Mirage III T

The Mirage III T made its first flight at Istres on January 25, 1965, piloted by Jean Coureau.

Origins and prototypes

On August 29, 1961, the DTIA ordered the design and development of two Mirage III V vertical take-off prototypes to be produced conjointly by Dassault Aviation and Sud-Aviation.

The Mirage III V, a Mach 2 aircraft heavier than the Balzac, prefigured the operational version. It had eight Rolls-Royce RB 162-1 lift jets and a Snecma TF 106 with afterburner, the French version of the Pratt&Whitney JTF 10 turbofan.

To test out the American engine, a Mirage III was transformed into a flying test-bed, the Mirage III T. The airframe was initially equipped with a TF 104 (49kN of thrust with after-burning), but made its first flight – at Istres on January 25, 1965, piloted by Jean Coureau – with a more powerful TF 106 (73.5 kN of thrust with after burning). The development of these engines was problematic ; they frequently stalled on take-off, leaving Jean Coureau to make his own way back… on foot.


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