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Dassault Mirage F.1A / FG.2

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Dassault Mirage F.1A - RAF Fighter Command, 1963

 

The first flight of the Fairey FD.2 research aircraft in October 1954 intrigued Marcel Dassault who had already built a much smaller delta-winged prototype in an attempt to meet an earlier Armeé de l’air specification for a target-defence interceptor. Dassault was impressed with the size and layout of the FD.2 and proposed a technical collaboration programme between Fairey and Dassault. This saw the FD.2 flight programme move to Cazaux on the Bay of Biscay and make such good progress that on March 18th, 1956 Peter Twiss reclaimed the world speed record with a speed of 1,132mph a massive 300mph increase over the previous record held by the F-100 Super Sabre. Dassault immediately became convinced that the delta was the way ahead and planned a scaled-up version of his previous delta to be powered by an afterburning version of the fast-improving Atar turbojet.

Despite being a company-funded programme Dassault wasted no time in developing his new delta and Roland Glavany flew prototype MirageIII-001 from Melun-Villaroche on November 17th, 1956. Development moved swiftly and at the 1957 Paris Air Show the Dassault trade pavilion attracted the attention of senior RAF officials who, in the aftermath of the infamous 1957 Defence White Paper, wanted an inexpensive Hunter replacement and some sort of back-up for the Lightning whose future was as uncertain as it’s development was slow. An ever-alert Rolls-Royce then became interested in the French delta and via the British Ministry of Supply asked Dassault for the opportunity to supply the Avon turbojet to anyone who was interested. Dassault could see that this was potentially the key to unlocking lucrative sales to Britain and suggested to Fairey a revival of their earlier collaboration to licence-build any Mirage orders to Britain and, facing extinction, Fairey readily agreed.

 

A successful first flight of the Mirage IIIA in May 1958 saw the RAF confirm their interest in the French delta and the production order for 95 Mirage IIIC aircraft for the Armeé de l’air at the end of 1958 gave the British Ministry of Supply the confidence to place an order for 50 Mirage F.1 interceptors and 100 Mirage FGA.2 fighter-bombers in February 1959. In announcing the purchase of a ‘foreign’ aircraft the British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, could immediately add that the aircraft would be built in Britain and have a high British content due to the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk.210 engines, Martin-Baker ejection seat, ADEN cannon and Ferranti A.25 Airpass radar and this helped make the decision to buy the Mirage a little bit more palatable. Entering service with No.74 Squadron in August 1961the Mirage F.1 was quickly replaced on the production line by the Mirage F.1A with the earlier aircraft being brought up to the same standard to eventually equipped three squadrons of RAF Fighter Command with upgraded aircraft serving until 1980 when they were replaced by the Mirage F.6 a design based on the Mirage 2000.

 

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Edited by Spinners

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Dassault Mirage FG.2 - No.20 Squadron RAF Middle East Command, 1967

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Nice shot !! :good: Love it...

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Dassault Mirage FG.2 - No.34 Squadron, RAF Middle East Command, 1972

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Stock Libyan Camo from the Mirage 5D adapted to fit the Mirage 3C - really loving the Mirage!!

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