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Inside The Archive: Mirage III

On the surface, the Dassault Mirage III was an unqualified success, and one of the most significant military jets ever. It was RAAF’s first fighter capable of flying at twice the speed of sound, and its longest-serving, too, operating from 1965 until 1988. Worldwide, 1,401 were built, which served in 21 countries, clocking a combined 3 million flying hours.

You don’t, though, hear much about how it got there. The lesser remembered Mirage I was designed in 1953 to be a light interceptor, with its raised pilot’s seat, retracted air intakes and slender nose built to provide pilots with unobstructed views. But it lost favour when it became clear it was limited by its lack of engine power, making it ill-suited to its purpose. An updated Mirage II design was considered but later discarded, in favour of a more ambitious overhaul towards Mach 2.

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Comments (4)

  • Richard Bradfield

    says:

    My father was involved with the Mirage, not as a pilot or even ground crew, he translated all the technical documents from French to English for the RAAF

  • David B

    says:

    The Mirage IIIO was originally slated to have the Avon engine, following in the footsteps of the Avon -Sabre but the story goes the French quoted the ATAR engine in Australian Pounds believing them to be the same as UK pounds and so making the ATAR the cheaper option.

  • Ray Forward

    says:

    Being ex RAAF (1967 – 1973) clkfa I have always admired our aircraft from the ground and I am very proud of our RAAF members

  • John Hunt

    says:

    Really good to see some exposure for the French Lady, I was lucky enough to work on most of the mirages aircraft including the Duels, at 20CU, 75 and 77 Sqn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Inside The Archive: Mirage III

written by Staff reporter | March 5, 2021

On the surface, the Dassault Mirage III was an unqualified success, and one of the most significant military jets ever. It was RAAF’s first fighter capable of flying at twice the speed of sound, and its longest-serving, too, operating from 1965 until 1988. Worldwide, 1,401 were built, which served in 21 countries, clocking a combined 3 million flying hours.

You don’t, though, hear much about how it got there. The lesser remembered Mirage I was designed in 1953 to be a light interceptor, with its raised pilot’s seat, retracted air intakes and slender nose built to provide pilots with unobstructed views. But it lost favour when it became clear it was limited by its lack of engine power, making it ill-suited to its purpose. An updated Mirage II design was considered but later discarded, in favour of a more ambitious overhaul towards Mach 2.

This content is available exclusively to Australian Aviation members.
Subscribe to Australian Aviation for unlimited access to exclusive content and past magazines.

MOST POPULAR

PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
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checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

PRINT

$49.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app

MOST POPULAR

PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

DIGITAL

$59.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
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Comments (4)

  • Richard Bradfield

    says:

    My father was involved with the Mirage, not as a pilot or even ground crew, he translated all the technical documents from French to English for the RAAF

  • David B

    says:

    The Mirage IIIO was originally slated to have the Avon engine, following in the footsteps of the Avon -Sabre but the story goes the French quoted the ATAR engine in Australian Pounds believing them to be the same as UK pounds and so making the ATAR the cheaper option.

  • Ray Forward

    says:

    Being ex RAAF (1967 – 1973) clkfa I have always admired our aircraft from the ground and I am very proud of our RAAF members

  • John Hunt

    says:

    Really good to see some exposure for the French Lady, I was lucky enough to work on most of the mirages aircraft including the Duels, at 20CU, 75 and 77 Sqn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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