On this day, in 1965, Mirage III V 01 made its first stationary flight at Melun-Villaroche, piloted by René Bigand.
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.
The authorities realized that the chosen configuration was more complex and cumbersome than they had expected. At the end of 1965, the Air Force general staff drew up operational requirements for a Mirage III V called 1970 as they foresaw the need by 1970 for a nuclear vehicle to replace the tactical air units’ F 100s and Mirage III Es in cas of a hostile first strike.
The aircraft’s first transition from stationary to horizontal flight was made by Jean-Marie Saget on March 24, 1966.