Military Aviation

GORGEOUS VIDEO SHOWS LAST FRENCH AIR FORCE MIRAGE F1 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT IN ACTION SHORTLY BEFORE THEIR RETIREMENT

French Air Force Mirage F1 fighters in action

Filmed more than 2 years ago, the gorgeous footage in this post shows the last operational Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) Mirage F1 fighters in action before the aircraft retirement, which actually took place on Jun. 13, 2014.

Noteworthy the F1s flown in the video sport the historical paint schemes worn by the aircraft during its 40 years of active service with the Armèe de l’Air.

Conventional swept wing and tail surfaces

Developed to replace Mirage IIIC interceptors, the F1 was different from previous Mirages since it featured a conventional swept wing and tail surfaces instead of the familiar delta wing.

The first flight of the first production model took place at Mérignac on February 15, 1973, piloted by Guy Mitaux-Maurouard. On March 14, 1974, it was delivered to the Air Force. The production models differed from the prototypes by the installation of slotted leading edge (inspired by the Jaguar) on the outboard two thirds of the wing, which increased the maximum angle of attack. As with the other serially-produced aircraft, a number of partner firms and subcontractors were involved in production.

Like for the Mirage III, several models of the F1 were eventually developed. The F1A was a ground attack version lacking radar; the F1B was a twin stick operational trainer; the F1C was developed into the F1CT attack version and into the F1CR reconnaissance version; the F1E was a multirole aircraft with air superiority and ground attack capabilities and the F1D was the two seater version based on the F1E.

The last Mirage F1s flown by the Armée de l’Air before the aircraft retirement have been the F1CRs and F1Bs from the reconnaissance unit 2/33 “Savoie” based at Mont-de-Marsan.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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