Dassault Mirage G / G8
|VARIABLE-GEOMETRY FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dassault|
On 13 October 1965, Avions Marcel Dassault received a contract to design and build one prototype of a two-seat variable-geometry fighter, the Mirage G. Powered by a single SNECMA (Pratt & Whitney) TF-306E turbofan rated at 9300kg with afterburning and owing much to the design of the Mirage F2, the Mirage G was first flown on 18 November 1967. Wing sweepback could be varied between 23° and 70°, maximum sweep being achieved in flight within a week of the commencement of trials and a speed of M=2.1 being attained within two months. Trials were to continue until 13 January 1971, when the Mirage G was lost in an accident, 400 hours of flying having been accumulated in 316 flights. In the meantime, late in 1968, two further prototypes had been ordered, these each being powered by two 7200kg SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojets. After a succession of designation changes, these emerged as Mirage G8s, the two-seat first prototype flying on 8 May 1971, and the single-seat second prototype following on 13 July 1972. The Mirage G8 was envisaged as a multi-role fighter, capable of fulfilling intercept, patrol, attack and long-range reconnaissance missions, and was fitted with Cyrano IV multi-purpose radar, a low-altitude nav/ attack system, a laser rangefinder, Doppler radar and a bombing computer. The proposed production version was to have been powered by two SNECMA M53 turbofans. In the event, the Armee de l'Air concluded that the disadvantages of variable-geometry outweighed its advantages, and after study of a fixed-geometry version with 55° of sweepback (Mirage F8), further development was discontinued.