Falcon Models FA726006 French Dassault Mirage F1CT Interceptor - E.C. 1/13 "Artois" (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Dassault Mirage F-1 is a French air-superiority fighter and attack aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation as a successor of the Mirage III family. The Mirage F1 entered service in the French Air Force (Arme de l'Air) in the early seventies. Powered by a single SNECMA Atar turbojet providing about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust, the F1 has been used as a light multipurpose fighter and has been exported to about a dozen nations. More than 700 F1s have been produced..
Dassault designed the Mirage F1 as a private venture, using its own funds, as a successor to its Mirage III and Mirage 5 fighters, with the F1 being a smaller version of the Mirage F2 being developed for the French Air Force. It was of similar size to the delta-winged Mirage III and V, and was powered by a SNECMA Atar 9K turbojet as used in the Dassault Mirage IV, but unlike its predecessors, it shared the layout of a swept wing mounted high on the fuselage and a conventional tail surface as used by the F2.
The first prototype made its maiden flight on December 23rd, 1966. Despite the prototype crashing on May 18th, 1967, due to flutter, killing its pilot, an order for three prototypes was placed on May 26th, 1967, the larger and more expensive F2 being abandoned.
Although it has a smaller wingspan than the Mirage III, the F1 nevertheless proved to be clearly superior to its predecessor. It can carry up to 43% more fuel, has a shorter take-off run and better maneuverability.
In order to comply with the French Air Force's requirement for an all-weather interceptor, the first production Mirage F1C was equipped with a Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV monopulse radar. The later Cyrano IV-1 version added a limited look-down capability. However Mirage F1 pilots reported that the radar can easily overheat, reducing its efficiency. First deliveries to the French Air Force took place in May 1973, entering squadron service with EC 2/30 Normandie-Niemen in December that year. Initially, the aircraft was armed with two internal 30 mm cannons, and a single Matra R530 medium-range air-to-air missiles carried under the fuselage. It was replaced after 1979, when the improved Matra Super 530 F entered into service with the French Air Force. In 1977, the R550 Magic was released. The F1 has these missiles mounted on rails on the wingtips. Around the same time, the American AIM-9 Sidewinder became part of the Mirage F1's armament, after the Spanish and Hellenic Air Forces requested integration of the Sidewinder on their own Mirage F1CE and CG fighters.
The 79 aircraft of the next production run were delivered during the period March 1977 to December 1983. These were of the Mirage F1C-200 version with a fixed refueling probe, which required an extension of the fuselage by 7 cm.
The Mirage F1 served as the main interceptor of the French Air Force until the Dassault Mirage 2000 entered service.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a French Dassault Mirage F1CT Interceptor that was attached to E.C. 1/13 "Artois".
Wingspan: 4-3/4 inches
Length: 8-1/4 inches
Release Date: December 2013
Historical Account: "In the Wake of Guynemer" - Many consider the Armee de l'Air to have been the first professional air force in the world. The French took active interest in developing their air force and had the first fighter pilots of World War I. During the interwar years, however, particularly in the 1930s, the quality fell when compared with the Luftwaffe, which crushed both the French and British air forces during the Battle of France.
In the post World War II era, the French made a concerted and successful effort to develop a homegrown aircraft industry.
Dassault Aviation led the way forward with their unique and effective delta-wing designs, which formed the basis for the famous Mirage series of jet fighters. The Mirage repeatedly demonstrated its deadly abilities in the Six-Day War and the Gulf War, becoming one of the most popular and well-sold aircraft in the history of military aviation along the way.
Currently, the French Air Force is expanding and replacing. The French are awaiting the A400M military transport aircraft, which is still in developmental stages, and the integration of the new Rafale multi-role jet fighter, whose first squadron of 20 aircraft became operational in 2006 at Saint-Dizier.