TYPE : ……………Single seat fighter-bomber
POWERPLANT : …One SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet.
Thrust : 9,430lbs (dry) : 13,670lbs (reheat)
DIMENSIONS : ….WING SPAN : 26' 11.5" (8.22 metres)
LENGTH : 49' 3.5" (15.03 metres)
HEIGHT : 14' 9" (4.50 metres)
PERFORMANCE : MAX SPEED : (sea level) mach 1.14 (760 knots/1,390 km/h)
: (36,000 ft) mach 2.2 (1,269 knots/2,350 km/h)
SERVICE CEILING : 55,755 ft (16,994 metres)
COMBAT RADIUS : 647nm (1200 km)
WEIGHTS : ………EMPTY : 15,450 lb (7,049 kg)
MAXIMUM LOADED : 30,200 lb (13,699 kg)
The Mirage was the first supersonic aircraft to serve with the RAAF and was the replacement for the Sabre as the service's front line fighter.
The Australian version, designated Mirage IIIO, was based on the French IIIE and incorporated 178 engineering changes to the aircraft, though most were of a minor nature.
The first two Mirage IIIO's (A3-1 & 2) were manufactured and flown in France, A3-1's first flight taking place in March 1963. After shipment to Australia it first flew in Australian airspace at Avalon in January 1964.
A3-3 to A3-8 were also built in France but assembled in Australia, A3-3 taking to the air in November 1963. A3-9 & A3-15 were supplied with decreasing amounts of French componentry with A3-16 onward being regarded as Australian built. Some mid-production Mirage IIIOs had French built fuselages, due mainly to union problems at the Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) delaying production. The 100th and last Mirage IIIO was delivered to the RAAF in December 1968.
16 Mirage IIID (A3-101 to A3-116) dual seat combat proficiency trainers were also delivered between 1963 and 1974.
The Mirage IIIO entered squadron service with the RAAF in August 1965 with 75 Squadron at Williamtown NSW. 76 Squadron took delivery of its first Mirages in September 1966, 3 Squadron & 77 Squadron both taking delivery in February 1979 and finally 79 Squadron being equipped in 1986.
Mirages operated from bases at Williamtown, Darwin and Butterworth (Malaysia). The introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet in1985 marked the beginning of the end of the Mirage in RAAF service, and by 1988 only 2 squadrons were still so equipped, 75 Squadron at Darwin and 79 Squadron at Butterworth.
The last official flight by a RAAF Mirage was on 8th February 1989 when A3-101 was flown to Woomera in SA to be put into storage.
The Mirage III prototype first flew on 17th November 1956 and subsequently 10 pre-production Mirage IIIA were built for development. The Mirage IIIC entered service with the French Air Force in July 1961.
The Mirage was used by the Israeli Air Force with devastating effect in the Six-Day War. The Mirage has also seen service in the air forces of these other countries, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil.
This aircraft is displayed with the generous support of Mr Craig Turner.
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