Designed and built under a light interceptor program defined by the French Air Force following the Korean War (1950-1953), the Mirage III is a single-engine fighter-bomber. It combines a delta wing with a fuselage designed according to the area rule which gives it a “Coke bottle” shape.
The Mirage III 001 made its first flight, flown by Roland Glavany, on November 17, 1956, at Melun-Villaroche, near Paris. It was subsequently equipped with variable-section air inlets featuring movable shock cones, and servo controls invented by Dassault Aviation engineers.
A mythical aircraft, the hero of the television series Les Chevaliers du Ciel (The Aeronauts), the Mirage III is the iconic fighter of Dassault Aviation and the first member of the Mirage family.
The Mirage III and its derivative the Mirage 5 were deployed by operational units in the French Air Force from 1961 to 1994. The model shown here belongs to the EC 1/2 Cigognes fighter squadron based at Dijon-Longvic air base 102. It carries additional RPS 500 supersonic fuel tanks and the Matra 530 missile.