War Machine, Volume 6

FRANCE Dassault Super Mystere Unique in being the first Western European aircraft capable of super­sonic speed in level flight the Dassault Super M ystere has virtually dis­appeared from the scene although a few are understood still to be active with the Honduran air force. A logical development of the earlier Mystere the Super Mystere first flew in prototype form on 2 March 1955, although this aircraft was powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon rather than the SNECMA Atar 101G which was fitted to production-configured machines. Five pre-production test specimens followed the prototype down the assembly line the first of these getting airborne on 15 May 1956 whilst pro­duction Super Mystere B-2 aircraft be­gan to enter service with the 10® Escadre de Chasse during 1957 other operational units being the 5e Escadre at Orange and the 12s Escadre at Cam- brai. Production terminated during 1959 by which sometime 180 Super Mysteres had been built this total in­cluding 24 for service with the Israeli air force with which they saw combat action on several occasions Development of the type did not cease with the Super Mystere B -2 model for Dassault also completed two prototypes of the Super Mystere B-4. Powered by a single SNECMA Atar 09C engine this flew for the first time on 9 February 1958 and eventual­ly achieved atop speed of Mach 1.4 in level flight at 11000 m (36090 ft) In the event however the even more prom­ising Dassault Mirage III was coming along and the Super Mystere B -4 even­tually slipped quietly into obscurity. The only Super Mysteres now flying are those of the Honduran air force this Above: Israel was a major operator of the Super Mystere and her aircraft saw much action especially in the Six Day War of 1967 where it was employed in the ground-attack role using iron bombs. air arm having received 12 from Israel during the 1970s. These aircraft pro­vide further evidence of Israeli in­genuity for they were all modified to take a non-afterburning Pratt &Whit­ney J52 turbojet Specification Dassault Super Mystere B-2 Type: single-seat fighter-bomber Powerplant: one SNECMA Atar 101G- 2 or Atar 101G-3 turbojet rated at 3400- kg 495-lb) (7 dry thrust and 4460-kg 833-lb) (9 afterburning thrust Performance: maximum speed 1195 km/h (743 mph) at altitude initial climb rate 5335 m (17500 ft)per minute service ceiling 17000 m (55775 ft) range (clean) 870 km (540 miles) Weights: empty 6930 kg (15278 lb) normal loaded 9000 kg (19842 lb) maximum take-off 10000 kg (22046 lb) Dimensions: span 10.52 m (34 ft 6 in) length 14.13 m (46 ft 4Vt in) height 55m(14ftll 4 in)wmg area 35.00 m2 (376.75 sq ft) Armament: two 30-mm DEFA cannon and 35 68-mm (2.68-in) unguided rockets (the latter in a belly pack) plus up to 1000 kg (2205 lb) of external ordnance including bombs and rockets The Super Mystere was employed by France from 1957 until the late 1970s. ThisArmee de lAir example shows the dogtooth in the leading edge, which improved high-altitude m anoeuvrability. Armament consisted of two 30-mm cannon and internal rockets with pylons for external stores. Most aircraft carried long-range fuel tanks under the wings. 1 1 FRANCE Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 By far the most successful post-war European fighter aircraft the Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 remained in production in late 1984 albeit in avery small way Developed in response to a French air force requirement of the early 1950s the Mirage was one of three submissions put forward all of which were intended to use dual turbojet/ rocket power in order to gain altitude rapidly in fulfilling the primary task of interception. Subsequently it became clear that this unusual concept signi­ficantly impaired endurance and Das­ sault returned to the drawing board, upcoming with the now familiar tail­less delta which relied on a single SNECMA Atar 101G turbojet for prop­ulsion plus an optional boost rocket. Construction of a private-venture prototype forged ahead rapidly this eventually taking to the air for the first time during November 1956 and very quickly vindicating Dassaults theories, whilst at the same time providing valu­able data which could be incorporated in any future production variant. Official interest initially lukewarm, was quickly confirmed by an order for 10 pre-production specimens just six months after the maiden flight. Testing and evaluation of these began in May 1958 and quickly led to the first major production order for a variant known as the Mirage IIIC this duly entering service at Dijon during 1961 From then on the Mirage never looked back successive develop- e Above: The major aircraft of Israel’s lightning victory over its Arab neighbours in 1967 was the Mirage III. This was used for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. ments including the Mirage IIIB two- seat pilot training version the Mirage HIE for tactical nuclear strike and con­ventional attack and the Mirage IIIR for reconnaissance. In addition to the large numbers built for service with the French air force versions of all four basic types have been exported throughout the world. Specification Dassault Mirage HIE Type: single-seat all-weather fighter- bomber Powerplant: one SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet rated at 6205-kg (13,680-lb) afterburning thrust plus one optional SEPR 844 rocket rated at 1 500-kg 307-lb) (3 thrust Performance: maximum speed 2350 km/h (1460 mph) at 12200 m (40025 ft) climb to 11000 m (36090 ft) in 3 minutes service ceiling (without rocket) 17000 m (55775 ft) combat radius 1200 km (746 miles) on a ground-attack mission Weights: empty 7200 kg (15875 lb) normal loaded (clean) 9800 kg (21605 lb) maximum take-off 13500 kg (29762 lb) Dimensions: span 8.22 m (26 ft IW 2 in) length 1503 m (49 ft 3Vz in) height 450 m (14 ft 9 in) wing area 3500 m2 (37675 sq ft) Armament: two 30-mm DEFA cannon, plus up to 2270 kg (5004 lb) of external ordnance including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles bombs rockets and napalm Dassault's remarkable Mirage III has served with theArm dee e lAir since 1961 and still flies in large numbers. These early Mirage IIlC ares receiving pre-flight preparations. 1203
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