE Mirage IIIEAB For Abu Dhabi 17 Monoplaces 3 Tandem 5 recognition
Mirage IIIEA: for the Argentina 46 and 35 Daggers monplace
Mirage IIIEBR Brazil 20 monplaces
Mirage IIIEC Colombia 14 singleseaters 2 Tandem 2 reconnaissance Kfir 2
Mirage IIIE Egypt 70 singleseaters 6 two-seater reconnaissance 6
Spain 24 Mirage IIIEE singleseaters
Mirage IIIEG Gabon 7 monplaces 4 Biplaces
Mirage IIIE Israel 72 single-seaters 5 Kfir 61 nesher 212
Mirage IIIE Libya 37 monplaces 15 two-seater reconnaissance 10
Mirage IIIEL Lebanon 10 two-seater single 2
Mirage IIIEP Pakistan 129 monplaces
Mirage IIIE Peru 34 monplaces 6 two-seater
Mirage IIIEV Venezuela 22 two-seater single 4
Mirage IIIEZ South Africa 32 monp maces 3 ^ 5 two-seater reconnaissance
Mirage IIIES Switzerland 37 monplaces
Mirage IIIEO Australia reactor with RR 146100 RB Avon singleseaters 16 dvosed
Mirage IIIE Zaire 8 singleseaters 3 Tandem

Mirage IIID Version Exporting training
Mirage IIIDa Argentina 3 biplacex
Mirage IIIDBR Brazil 4 two-seater reconnaissance 8
Mirage IIIDE Spain 3 Tandem 5 recognition
Mirage IIIDP Pakistan 14 dvosed
Mirage IIIDS Switzerland 6 two-seater
Mirage IIIDZ South Africa 17 dvosed

Mirage RIII Reconnaissance version with camera in the nose
Mirage IIIRD Enhanced version based on the Mirage III E with a doppler radar
Pakistan IIIRP Mirage reconnaissance 13
Mirage reconnaissance IIIRS Switzerland 18
Mirage IIIRZ South Africa 8 recognition

Mirage 5 Simplified version for ground attack without radar but with a payload additional gasoline
BA Mirage5 Belgium 63 planes
Mirage5 BR Belgium 27 reconnaissance planes
Mirage5 BD Belgium 16 planes

improved version of the Mirage 5 with a reactor ATAR 9K50
Only Chile and Venezuela have this equipment has been modernized by engineers or french israelïens) 50 single-4 two-seater reconnaissance 9
France 286 single 52 two-seater reconnaissance 70

Thanks to Jean Marie Vincent Brams and Pécriaux and friends of the site-military-wwwv.ailes for permission to reproduce these photos (Copyright) and.
Heyligen Laurent and his friends from ' "for permission to reproduce their pics of the article.



Rosettes of the  Air Force have used or using the Mirage III and its derivatives

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