Mirage Fighters

The Mirage series has been developed by the Dassault company in France since the mid-1950s. The first model, the M.D.550 Mirage I, was a fairly small delta-winged design powered by two turbojets plus a rocket motor. However, it was found to be too small to carry armaments and was only used for test purposes. An enlarged Mirage II was substantially bigger and equipped with much more powerful engines, but was also abandoned. Dassault then decided to proceed with a much more ambitious project, the Mirage III with the same basic delta wing but a much larger fuselage with a single powerful engine. The power, simplicity, and exceptional performance of this design finally caught the eye of the French Air Force, and the Mirage became one of the most successful designs of the early jet age.
- answer by Jeff Scott, 28 January 2001

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