Mirage III manufactured by Marcel Dassault
THE MAKING OF
When one evokes the history of the French Air Force, a particular airplane comes to the mind of enlightened enthusiasts: the Mirage III. Manufactured and designed by the French company Dassault, this aircraft was the first European delta wing fighter aircraft to be able to reach Mach 2 in horizontal flight.
The first flight of the Mirage III took place on the Air Base of Melun-Villaroche, on November 17th, 1956, and was piloted by Roland Glavany. A year later, the prototype reached Mach 1.8 with a SEPR booster rocket. Engineering teams rivaled each other in ingenuity and allowed the aircraft to significantly increase its speed by modifying the shape of the shock cone's air inlets, allowing them to be mobile, and not fixed as on the original version.
The plane, based on the same body and the same reactor, is mainly available in 4 versions: B (drive version with two pilots), C (interception), E (ground attack in all) and finally R (reconnaissance).
The French Air Force used 457 units of the Mirage III, of which the last ones were retired in 1994. A huge success for its manufacturer Marcel Dassault, and flagship of French technology in the late 50's, it was also sold in more than 10 countries. This single-engine, post-combustion jet has proven its robustness of operation, particularly during aerial combat whilst used by the Israeli Air Force. It was still in active service in the Pakistani air force in 2018
OUR MIRAGE III-E
This Mirage III-E No. 517 began its long career on December 21, 1966, as part of the Dauphiné 01/004 Fighter Squadron, element of the 4th Fighter Wing based on the BA 116 of Luxeuil-Saint-Sauveur as F-ULAC. It finished its years of service part of training operations for pilots’ disincarceration.
Abandoned under a tree on an Air Force base, its paint washed out after many years spent under the sun and rain, waiting for a rebirth.
Flight Inspiration® replied enthusiastically when it was given the opportunity to save a portion of the aircraft before its final voyage to the foundry for recycling.
Mirage III-E Aircraft Skin Keychain oval series No. 024/129 on a photograph of a Mirage refueling on the Military base of Tours.
Mirage III-E Aircraft Skin Keychain. Very patinated oval series No. 044/129
on a Mirage III-E flight manual
presented against a Continental O-470 engine coffee table