Dassault Mirage G
|The Dassault Mirage G8-01 and G-8-02 prototypes in flight. The G8-01's wings are swept.|
|Role||Swing-wing multirole fighter|
|First flight||18 November 1967|
|Status||Cancelled in the 1970s|
|Primary user||French Air Force|
|Developed from||Dassault Mirage F2|
The Dassault Mirage G was a French two-seat twin-engined variable-geometry prototype fighter, built by Dassault Aviation in the late 1960s. The aircraft was further developed into the twin-engine Mirage G4 and G8 variants as a multi-role jet fighter capable of both interception and nuclear strike missions. Although Dassault built and flew prototypes, the entire programme was terminated in the 1970s without the aircraft entering production.
In 1964 the French defence ministry requested a development programme on variable-sweep wing aircraft for dual land and aircraft carrier use. France had participated with the Anglo-French Variable Geometry aircraft (AFVG) before abandoning their interest; later Dassault received an order for a prototype, powered by a single Pratt & Whitney/SNECMA TF-306 turbofan in October 1965.
The first variable-sweep aircraft from Dassault emerged as the single-engined, two-seat Mirage G fighter in 1967, essentially a swing wing version of the Mirage F2. The wings were swept at 22 degrees when fully forward and 70 degrees when fully aft and featured full-span double-slotted trailing edge flaps and two-position leading edge flaps.
Flight trials were relatively successful but no production order ensued, the Mirage G programme being cancelled in 1968. Flying with the Mirage G continued however until 13 January 1971 when the sole prototype was lost in an accident.
The basic Mirage G was developed into a twin-engine, two-seat nuclear strike fighter, the Mirage G4 after a separate contract was issued in 1968 for two aircraft to be built. These aircraft were intended to be powered by Snecma M53 turbofans in production. While the aircraft were under construction the requirements changed and the French military requested that the design be converted into a dedicated interceptor.
Mirage G4-01 was redesignated G8-01 and remained a two-seat aircraft (first flight 8 May 1971) with the second aircraft, G4-02 becoming a single-seat version, G8-02 (first flight 13 July 1972). The G8 variants were equipped with Thomson-CSF radar and a low-altitude navigational-attack system based on that used in the SEPECAT Jaguar and Dassault Milan. As no funding was included for the Mirage G8 in the 1971-1976 French defence budget the aircraft did not enter production.
Aircraft on display
Specifications (Mirage G8-02)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 18.80 m (61 ft 8 in)
- Wingspan: 15.40 m (50 ft 6 in) spread, 8.70 m (28 ft 7 in) swept
- Height: 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in)
- Empty weight: 14,740 kg (32,496 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × SNECMA Atar 9K50 after-burning turbojet engines, 49.03 kN (11,020 lbf) thrust each dry, 70.1 kN (15,800 lbf) with afterburner
- Maximum speed: Mach 2.2
- Range: 3,850 km (2,392 mi; 2,079 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 18,500 m (60,696 ft)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Green 1972, p. 84.
- Dassault Aviation - Mirage G history www.dassault-aviation.com Retrieved: 10 April 2010
- Green 1968, p. 78.
- Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace - Collections (French language) www.mae.org Retrieved: 13 April 2010
- Green, William. The Observer's Book of Aircraft. London. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1968.
- Green, William. The Observer's Book of Aircraft. London. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1972. ISBN 0-7232-1507-3
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