Dassault Mirage F2
|FIGHTER-BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / France / Dassault|
Early in 1964, Dassault was awarded a contract to develop a successor to the Mirage III with emphasis on the low-altitude penetration role, and an order followed for a single prototype of a tandem two-seat aircraft which it was intended to power with the SNECMA (Pratt & Whitney) TF-306 turbofan. Despite minimal resemblance and relationship to the delta-winged series of aircraft, the new fighter, which featured a high-mounted swept wing with horizontal tail surfaces, was assigned the designation Mirage F2 and was flown on 12 June 1966. Initial flight trials were conducted with a Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan rated at 8400kg with afterburning. After being re-engined with a TF-306 of 9000kg, it attained M=2.0 on its second flight, on 29 December 1966. Work had begun on a single-seat version, the Mirage F3 with a 10350kg TF-306E engine, but changes in Armee de l'Air requirements saw interest transferred to a scaled-down and simpler version of the basic design, the Mirage F1, development of which had been pursued in parallel by Dassault, and further development of the Mirage F2 was discontinued.