Dassault Mirage IIIV

The Dassault Mirage IIIV (V for vertical) was a French experimental aircraft that could launch and land vertically ( VTOL). The aircraft had a lift and thrust engine configuration "lift cruise". The Mirage IIIV was an evolution of Balzac V and Dassault's proposal within a NATO competition for the creation of a VTOL fighter aircraft.


Four designs were submitted to the NATO competition in January 1962 due to the specification AC/169 a supersonic -capable V / STOL fighter aircraft:

  • The Mirage IIIV
  • The Fokker -Republic D.24 Alliance
  • The BAC 584
  • Hawker Siddeley P.1154 the

This also had to meet the NBMR 3 (= basic military requirement 3). In May 1962 it was decided that the P.1154 was technically superior. Inclusion of financing and the division of labor, the Mirage IIIV was but equivalent. NATO was not able to finance the development of the two winners, the projects were returned to the States.

The Mirage IIIV was an evolution of Balzac V, there were built two prototypes. The first Mirage IIIV held its first floating experiment on 12 February 1965. The aircraft had but the general structure of the former Mirage fighter aircraft was longer and had larger wings and - as the Balzac - nine engines: a modified turbofan SNECMA Pratt & Whitney JTF10 ( TF104 ) with a thrust of 53.4 kN and eight in pairs along the center line disposed Rolls-Royce RB.162 1 lift engines, each with a shear of 15.7 kN. The TF 104 was originally tested on a specially constructed test machine, the Mirage IIIT. With the exception of changes to the engine mounting, the Mirage IIIT as the Mirage IIIC looked.

Before the first prototype made the transition from hover to forward flight in March 1966, the TF104 engine was replaced by the improved engine TF106 with a thrust of 74.5 kN. It reached top speeds of up to Mach 1.32 in the test flights.

The second prototype was a cruise engine a " Pratt & Whitney " TF30 turbofan with thrust of 82.4 kN. The first flight took place in June 1966. In September he reached Mach 2.04 in level flight, but was lost in an accident on November 28, 1966. The Mirage IIIV was and is the world's fastest Mach 2.04 V / STOL aircraft.

The loss of the second prototype ended the program as well as the prospect of a vertical take-off Mach 2 fighter aircraft for decades. The British Hawker P.1154 program was stopped in 1965 by the government. At this time just created the prototype of the subsonic aircraft Hawker Siddeley Kestrel.

The Mirage IIIV was never a viable combat aircraft. The eight lift engines would have taken care of a problematic maintenance. In addition, the increased weight would have led to a smaller radius and a lower payload.

The technology of the Mirage IIIV was partially, later Mirage F1 reused in the extremely successful Mirage IIIF.


  • Cruise engine: IIIV 01: 1 × Pratt & Whitney turbofan TF104, 53.4 kN ( 12,000 lb; 20,000 lb with afterburner )
  • IIIV 01 after conversion: 1 × Pratt & Whitney turbofan TF106, 74.5 kN ( 16 755 lb)
  • IIIV 02: 1 × Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan, 78.14 to 82.4 kN ( 18,520 lb)
  • 8 × Rolls- Royce RB162 -1 turbofans, each 15.7 kN ( 3,525 lb)
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18.00 m ( IIIV 01) and 16.3 m ( IIIV 02)
  • Wingspan: 8.72 m ( IIIV 01) to 8.80 m ( IIIV 02)
  • Height: 5.55 m
  • Empty weight: 6750 kg up to 10,000 kg (depending on engine )
  • Maximum weight: 13,440 kg
  • Maximum speed: Prototype 1: Mach 1.32
  • Maximum speed: Prototype 2: Mach 2.04 on September 12, 1966
  • Range: 467 km with 907 -kg nuclear weapon