60th anniversary of the first flight of the Mirage IV

2019/06/17
Passion

On June 17, 1959, Roland Glavany took off for the first time at 10:20 am. Pilots who have flown it have described its handling as extraordinary.

On June 17, 1959, Roland Glavany took off for the first time at 10:20 am.

Soon after General Charles de Gaulle came into office, in June 1958, he said France was to single-handedly develop what he called its “dissuasion of aggression” weapon. Whereas the Mirage III could only withstand Mach 2 for a few minutes, the Mirage IV 01 was an experimental prototype designed to discover the problems inherent in sustained supersonic flight. The Mirage IV was the first French aircraft to incorporate one-way electronic flight controls for pitch and roll.

For its third flight, on June 20, 1959, Mirage IV 01 was authorized to make a flight pass over the Paris Air Show with General de Gaulle among the onlookers. On September 19, 1960, at 05:05 pm, René Bigand took off from Melun-Villaroche in Mirage IV 01 and broke the world speed record over a 1 000-km closed circuit (1 822 km/h).

Every aspect of the Mirage IV program unfurled commendably. Designers overcame every technical challenge. Its speed, altitude and flight radius matched the technical specifications. Pilots who have flown it have described its handling as extraordinary.

Mirage IV on the ground
Mirage IV

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