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French Introduce Mirage - History

French Introduce Mirage  - History

Marcel Dassaul unveiled its swept wing fighter the Mirage in 1955. The Mirage was capable of speed in excess of Mach 2 and could climb to 57,000 feet. The Mirage is probably best known for its sucess as Israel's air superiority fighter duing the Arab-Israeli was of 1967.

Dassault Mirage III

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/30/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Mirage III supersonic fighter line proved a popular product throughout the Cold War decades where Mach 2-travel was an important quality of many aircraft. Over 1,400 of the type was eventually produced in France and overseas and many subvariants and test platforms were born from the same sound original design. The delta-wing performer was a ground-breaking system for its time and made evermore popular by its combat performance in Israeli hands during the 1967 Six Day War. While retired from most major air powers of the world, the Mirage III still maintains a small footprint in inventories of a few select air forces today (2013).

Founded in 1929 by Marcel Dassault (born as Marcel Bloch) and based in Paris, France, the Dassault Aviation concern emerged from the devastation of World War 2 (1939-1935) to become one of the leading aviation companies of Europe. In 1952, the French government required a new, lightweight supersonic interceptor to counter the threat posed by Soviet nuclear-capable bombers and fighters. Dassault responded with their "Mystere-Delta 550" (M.D.550) concept which utilized a single-seat, twin-engine, delta-wing planform with single vertical tail fin. Power for the aircraft was served through 2 x British Armstrong Siddeley MD30R Viper afterburning turbojet engines backed by a rocket thruster. The M.D.550 achieved first flight on June 25th, 1955.

The M.D.550 product then evolved to become the "Mirage I" concept with a revised wing surface. This model achieved first flight in November of 1956 and set a maximum speed mark of Mach 1.6. While promising from a performance stand point, the Mirage I was not a realistic military-minded product which was intended to carry internal cannon, a useful fuel store, onboard interception radar and external missiles. As such Dassault moved on the slightly larger "Mirage II" concept though this was eventually given up for good with the dimensionally larger "Mirage III" design being furthered.

Based on the wartime German BMW 003 series turbojet, French manufacturer SNECMA developed its in-house Atar 101G-1 turbojet and a single installation of this system would power the new Mirage III airframe. The airframe retained the delta-wing planform seen in earlier prototypes and the single vertical tail fin with seating for one pilot. The fuselage was very slim and dart-like in its design approach, making maximum use of aerodynamics to achieve the projected Mach 2 speeds for the French interceptor. The Atar engine developed some 9,700lbs of thrust and offered afterburning for short bursts of concentrated speed. First flight of a Mirage III prototype was claimed on November 17th, 1956 while a tenth test flight netted a maximum speed of Mach 1.5. Testing indicated turbulent airflow along the two half-moon intakes aspirating the Atar engine so adjustable shock cones were added to each opening. In this revised configuration, the Mirage III reached a speed of Mach 1.8.

Impressed with the new Dassault product, the French government moved on ordering the type for service and this begat the "Mirage IIIA" preproduction designation. Aircraft would be outfitted with the SNECMA Atar 09B turbojet engine of 13,228lbs thrust. The fuselage was extended slightly to house the Thomson Cyrano air intercept radar system and a drag chute was added to reduce runway roll upon landing. First flight of a Mirage IIIA aircraft was in May of 1958 and the model eventually clocked a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 - fulfilling the French government's high speed request while also becoming the first European aircraft to exceed Mach 2 in level flight.

Following the limited batch of preproduction Mirage IIIAs was the combat-capable "Mirage IIIC". This was a single-seat, all-weather interceptor which first flew in prototype form during October of 1960 and was armed with 2 x 30mm DEFA internal cannons, outfitted with the Cyrano interception radar and provision for air-to-air missiles. The French Air Force ordered these in number and supplemented the type through the "Mirage IIIB" two-seat trainer. Mirage IIIB models included a second cockpit for the instructor, lacked the radar installation and internal cannons and sported a lengthened fuselage. Deliveries of Mirage IIIC interceptors to French units occurred in July of 1961 with orders also placed by Israel (Mirage IIICJ) and South Africa (Mirage IIICZ) by this time. Mirage IIIB trainers were also in use with the forces of Israel, Lebanon, South Africa and Switzerland.

Even as the Mirage IIIC interceptor mount was becoming entrenched in French air service, Dassault promoted a long-range, all-weather air defense/strike fighter (multirole) variant of the design as the "Mirage IIIE". The prototype first flew on April 1st, 1961 and included a lengthened fuselage with increased avionics and fuel, a Marconi navigation radar, Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Cyrano II series air-ground radar. The Mirage IIIE was outfitted with the SNECMA Atar 09C series afterburning turbojet engine and a total of three prototypes furthered the endeavor prior to production. After adoption by the French Air Force, the IIIE was also licensed-produced in the countries of Australia, Belgium and Switzerland while fielded by the forces of Argentina, Brazil, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela under various export designations. To the Mirage IIIE model was added the requisite Mirage IIID two-seat trainer form which was also purchased by Pakistan, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland and Venezuela. French Air Force Mirage IIIE models were cleared for nuclear ordnance.

As with other interceptor aircraft of the period, a dedicated reconnaissance-minded form soon emerged as the "Mirage IIIR". This variant offered the ground attack frames of the Mirage IIIE models with the avionics suite of the Mirage IIIC interceptor. They lacked radar under the nose cone and housed multiple cameras for photo-reconnaissance sorties instead. The Mirage IIIR was then improved through the "Mirage IIIRD" initiative. Reconnaissance types were adopted outside of France by the forces of Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and Switzerland.

The Mirage 5 was a related Mirage IIIE series offshoot and developed by Dassault to fulfill a clear-weather/ground attack requirement for Israel. The prototype went airborne on May 19th, 1967 with its lengthened nose cone (housing a simplified radar installation) as a single-seat, all-weather dedicated strike platform. Ultimately, 582 of the type were produced and examples fielded by France, Belgium, Egypt, Pakistan and several others. Due to French politics blocking the Mirage 5 to Israel, Israeli Mirage IIIs were evolved in-house into the excellent "Kfir". In French Air Force service, the Mirage 5 was the Mirage 5F. Belgian Mirage 5s were locally-produced and many Mirage 5 customers eventually saw modernized avionics introduced.

The Mirage 50 became a multi-role variant outfitted with the SNECMA Atar 9K-50 engine while reconstituting the Mirage 5 airframe. A prototype went airborne in 1979 and proved the design sound. Key to the model was its integration of a Head-Up Display (HUD), advanced radar system and improved flight dynamics (such as use of canards). The series was offered in a modernized form through the Mirage 50M designation.

The Mirage IIIV was another Mirage III form developed as a heavily revised variant to serve as a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) fighter for NATO. However, the type was never adopted into NATO service and two manufactured, the first flying in February of 1965.

Current Mirage III operators include Argentina and Pakistan. Countries such as France, Australia, Egypt and Venezuela have since given up the Mirage III in favor of more modern alternatives or due to forced budget cuts. South Africa developed the French design into the Atlas Denel "Cheetah". Belgian Mirage IIIs were known as SABCA "Elkan".

One of the primary reasons for the global success of the Mirage III line was its use by Israeli forces during the 1967 Six Day War where it became a certified combat platform. Israeli success against enemy MiGs was much-publicized and solidified the type's standing on the global market, driving sales for Dassault in turn. While the type's delta-wing configuration made her slow in turning, the fighter excelled in other key areas that made them priceless commodities in the Israeli Air Force inventory of the period.

Germans introduce poison gas

On April 22, 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the western front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas against two French colonial divisions at Ypres, Belgium. This was the first major gas attack by the Germans, and it devastated the Allied line.

Toxic smoke has been used occasionally in warfare since ancient times, and in 1912 the French used small amounts of tear gas in police operations. At the outbreak of World War I, the Germans began actively to develop chemical weapons. In October 1914, the Germans placed some small tear-gas canisters in shells that were fired at Neuve Chapelle, France, but Allied troops were not exposed. In January 1915, the Germans fired shells loaded with xylyl bromide, a more lethal gas, at Russian troops at Bolimov on the eastern front. Because of the wintry cold, most of the gas froze, but the Russians nonetheless reported more than 1,000 killed as a result of the new weapon.

On April 22, 1915, the Germans launched their first and only offensive of the year. Known as the Second Battle of Ypres, the offensive began with the usual artillery bombardment of the enemy’s line. When the shelling died down, the Allied defenders waited for the first wave of German attack troops but instead were thrown into panic when chlorine gas wafted across no-man’s land and down into their trenches. The Germans targeted four miles of the front with the wind-blown poison gas and decimated two divisions of French and Algerian colonial troops. The Allied line was breached, but the Germans, perhaps as shocked as the Allies by the devastating effects of the poison gas, failed to take full advantage, and the Allies held most of their positions.

A second gas attack, against a Canadian division, on April 24, pushed the Allies further back, and by May they had retreated to the town of Ypres. The Second Battle of Ypres ended on May 25, with insignificant gains for the Germans. The introduction of poison gas, however, would have great significance in World War I.

Immediately after the German gas attack at Ypres, France and Britain began developing their own chemical weapons and gas masks. With the Germans taking the lead, an extensive number of projectiles filled with deadly substances polluted the trenches of World War I. Mustard gas, introduced by the Germans in 1917, blistered the skin, eyes, and lungs, and killed thousands. Military strategists defended the use of poison gas by saying it reduced the enemy’s ability to respond and thus saved lives in offensives. In reality, defenses against poison gas usually kept pace with offensive developments, and both sides employed sophisticated gas masks and protective clothing that essentially negated the strategic importance of chemical weapons.

The United States, which entered World War I in 1917, also developed and used chemical weapons. Future president Harry S. Truman was the captain of a U.S. field artillery unit that fired poison gas against the Germans in 1918. In all, more than 100,000 tons of chemical weapons agents were used in World War I, some 500,000 troops were injured, and almost 30,000 died, including 2,000 Americans.

In the years following World War I, Britain, France, and Spain used chemical weapons in various colonial struggles, despite mounting international criticism of chemical warfare. In 1925, the Geneva Protocol of 1925 banned the use of chemical weapons in war but did not outlaw their development or stockpiling. Most major powers built up substantial chemical weapons reserves. In the 1930s, Italy employed chemical weapons against Ethiopia, and Japan used them against China. 

In World War II, chemical warfare did not occur, primarily because all the major belligerents possessed both chemical weapons and the defenses–such as gas masks, protective clothing, and detectors–that rendered them ineffectual. In addition, in a war characterized by lightning-fast military movement, strategists opposed the use of anything that would delay operations. Germany, however, did use poison gas to murder millions in its extermination camps.

Since World War II, chemical weapons have only been used in a handful of conflicts–the Yemeni conflict of 1966-67, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88𠄺nd always against forces that lacked gas masks or other simple defenses. In 1990, the United States and the Soviet Union signed an agreement to cut their chemical weapons arsenals by 80 percent in an effort to discourage smaller nations from stockpiling the weapons. In 1993, an international treaty was signed banning the production, stockpiling (after 2007), and use of chemical weapons. It took effect in 1997.

French Introduce Mirage - History

August 26th, Gentullio (Tullio) Campagnolo is born to Valentino Campagnolo and Elisa Paiusco in Vicenza.

Tullio Campagnolo begins his amateur racing career (with Veloce Club Vicenza on a Cicli Aliprandi) that lasts until 1930.

November 11th, Tullio Campagnolo's frozen hands can't loosen the wingnuts of his wheel to flip it over to a different sprocket during the Gran Premio della Vittoria race across snowy Croce d'Aune Pass (he finishes fourth). "Bisogna cambià qualcossa de drio." . "Something needs to be changed in the rear." He vows to invent a product that will eliminate this problem: the creation of galletti automatici . automated wingnuts or, as we now know it, the quick release.

February 8th, the quick release hub is patented, the first of more than 135 patents for Tullio Campagnolo.

After fabricating parts in the backroom of his father's hardware store (Corsa Padova 101, Vincenza), Tullio starts Campagnolo, S.r.l. with the production of the quick release hub. The sliding hub, dual seatstay rod operated, back pedal derailleur (cambio prototype) is patented on May 4th and introduced in August. The pieces of the prototype derailleur are all handmade requiring a massive investment of time and labor. Fratelli Brivio of Brescia (F.B.) becomes the subcontractor for the parts and supplier of the three-piece (steel barrel with aluminum flanges) hubs. Later, the official corporate name becomes Campagnolo Brevetti Internazionali SpA (translation: Campagnolo International Patents Incorporated).

Cambio a bacchetta (translation: rod changer) or Cambio "CAMPAGNOLO" is the name used for sliding hub, dual seatstay rod operated, back pedal derailleur. The slogan becomes "Senza attriti e senza rumore" (i.e., Friction-free and noise-free). The first advertisement for the Cambio "CAMPAGNOLO" appears in Gazzetta dello Sport .

Tullio Campagnolo hires his first fulltime employee, Enrico Piccolo.

A single page flyer is printed.

The first official Campagnolo logo: the winged wheel highlighting the quick release, a component that remains today the universal standard.

The Cambio Corsa (translation: race changer) is the new name for sliding hub, dual seatstay rod operated, back pedal derailleur later referred to in Italian as the due leve (translation: two lever) when the una leve (translation: single lever) race changer is introduced in 1949. Two versions of the Cambio Corsa derailleur are available: the short lever Corsa and the long lever Sport. The quick release nut is the original rounded screw head version. On January 12, the Campagnolo winged wheel with quick release logo with the words "Cambio Campagnolo" is registered.

The beginning of the export of parts. Photo of company excursion (company picnic?) pictures 37 employees.

Campagnolo's first foreign plant (assembling and finishing) is built in Cognin, France the quick release lever is stamped "Brevet France". F.B. and Campagnolo shared a small production facility in Cognin, France in 1948 to service the French market given restrictive import tariffs of the time. The company logo, the winged wheel, is modified with the dropping of "cambio" (translation: changer) and redesigning the wing and quick-release.
Gino Bartali wins the 1948 Tour de France in July using a Cambio Corsa derailleur.

The Tipo Paris-Roubaix sliding hub, single seatstay rod operated, back pedal derailleur is introduced originally referred to in Italian as the "una leva" (translation: single lever) until renamed in honor of Coppi's April 1950 Paris-Roubaix victory. The quick release nut is now the oval-ring version. The Gran Sport twin cable, parallelogram rear derailleur prototype is shown at the Milan Show in the Fall it is believed that ten prototypes were made.

Campagnolo employs 123 workers. The Gran Sport single cable, parallelogram rear derailleur prototype is shown at the Fall trade shows.
Fausto Coppi wins Paris-Roubaix in April using the Paris-Roubaix derailleur.

The Gran Sport single cable, parallelogram rear derailleur (chromed bronze, large chromed mounting bolt and pivot bolt and holes in pulleys, set screw-style cable clamp, and "B" adjusting screw for changing derailleur mounting angle that is eliminated by the next year) paired with bar-end shift levers (chromed bronze, then aluminum) without rubber covers and Gran Sport sliding rod, cable operated front derailleur are introduced, along with conventional small flange three-piece hubs (alloy flanges pressed onto a steel barrel and D-ring type quick release nuts). A forged dropout with integral Gran Sport derailleur hanger is introduced that measures 6mm thick with 4mm adjusting screw and derailleur stop at 4 o'clock easily identified by bulge formed around adjusting screw. Later the same year a new forged dropout is introduced that measures 7mm thick with 4mm adjusting screw and derailleur stop at 7 o'clock (no Sport derailleur spring hole).
Hugo Koblet wins the 1951 Tour de France in July using Gran Sport derailleurs paired with Gran Sport bar-end shifters. Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali also racing with same set up (only six Gran Sport derailleurs available for their TdF debut).

Catalog, non-numbered. Has both Cognin, France and Vincenza, Italy addresses on cover. Printed for year-end trade shows. Included are the Cambio Corsa, Tipo Paris-Roubaix, Gran Sport front and rear derailleurs, Sport front derailleur (no rear version), bar end shifters (no rubber covers) and downtube shift levers (twin band clamp, hexhead bolt friction adjuster, full length cable housing and braze on version shown), small flange three-piece hubs (alloy flanges pressed onto a steel barrel, QRs with "D" ring), Cambio Corsa/Paris-Roubaix toothed dropouts, Cambio Corsa/ Paris-Roubaix with integral derailleur hanger, Gran Sport dropouts with adjusters, Sport dropouts, "H" tool, dishing tool, freewheel remover, cone wrenches and a fixture that accurately locates the toothed dropouts during frame building.

The Gran Sport Extra rear derailleur is introduced (changed body, large chromed mounting bolt and pivot bolt, holes in pulleys, extended horn shape to the outside pulley cage frame and revised cable clamp) along with the Sport single pulley rear derailleur. The Gran Sport three-piece (steel barrel with aluminum flanges) hubs are now made by Campagnolo instead of F.B. (Fratelli Brivio), identifiable by curved flange ends instead of the previous flat flange ends that FB used. The Gran Sport down-tube shift levers are changed to single band clamp with flat-head screw friction adjusters, open cable without housing ("D" ring friction adjuster screw offered as option). A new forged dropout is introduced that measures 7mm thick with 3mm adjusting screw, a derailleur stop at 7 o'clock and a spring hole for mounting the Sport derailleur.
Fausto Coppi wins the 1952 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France using Gran Sport Extra derailleur.

Catalog, non-numbered. Printed for year-end trade shows. As per 1951 Catalog with the addition of the Gran Sport Extra rear derailleur and the Sport single pulley rear derailleur.

Large flange, 3-piece track hubs with curved-lever quick releases shown in the July 25th issue of Le Cycle magazine.

In August the definitive Gran Sport rear derailleur (third generation of Gran Sport) is introduced: changed body, pulley cage reverts to first version, no holes in pulleys, smaller black-oxide mounting bolt and pivot bolt, 5mm spring cover (was 3.5mm) and back of body marked "14-26 denti" indicating usable freewheel size. Large flange three-piece hubs (alloy flanges pressed onto a steel barrel) are introduced. The famous Campagnolo script over the globe logo which dates back to the forties is registered.
Fausto Coppi wins the 1953 Lugano World Professional Road Race using Gran Sport derailleurs.

Catalog #12. First numbered catalog. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Cambio Corsa, Paris-Roubaix, Gran Sport and Sport rear derailleurs, Gran Sport and Sport front derailleurs, bar end shifters with rubber covers, downtube shifters (single band and braze-on versions), brake cable clips, hubs (small and large flange three-piece, QRs with "D" ring), Gran Sport dropouts with adjusters, Sport dropouts, Cambio Corsa/Paris-Roubaix toothed dropouts, Cambio Corsa/Paris-Roubaix toothed dropouts with integral derailleur hanger, pump heads and holder, "H" tool, dishing tool, freewheel remover and cone wrenches.

The Competition low-cost derailleur is introduced at the year-end Milan trade show.

Catalog #13. Printed for the year-end trade shows. As per Catalog #12 with the addition of the "T" wrench, derailleur hanger alignment tool and a braze-on rear derailleur cable guide (#663) for bottom bracket shell. Note that there is no corresponding braze-on front derailleur cable guide till 1968.

At the year-end Milan trade show a micro-adjust, two-bolt seat post (steel post and head brazed together) with a zero offset head is shown. Since it has the ears at the front and back of the post let's call it the Alfred E. Newman seat post. Within a few months it is replaced with the iconic two-bolt seat post (separate steel post and head brazed together) with the offset head.

The Gran Sport pedal is introduced steel quill with strap loop and small triangular cutout in end of quill, 10mm length thread for steel cranks and rubber "O" ring. Daniel Rebour exploded-view drawing of headset appears in July TdF issue of Le Cycle magazine. In July a headset and a micro-adjust, two bolt seat post (steel post and head brazed together), along with a seat positioning/leveling tool (maintains saddle position when changing seat post) are introduced, followed in August by the Gran Sport rear derailleur with the lower body and outer cage revised (elimination of three of original six spring tension adjustment holes) and an 8mm spring cover (was 5mm).

Gran Sport pedal triangular cutout in quill end eliminated.

The iconic Record 5-pin cotterless crankset is introduced 151mm bolt circle, 44 tooth minimum chainring, pedal hole dust caps, relieved spider and raised pedal lip. The Gran Sport "con denti" (with teeth) track pedal is introduced aluminum cage plates, 10mm length thread for steel cranks and rubber "O" ring. Also introduced are the Record one-piece alloy, small and large flange hubs (oval holes in flanges, oil hole clip and open "C" on quick release lever) and the seat post introduced in 1956 now has a narrow cradle version to work with the Brooks B17 "Mod. Campagnolo" narrow-railed saddle that has twice the range of fore and aft adjustability. A patent is granted on hollow chainring bolts with Allen key hole and crank bolt cover with Allen key hole.

Record crank pedal hole dust cap is eliminated and Gran Sport road and track pedal thread length changed to 12mm for aluminum cranks from 10mm for steel cranks, rubber "O" ring replaced with rifling on spindle.

A period of great expansion for Campagnolo! Campagnolo employs 300 workers. Inventing and patenting car and motorcycle hydraulic and cable operated disc brake components is undertaken. The Record parallelogram front derailleur is introduced (arms are chrome-plated bronze later changed to aluminum). Around this time the Gran Sport rear derailleur has its cable tension adjustment screw eliminated and the pulley cage stop screw is countersunk into the lower body. The relieved spider of the Record crank is eliminated. Low-cost steel pedal (rebranded Way-Assauto mod. Zenith Corsa 18 Extra Lusso).

Catalog #14. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Record road and track groups comprising Record cotterless crankset (151mm bolt circle) and Gran Sport bottom bracket, small and large flange Record alloy one-piece hubs, seat post (now all alloy), Gran Sport headset, Record front derailleur, Gran Sport rear derailleur, Gran Sport pedals. Also in the catalog are the Gran Sport Group (includes Record front derailleur), Sport Group, Gran Sport cottered bottom bracket (note that there is no accompanying cottered crankset), Gran Sport track pedal with and without teeth, wood-boxed tool set, the Saddle-Line alignment tool and the Acciaio (steel) small flange hubs.

Strada triple and Cyclocross cranksets, Sportman low-cost rear derailleur and Sportman medium flange hub with round holes are introduced. In July a revised Gran Sport rear derailleur is introduced with a 10mm spring cover (was 8mm) to improve shifting on six-speed freewheels. Note that six-speed freewheels are not commonplace until the mid-1970s! Campagnolo opens a factory in Bologna to manufacture superlight magnesium wheels for autos and motorcycles, as well as lightweight military and aerospace parts. Campagnolo becomes the first company in the world to use low-pressure magnesium casting, revolutionizing the use of this material.

The Turismo low-cost rear derailleur is introduced identical to the earlier Gran Sport rear derailleur, but with a cheaper stamped-steel pulley cage substituted for the original cast-steel pulley cage. The raised-lip around the pedal hole of the Record crank is eliminated. Campagnolo manufactures Bivalent hub for Cino Cinelli (patented by Petrosemolo and Rimedio) first version is "three-piece" style with steel barrel and alloy flanges and threaded-on steel ring with splines that mate with a matching splined Regina freewheel that remains attached to the frame when the wheel is removed. The Bivalent hub equipped wheel can be used for either front or rear placement.

110 out of 130 cyclists in the 1963 Tour de France are equipped with a Campagnolo derailleur.

In October the Record rear derailleur (chrome plated bronze) is introduced. This has a revised cage shape with the pivot behind and closer to the jockey pulley and center punched rivets it is designed to be able to shift the new six-speed Regina freewheel and back of body is marked "13-36" for usable freewheel size (in reality, a 13-28 freewheel is the maximum). Note that six-speed freewheels don't come into common usage till the mid-late seventies. Record bottom bracket marked "CON SFERE DA 3/16" using 3/16" balls instead of typical 1/4" balls. The races are pressed onto the spindle rather than machined directly on the spindle itself. Neither the cups nor spindle are interchangeable with bottom bracket components designed for 1/4" balls. Made for one year. A new wider base clamp design for the cable guides and down tube shifters along with thicker down tube shift levers with open "C" changed to closed "C". The word "Record" is added to the hub barrels and open "C" on quick release lever changed to closed "C". Thicker heads on seat post adjusting bolts. Next generation Record headset with non-domed lock nut, plain keyed washer. The low-cost "CAMPAGNOLO" model derailleur, an economy version of the Gran Sport derailleur (cadmium plate body and black oxide finish on pulley cage with the word "CAMPAGNOLO" on body), and also the low-cost Sportman rear derailleur are introduced. Record front derailleur has slot added to cable stop.

The Valentino low-cost rear derailleur is introduced along with the Valentino low-cost front derailleur and obscure large flange track hubs with curved lever quick releases. Curved QR lever first appears eleven years earlier as Daniel Rebour drawing in an issue of Le Cycle magazine dated 25th of July, 1953!

The Record rear derailleur (chrome plated bronze) has the no-teeth steel pulleys with ball-bearings replaced with plastic pulleys with ten teeth and plain bronze sleeve bearings.

The Record crankset is changed to a 144mm bolt circle (41 tooth minimum chainring) from the previous 151mm bolt circle (44 tooth minimum chainring), initially referred to as the "Special Record" crankset and doesn't appear in Catalog #15. The Sport low-cost hubset (large and small flange all steel hub) is introduced in January. Patent granted for self-centering wine bottle opener in the shape of a bell (lever pivots are the patented hollow chainring bolts).

Nuovo Record alloy rear derailleur (ten tooth pulleys and then later, nine tooth pulleys) is introduced along with new style clamp-on bottom bracket cable guide (open cable run to front derailleur) and cable housing stop eliminated from Record front derailleur (chrome-plated bronze arms and then aluminum arms).

Catalog #15. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included for the Record group is the Nuovo Record alloy rear derailleur (ten tooth pulleys and then later, nine tooth pulleys) and the Nuovo Record bottom bracket (rifled axle aperture cups). Also the triple chainring crank and cyclocross flanged-chainring crank, the Nuovo Tipo small and large flange hubs (round holes in flanges, no oil hole and stamped steel races), Record pedals (name change), a new Record headset, the Valentino group, pedal spanner (15-16-17mm multiple head), portable repair stand, and the obscure large flange track hubs with curved lever quick releases. Valentino Super and Nuovo Sport low-cost derailleurs are introduced. New style clamp-on bottom bracket cable guide (open cable run to front derailleur) and cable housing stop eliminated from Record front derailleur (chrome-plated bronze arms and then aluminum arms).

Campagnolo manufactures Bivalent hub (second version) for Cino Cinelli, a one-piece alloy shell with threaded-on steel cap with splines instead of threaded-on steel ring with spines for engaging the splined freewheel is produced in a limited run of one or two years.

The Record brakeset, Superleggeri pedals (non-anodized aluminum cages, later to be black anodized) and Valentino Extra low-cost rear derailleur are introduced at the Paris trade show in October.

Catalog #16. Printed for the year-end trade shows. As per Catalog #15, but with the addition of the Record brakeset (making a complete group for the first time), Record crankset with 144mm bolt circle (previously 151mm bolt circle), Sport Extra low-cost rear derailleur and elimination of Record "con denti" track pedals with teeth. Braze-on front derailleur cable guide (#626/B) is paired with the braze-on rear derailleur cable guide (#663) that was introduced in 1955.

The steel Gran Turismo rear derailleur is introduced. Record headset lower cup stamped with C in diamond shape the stamped C disappears in mid-1970s. Campagnolo manufactures Cinelli Mod. M71 clipless pedal for Cino Cinelli.

Catalog #16 Supplement. Printed in November for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Superleggeri pedals (black anodized aluminum cages), Superleggero seat post (no fluting, thinner wall, aluminum support cradle, drilled pivot, originally with engraved graduated scale), dropouts without eyelets and plastic Superleggeri pumphead are introduced. Also the patented toothed washer (rondella dentata) for the Record sidepull brakes, along with the steel Gran Turismo rear derailleur, Velox low-cost derailleur, Elefante control lever, the steel three-pin Sport cotterless crankset, Sport headset (only two wrench flats) and Allen seatbinder bolt.

Record front derailleur clamp modified in area of pivot posts first with no circlip on upper pivot post and later with circlip added to upper pivot post. Special Nuovo Tipo hubs made for Motobecane with oval, kidney-shaped holes instead of the normal round holes used as original equipment on the 1972/3 Motobecane Le Champion model. Hugo Rickert (Rickert Cycles - Dortmund, W. Germany) orders 300 HiLo hubs (large flange on drive side, small flange on non drive side) to be custom-made by Campagnolo in 1972 and builds the wheels for the West German National Team for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

The last year that the Record rear derailleur is available. The large chainring has a tiny post added at the crank arm location so an unshipped chain can't get jammed in the space between the crank and the chainring. The Nuovo Record derailleur has a plastic bushing added to the lower pivot bolt. The Super Record rear derailleur is introduced.

Catalog #17. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Super Record Road and Track groups with titanium axle for the bottom bracket, titanium spindles for the hubs (dropped soon after their introduction) and pedals, rear derailleur with black anodizing and titanium bolts, chainrings with inner web eliminated, alloy headset, brake levers with holes, short reach brake calipers with small rubber frame bumper on front caliper, 144mm bolt circle for track crankset and fluted two-bolt seat post are introduced. The Rally rear derailleur, Nuovo Gran Sport group (alloy 3-pin crankset and Nuovo Gran Sport low-cost front and rear derailleurs), nutcracker and Cavaturaccioli (corkscrew) are introduced. Brake cable clips are now made of stainless steel instead of chrome plated steel and toe strap loops on outside edge of steel Record pedals are eliminated. Note: O.M.A.S. (Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni) supplied the titanium bolts and ti pedal and BB axles for the Super Record group. The titanium tests out as 6AL-4V, a.k.a. Grade 5 or "6/4 Ti."

Special Catalog. Printed by Olympic Resources, Inc., Houston, Texas. Included are all items in Catalog #17 with the addition of the Special "T" wrench. Note that the illustrations for the Super Record chainrings, headset and seat post saddle cradles show the black anodized versions that were never released.

Catalog #17a. Printed for the year-end trade shows. As per Catalog #17. The word "Brev." is changed to "Patent" on the brake centerbolts.
Tullio Campagnolo is awarded the "Design and Application Award" by the International Magnesium Association.

Chain holder (Portacatena) with accompanying control lever and trigger and short Nuovo Record dropouts drilled and tapped for chain holder shown at Milan Trade Show at the end of the year.

C.P.S.C. (Consumer Product Safety Commission) mandates changes to NR/SR. Included are a front derailleur lip, 2.5 mm increase in spacing between crank spider and arm to clear the front derailleur lip with corresponding increase in bottom bracket axle length, a curved quick release lever and ball-end added to quick release conical adjuster, dome-shape added to quick release cam lever on brake calipers, plastic covering added to the wheel guides on the brake shoes, and plastic safety-shields added to rear derailleur screws. The word "Patent" is changed to "Brev." on the chainring, chainring bolts and crank dust caps. Down tube shifters with bumpy edges and raised letters changed to thicker, smooth edged levers with sunken letters.
Tullio Campagnolo is bestowed with the Stella D'Oro (Golden Star) award by the C.O.N.I. (Italian National Olympic organization) for his contributions to sport.

Catalog #17a Supplement. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are a revised Super Record derailleur with script logo and different cage geometry (28 tooth capacity), single bolt Nuovo Super Record seat post, Record front derailleur has straight band and four holes in cage (changed the following year to the more traditional pointed-band clamp and three hole cage), short Nuovo Record dropouts without eyelets (drilled and tapped for chain holder), chain holder (Portacatena) with accompanying control lever and trigger, and fixing shoe plate for pedals. Gran Sport front derailleur (Record-style plain cage with lip stamped with Globe logo), Gran Sport crank (flat bottom fluting, 170mm length), Gran Sport pedal (stamped steel races and engraved "Gran Sport" on barrel), Gran Sport brakeset (different adjuster and engraved "Gran Sport" on caliper black brake hoods with Globe logo). Nuovo Valentino front derailleur (flat arms, Record-style plain cage with lip, stamped with Winged QR logo).

Bernard Hinault (Team Renault-Gitane-Campagnolo) is set up with prototype Record downtube shift levers with the retrofriction clutch for his Gitane Profil Aero Time Trial TdF bike. These retrofriction clutch Record shift levers were in response to the Simplex Retrofriction shift levers and were never in the catalog and were never offered to the public at the time. The retrofriction clutch was first offered for sale as C-Record in the No.18 bis catalog (December, 1986). The Super Record rear derailleur has aluminum pivot bolts substituted for its titanium pivot bolts this one year, apparently because of a titanium shortage.
Tullio Campagnolo is appointed to the Cavaliere del Lavoro (Italy's highest honor to a businessman) by the President of the Italian republic.

Development starts on the Campagnolo freewheel, a combination of aluminum, titanium, and steel with a three-pawl ratchet system the last project that Tullio personally oversaw. The 980 low-cost rear derailleur (26 tooth capacity) is introduced (9 80 = September 1980), BMX components, toe clips in aluminum and steel, and bronze colored belt buckle (made for Campagnolo USA by True Distance Inc. of Houston, Texas).

Record Pista hubs with oiler holes and clips made from 1980-87.

The winged wheel logo is updated by stylizing the rim, the wings and quick-release (shield added the next year). Bernard Hinault (Team Renault-Gitane-Campagnolo) is set up with prototype aero Record brake levers with aero cable routing for his Gitane Profil Aero Time Trial TdF bike. These aero Record brake levers with aero cable routing were never in the catalog and were never offered to the public.

Olympic Catalog. Printed for the year-end trade shows. Included are the Campagnolo freewheel and wood boxed freewheel tool set along with the Super Record front derailleur with black anodized arms, three hole cage, pointed-band clamp and braze on fitting option (parts drawing shows black anodized arms, four hole cage and straight-band clamp), Record down tube shift levers with sunken letters instead of previous raised letters (previous flat spring washer and slightly domed pressure washer changed to the domed plastic friction washer and conical steel outer washer), the HiLo Record rear hub, toe clips in both steel and alloy versions, the revised version of the Super Record titanium bottom bracket axle (solid instead of hollow, with nuts rather than bolts), the low-cost 980 rear derailleur (26 tooth capacity), Gran Sport Rally rear derailleur (32 tooth capacity), Gran Sport touring crankset (flat bottom fluting, 116mm bolt pattern, double or triple, 35 to 43 teeth, and 50 to 53 teeth) and BMX crankset (gold, blue, or silver anodized 170mm arms and 42 to 46 teeth chainrings silver 175mm arms), BMX pedals (gold, blue or black double sided saw tooth aluminum quill), and BMX large or small flanged nutted hubs (gold, blue or silver). Also a series of promotional items are offered: corkscrew, nutcracker, a limited edition belt buckle set, an Olympic lapel pin set, a folding disposable razor, a travel bag, and various Campagnolo window and frame stickers. Also shown is the "Super Record Road Steel group" also called "Super Record Reduced group" (SL pedals replacing the SR pedals and the NR bottom bracket replacing the SR bottom bracket).

February 3rd, Tullio Campagnolo dies in Vicenza.

Shield added to winged wheel logo to celebrate the company's fifty years in business. 50th Anniversary group is released. Gruppo Number 0002 is presented to the Pope, John Paul II in a private audience for a delegation of Italian cycling enthusiasts on June 15.

Introduction of Super Record brake calipers with triangular cross section (as per Anniversary caliper), Campagnolo script logo, conical-shaped nuts for center bolt lock nut and cam lock nut, and also around this time an Alleggerita Nuovo Record headset (alleggerita meaning lightened) a steel Record headset with holes in the spigots. Shield logo replaces Globe logo on brake hoods.

Introduction of Record Corsa and Record Pista groups at the year-end trade shows. Usually referred to as "C-Record" (C = Corsa) and not available for sale until around 1986 C-Record is not shown in the 12/1985 catalog No. 18, but is shown in the 12/1986 catalog No. 18 bis.

Catalog #18. Printed for the year-end trade shows (print code 12/85). As per Olympic Catalog, but the Super Record titanium bottom bracket axle has been dropped. A seven-speed standard spaced freewheel is introduced (requires 130mm rear dropout spacing). Note that C-Record is not shown.

Super Record cranks without milled flutes (first produced with engraved logo and later with laser-etched logo) derived from the 1983 Anniversary group cranks and Super Record seat post without milled flutes to match new Super Record cranks.

A seven-speed "compact" spaced freewheel is introduced.

The last year of production of Super Record components. A final short production run of Record hubs is made utilizing surplus parts. Also some C-Record front hubs are made utilizing surplus Record front hub 7/32" bearings, cones and races. Normally C-Record front hubs use 3/16" bearings and both Record and C-Record rear hubs use 1/4" bearings. Both the Record and C-Record hubs are marked "S - U" on the hub barrel.

Typically the development of Campagnolo parts was carried out with the help of professional road and track riders on teams sponsored by Campagnolo. Consequently, Campagnolo parts were in use one or more years before they were ever offered for sale to the public. Campagnolo parts could appear in stores or on bikes before ever appearing in a catalog or, on the other hand, were not necessarily available at the time a catalog was issued. The catalogs were typically printed for the trade shows which occurred late in the year (the Milan bicycle trade show was held biannually, odd numbered years). For these reasons, all dates in the Timeline are approximate.

Some Campagnolo parts can be dated by codes or patent dates. For example, the Nuovo Record rear derailleur has a patent date that corresponds to its manufacturing date starting in 1970 (example "PAT. 70") marked "PATENT" without a date before 1970. The lock nut on the hub axle typically is stamped with "CAM. 60" or some other number denoting the last two digits of the year of manufacture. The word "RECORD" was added to the hub barrels around 1963. The original "Open C" style Campagnolo logotype (imagine a U turned on its side) on the Q.R. levers was changed to a "closed C" in 1958 with the introduction of the one-piece alloy Record hubs and a little later to the shift levers. Starting in 1973 the crank arms have a code consisting of a diamond (1970's) or circle (1980's) with a number in the center denoting the last digit of the year of manufacture, and then in 1985-9 with square and number in the center: 11 = 1985, 21 = 1986, 31 = 1987, 41 = 1988, 51 = 1989 plus some other examples.

The original Campagnolo Timeline first appeared in a 1995 series of articles in the AEoleus Butterfly 'zine printed by Gabe Konrad. The original contributors were Gabe Konrad, Frank Berto, Ron Sheperd, Dale Brown, and Chuck Schmidt. In 1998 it was taken over by Chuck Schmidt and added to the Velo-Retro website. Since then, many people have made contributions to the Timeline: Hilary Stone, Peter Johnson, Richard Sachs, Dave Walker, John Barron, Dan Ulwelling, Tom Dalton, Hiroshi Ichikawa, Satoru Masada, Dr. Akihiko Amaki, Steven Maasland, Jan Heine, Marc Borel, Corey Mihailiuk, John Pergolizzi, David Weddington, Ted Ernst and Renato Baccanelli of the Velocipede Museum among others.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance you the reader can offer in updating this timeline as this is the only way the accuracy of this timeline can be improved. Chuck Schmidt

History: Arrows to Women in the French Army

After a battles, anciently arrows were gathered by the winners so that they could be used again. By the age of the longbow, arrows were designed in such a way to make retrieval easier.

Arrows were expensive. The most expensive part of the arrow was not the arrowhead, but the shaft. Arrow shafts were not turned-down from larger pieces of wood, but were derived from coppice.

The coppice trees here are overgrown and have not been managed in some time.

Coppicing is a woodland management practice that goes back until at least the Iron Age. Young trees are cut down to the stump, and the fresh growth trained and managed until they reached the correct diameter for their intended purpose. Coppice was used for, notably, wattle and stave construction, production of charcoal and of course arrow shafts.

It could take 5–7 years for a coppice to produce serviceable arrow dowels, and more could not be easily procured.

Arrowheads, conversely, may have been one of the earliest products to be mass-produced. Forensic analysis of arrowheads recovered from Agincourt in France suggested they had been made in two halves using a form and then soldered together. The level of simplicity needed to do this, as opposed to a fully forged arrowhead, is such that it could be accomplished by blacksmiths using portable forges in the army’s baggage train.

The arrowheads were attached to the shafts using pitch. This, you may think, is a terrible idea – pitch isn’t going to hold the arrowhead on very securely. You are quite right, nor was it intended to. The use of pitch meant that the arrow could be retrieved from where it struck (the ground, a body) by simply pulling sharply. The head would break away but the shaft (the expensive part) wouldn’t bend or break.

These recovered shafts could then be fitted with cheap new heads and fired again. Sometime the goose feathers (fletching/flights) needed to be replaced as well, and trained archers knew how to do that.

They were Crap – But they worked.

Designed by Georgi Shpagin in the USSR c.1941 and manufactured in large quantities well into the 1960′s. 7,62x25mm Tokarev 71-round drum magazine or 35-round stick magazine, blowback select fire with selector switch located in front of the trigger. With 6 million guns rolling out during WW2, the PPSh-41 smg was one of the work horses of the Soviet Union infantry.

It’s easy to criticize these weapons, but they were able to put ordnance on target (ok, spray and pray – but sometimes prayers are answered).

Female Participation

Cuirassiers and lancers of the line, chasseurs a pied of the imperial guard. Note the emphasis put on the waistline in these uniforms. Vivandière or cantinières were women given special permits to act within the French army as kitchen workers but also wine and liquor sellers attached to a specific regiment, of which they would share the uniform.

This practice died out progressively as their numbers were reduced (pregnancy took a heavy toll), and their uniforms replaced by civilian clothes with an armband. It was completely phased out in 1905, when the cantinières were replaced by male equivalents recruited from old veterans.

In the space of the 35 years between the introduction of the new system and its disbanding in 1940, the general appreciation of the cantinière by the troops changed from selfless, motherly or sisterly to cowardly and selfish. I feel like, facts aside, that says a lot about French psyche.

Cuirassiers of Napoleon III’s Imperial Guard

The steel blue, madder red and white colors of the cuirassiers remained relatively unchanged from Napoleon the Great to the Great War. Their steel cuirass was impervious to handgun fire, cuts or thrusts from melee weapons of the day. The use of a war horse went far beyond mere transportation. Their ability to use their weight, hooves and teeth against an enemy can’t be emphasized enough.

Russian Air Force Mil Mi-24

According to Russian sources, 74 helicopters were lost in Afghanistan, including 27 shot down by Stinger and two by Redeye. In many cases, however, the helicopters, thanks to their armor and the durability of construction, withstood significant damage and were able to return to base.

On the whole, French immigrants have been highly successful and have made a lasting impact in the United States. According to We the People, the French immigrants who remained in the United Stated tended to be "less traditional and more enterprising, ambitious, and forward-looking" individuals who typically "adjusted without much apparent stress to American ways." In contrast to other immigrant groups, only 12 percent of French Americans were farmers. Instead, French immigrants most often worked as professionals, clerical workers, cooks, waiters, artists, and managers.

Specific French immigration waves contributed different labor practices to American society. For example, the Huguenots introduced a number of skilled crafts to the United States, including sophisticated techniques of weaving, leather dressing, lace making, and felt manufacture. Some historians claim that the Huguenots' stylish ways helped transform crude frontier settlements into civilized cities and towns. Refugees from the French Revolution and the fall of Napoleon who came to the United States tended to be former army officers or aristocrats. These educated individuals often taught the French language or such elite activities as fencing and dancing. A number of French chefs, hairdressers, dress designers, and perfumers accompanied the wave of aristocrats and introduced French cuisine and fashion to America.

Ohio Republicans Introduce Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory in Schools

(Getty Images)

Ohio is the latest state considering legislation to prohibit public schools from teaching critical race theory, which views racism as systemic in the nation’s institutions and promotes race-based reverse discrimination to achieve equity.

On Tuesday, state representative Don Jones, introduced House Bill 322, which amends the state’s academic standards from kindergarten through 12 th grade. Among its provisions, Jones’s bill would prohibit schools from teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex” or that anyone should feel “discomfort, guilt or anguish” based on their race or sex.

The text of the bill does not mention critical race theory by name, though Jones specifically said in a written statement that that’s exactly what he’s taking aim at with his bill.

“Critical race theory is a dangerous and flat-out wrong theory,” Jones wrote. “It is designed to look at everything from a ‘race first’ lens, which is the very definition of racism. CRT claiming to fight racism is laughable. Students should not be asked to ‘examine their whiteness’ or ‘check their privilege.”

Jones’s bill states that slavery and racism are “deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.”

The bill, which already has 27 House cosponsors, would prohibit school administrators from requiring teachers to discuss current events, but if they do, they should “strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives.” It also would prohibit teachers from awarding course credit to students for lobbying for legislation or for public policy advocacy.

The Republican governors of Idaho and Oklahoma have already signed laws that would prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in their states. Several other states are crafting their own versions. Jones’s bill uses much of the same language a bill nearing the finish line in Texas.

Proponents of the bills say they are necessary to stop the spread of neo-racism in their schools. Critics say the legislation will have a chilling effect on classroom lessons.

Kimberlé Crenshaw, a UCLA and Columbia University critical race theorist, told The Columbus Dispatch that CRT is the understanding that people who have racial biases – even unconscious biases – can’t create unbiased systems and laws.

State representative Erica Crawley, a Democrat from Columbus, told the paper that CRT doesn’t teach that “every white person is inherently bad.” Rather, she said, it teaches that racism can show up in unexpected places, like home loans, algorithms, and school discipline.

“We cannot address it if we don’t even identify it and discuss how it has show up in our history,” Crawley told the paper. “But I get that they want to be comfortable and not address it.”

Is your school implementing a ‘woke’ curriculum that emphasizes immutable characteristics over character? National Review would like to hear your story.

Dassault Mirage F1

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/30/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Dassault Mirage F1 was designed to replace the successful Dassault Mirage III series. With a host of new features added to this new aircraft, the Mirage F1 would be a substantial upgrade to the whole Mirage family that would continue in service well into the new millennium. The Mirage F1 was built with capability and a multi-role perspective in mind. The aircraft was designed for high-speed handling with low or high-altitude performance, multi-faceted capabilities in the fighter or strike aircraft role and provide the pilot with some minor conveniences for long sorties requiring short turnaround times. The Mirage F1 served with distinction, particularly in the Greek Hellenic Air Force, where her arrival proved a deterrent to Turkish air space incursions for some 28 years. Over 720 Mirage F1 examples have been produced. The F1 remains one of the most battle-tested aircraft systems of the Cold War.

The F1 first flew in a Dassault-funded prototype form on December 23rd, 1966, intended as a replacement for the aging Mirage III and Mirage 5 models. Unlike previous Dassault offerings, the F1 did away with the traditional low-mounted, delta-wing configuration and instead was fitted with a high-mounted, swept wing arrangement. The French Air Force liked what it saw in the promising design and selected it for further development in the form of additional prototypes in May of 1967. The French Air Force envisioned the type as an all-weather interceptor capable of handling any of the new generation threats available. The resulting design proved a far better product than the aircraft the F1 was intended on replacing, sporting high-performance, sleek lines and a powerful Cyrano radar system. Production inevitably commenced and full operational status was achieved in May 1973.

The single engine, high-mounted swept-wing aircraft was powered by a single SNECMA Atar 9K-50 afterburning turbojet 15,785lb engine fed by two side-mounted intakes. The F1 sported a single-seat cockpit positioned in the forward portion of the streamlined fuselage. Amenities such as a self-starter, shaded canopy glass and pressured refueling system provided operators of the aircraft with the advantage of a low maintenance, highly capable aircraft. Further developments (beginning with the Mirage F1C-200) went on to integrate an in-flight refueling probe to which the combat radius was increased substantially. The unique high-mounted swept-wing design coupled with the single vertical tail fin afforded the aircraft the ability to take off and land with a minimal use of runway.

Standard armament were twin 30mm cannons along with 2 x Matra R530 series medium-range air-to-air missiles. Missiles were initially held under the wings though wingtip rails were later added for the use of Matra R550 Magic and AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles, the latter at the behest of the American-friendly Hellenic Air Force of Greece (operating Mirage F1CG models of their own).

The base F1 fighter was exported as the F1CE (Spain), F1CG (Greece), F1CH (Morocco), F1CJ (Jordan), F1CK (Kuwait), F1CK-2 (Kuwait - follow-up order) and F1CZ (South Africa) with orders totaling some 175 exported aircraft. The two-seat F1B trainer was marketed overseas as well along with the F1A single-seat ground-attack fighter. The F1E became an all-weather, multi-role fighter and ground-attack variant. The Mirage F1D was a two-seat trainer spawned from the F1E multi-role, ground-attack fighter model. The Mirage F1CR was a dedicated reconnaissance model. The Mirage F1CT became a tactical ground attack variant based on the Mirage F1C-200. F1AZ and F1CZ were South African exports of ground-attack and radar-equipped models respectively. The Mirage F1CG were Greek-operated single-seat fighters, amounting over 100,000 thousand hours of flight time over water with little structural stress to show for it. The Mirage F1M-53 was a developmental Mirage F1 meant to compete in NATO trials for replacing the Lockheed F-104 Starfighters then in service (the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon eventually won out).

The aircraft became a highly regarded interceptor - one of the best at the time of its inception - based on capabilities and its powerful nose-mounted radar. The system could track and engage multiple targets at any altitude all at the discretion of the pilot. The integrated weapon system could go so far as to select the appropriate weapon based on circumstance and fire the weapon when the target achieved an in optimal range.

In terms of combat exposure (the sure testing grounds of any aircraft design) the F1 was at the fore-front of several Cold War-era conflicts the world over. Mirages participated with the South African Air Force in their Border War. Morocco utilized the type to combat local rebels. Ecuador fielded the aircraft in their Paquisha War and follow-up Cenepa War against Peru. France got a chance to check out the F1's lethality in its actions against Libyan rebels operating against Chad. Spain operated their F1's in varying forms for over three decades before replacing them with Eurofighter Typhoons.

Iraq was a highly-publicized user of F1's. They sported the type in their war with Iran with moderate success in anti-shipping, interception and strike roles. Overall, inferior pilot training and lack of combat experience led to the F1 underachieving for the most part. Similarly in the 1991 Gulf War, Mirage F1's were wholly outclassed by Coalition forces, though, again not due to a lack of capability on the part of the aircraft.

More recently (2007), France has fielded some F1's in actions covering Southern Afghanistan. As of this writing, Greece, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and South Africa no longer employ the services of Mirage F1's.

In the end, the F1 series proved a welcomed addition to the Mirage family line. Modernization programs and updates to the avionics and weapon systems have ensured that the Mirage F1 will stay airborne for several more years. Undoubtedly, the system will continue to see service in Third World countries far longer than that. The French Air Force operated F1's until their displacement by the newer Mirage 2000 series. A major consideration to the F1 as a whole is its longevity after decades of consistent (and heavy-duty) use - no doubt a testament to a winning design.

November 2019 - Mirage F1s have seen extended service lives as a stock have been refurbished back to flying shape to serve the United States Air Force as commercially-owned/-operated aggressor (opposition) aircraft.

[7] MIRAGE 2000-5 MARK 2

* Dassault the extended the improvements of the Mirage 2000-5 a bit further with the "Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2", an enhanced, fully multi-role version of the Mirage 2000-5. The Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 featured:

    A Thales RDY-2 radar. The RDY-2 radar was similar in configuration to the original RDY, but featured two new air-to-ground modes, including a high-resolution "synthetic aperture radar (SAR)" imaging mode with a "moving target indicator (MTI)" capability to provide an all-weather, day / night ground attack capability. The radar featured "low probability of intercept (LPI)" operation, with the output pattern varying in a seemingly random pattern that prevented an adversary RWR from recognizing that it has been targeted.

The cockpit was updated as well, with the same general layout but with larger color displays and other modernizations. The Thales Topsight helmet-mounted display / sighting system was offered as an option. The Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 also included a datalink for the targeting of MICA ER missiles and could carry the Damocles targeting pod.

* Abu Dhabi / UAE was the launch customer, ordering 32 new-build aircraft, including 20 single-seaters as the "Mirage 2000-9" and 12 two-seaters as the "Mirage 2000-9D". These featured a classified countermeasures system designated "IMEWS", and comparable to ICMS 3. Initial deliveries of the UAE Mirages were in the spring of 2003. 30 of Abu Dhabi's older Mirage 2000s were also upgraded to Mirage 2000-9 capability.

The UAE Mirage 2000-9s are well-equipped for the strike mission, since they are provided along with the "Shehab" laser targeting pod, a variant of the Damocles, and the Nahar navigation pod, complementing the air-to-ground modes of the RDY-2 radar. The UAE has also obtained the "Black Shahine" cruise missile, a variant of the APACHE.

* In 2000, Greece ordered a batch of 25 Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 fighters. The order included 15 new-build aircraft and 10 upgrades from existing Greek Mirage 2000EGs, with aircraft featuring the SATURN secure radio. Apparently the Greek order did not include any upgrades of two-seaters.

Dassault also competed for a Brazilian deal with the "Mirage 2000 BR", another variant of the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2, with the French company partnering with EMBRAER of Brazil on the deal. Unfortunately, Brazilian budget problems led to continuous extensions of the competition, and in the spring of 2005 the Brazilians finally decided to buy a dozen refurbished AA Mirage 2000Cs. The first were delivered in September 2006, with the last of the batch delivered in 2008. They didn't stay in service long, the Brazilian Mirage 2000 fleet being withdrawn in 2013.

Another piece of Rafale technology that has been ported to the Mirage 2000 is the Thales AIDA visual identification pod, which includes infrared and optical sensors for IFF and targeting. It is used by AA Mirage 2000-5Fs. Further development of the second-generation type is expected to include a GPS receiver, MIDS datalink, and unspecified long-range sensors.

To Discover


Omnirole by design

A fully optimized airframe

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The sheer power of multisensor data fusion

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