Mirage III RS

These 52 photos were taken by Bob Verhegghen

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The Mirage III RS is very similar to the Mirage V BR at least externally.  There are some external differences but these are minor.  The Mirage III RS in this walkaround were pictured on 24 July 2002 at Florennes AB ( home of the Tactical Leadership program of NATO ) during the Recce Meet hosted by the resident n° 1 squadron of the Belgian Air Force.  The two aircraft came from Flieger Abteilung 10 which is the last unit from the Swiss Army flying this type of aircraft and are the last Mirage operational in Europe. The Swiss were equipped with 18 Mirage III RS of which two were lost.  For Swiss usage, the Mirage were modified and had a extendable nose gear to
get the nose up and to lower the tail so they could be pushed  through the doors of  the "cavernes" (shelters in mountain).  As most fighters nowadays, they were retrofitted with ECM's, chaff & flare dispenser etc... Two  things of note, the cockpit is in light grey in place of the black usually found on French, Belgian or Spanish Mirages, secondly, these Swiss aircarft , more than 30 years old, are in pristine conditions. I was impressed by there cleanliness.  Note that Fliergerstaffel 10 is flying from Dubendorf AB near Zürich.  Also of note is that the cockades and squadron insignas are toned down by a light spray of gray paint to make them look less bright.  Bob 

Mirage III RS -2111-24072002  The one depicted on this picture (R-2103) has his port tail painted with a
stylized squadron badge.
Mirage III RS R-2103 24072002  showing the starboard side.Only the port side is painted with Flieger
Abteilung 10 big bird.
Mirage III RS-R-2103-2-24072002  The other aircraft displayed in Florennes was R-2111.
Look how clean these aircraft are!

 

Mirage III RS -R- 4111- 24072002 Head on view of R-2111.
Note the pitot tube in the nose called "perche Chaffois" in French.
Also to note are the two 500 liters supersonic wing droptanks.
Three shots showing the "cameras nose". This nose is very similar to the one
on French Mirage III RE
or early Belgian Mirage V BR.  Also note the two lamps on the nosegear
(missing on the Revell 1/32 scale model)
Close up of nose camera window.

 

The two sides of the tail of R-2111 showing ECM antenna on trailing edge.
Close up on R-2103 special marking on port tail special markings flieger staffel 10.
Many Mirages around the world (except the French ones surprisingly) have been
retrofitted with "canard wings" above the intakes. These little wings offer
more manoeuvrability to the aircraft as well as reduced landing speed (who on
a delta plane is rather high).

 

Many Mirages around the world (except the french ones surprisinly) have been
retrofitted with "canard wings" above the intakes. These little wings offer
more manoeuvrability to the aircraft as well as reduced landing speed (who on
a delta plane is rather high).
Another view of the Canard wings
Detail of  port wing tip position lamp and ECM antenna.
Detail of airbrake area on starboard wing.
Note how subtle panel lines should be on a scale model!

 

Detail of ejection seat warning triangle in three languages : French, German
and Italian the official languages of Switzerland.
The small circular window is a hole going trough fuselage to put a haulage
bar on crashed aircraft.
Details of the 500 liters supersonic drop tanks.
NO STEP markings on port elevons.
Note the slight drop as these elevons drop when hydraulic pressure is cut
off.

 

Sidewinder pylon and ECM on starboard wing.
Static pressure tube under the cockpit starboard side. Another one is situated
in front of the windscreen on port side.
The place of these static pressure tubes varies according to the Mirage
version. On French and Belgian recce Mirage
these statics are in front of windscreen.
Close-up of the 30 mm gun muzzle. Mirage aircraft are equipped with two DEFA
30mm canons installed on removable packs.
The Swiss army developed a "flare rack" who can be installed in place of
the cannon pack. The Mirage is equipped with two DEFA 30 mm canons installed on
interchangeable packs. The annular devices on the gun muzzle are shockwave
breakers.
On Swiss recce aircraft , the cannon pack can be replaced by a home designed
"flare pack".

Another view of cannon muzzle

 

Keel under aft fuselage
The basic for air defense against missiles are chaff and flares.
These decoys are disposed in a US TRACOR  made  AN/ALE -40 dispenser on
starboard side.
Details of central mounted 1100 liters drop tank.

 

Details of central mounted 1100 liters drop tank.
External side of main wheel starboard side.
Two views of the starboard main gear wheel well. Note how clean they are. In
Belgian service, the Mirage was not considered as a very clean aircraft due
to regular cherry red hydraulic fluids leaks on the belly . One can wonder
how the Swiss manage to keep their aircraft so clean!

 

Two views of the starboard main gear wheel well. Note how clean they are. In
Belgian service, the Mirage was not considered as a very clean aircraft due
to regular cherry red hydraulic fluids leaks on the belly . One can wonder
how the Swiss manage to keep their aircraft so clean!
Details of maingear axle, starboard side
two shots , front and rear , of maingear starboard side

 

two shots , front and rear , of maingear starboard side
Inner side of maingear/wheel starboard side
Maingear well port side details

 

2 shots of port maingear well.
Some details are different from starboard one.  Two other detail shots of port maingear well. Note underwing airbrake.
The big doors are usually open when aircraft is parked but they have to be
open manually.

Port main gear.

 

Three views of nose landing gear. The Swiss airplanes have a special oleo to
increase the height of nose and lower tail so that
the tail has clearance to pass trough the "cavernes" doors.
Nose gear wheel well front and rear.

 

Nose gear wheel well front and rear. Inner and outer face of nosegear door.
Note antenna on door.
Port landing gear strut, looking forward.

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