The first prototype (the development of which was financed by Dassault itself) first flew on 23 December 1966.
The type was officially accepted by the French Air Force in May 1967 when three further prototypes were ordered. With the bigger capacity of the SNECMA Atar 9K-50 turbojet with afterburner the F1 easily outclassed the Mirage III.
Having a smaller wingspan than the Mirage III , the F.1 nevertheless proved to be clearly superior to its predecessor.
It can carry up to 40-percent more fuel, has a shorter take-off run, a superior range in lo-lo missions, and better maneuverability.
The later Cyrano IV-1 version added a limited look-down capability.
The Mirage F1 entered service in May 1973 when the first production version was delivered.
Initially, the aircraft was only armed with two 30 mm internal cannon, but in 1976 the R530 medium-range air-to-air missile was released for use.
A year later the R550 Magic followed. During the same time, the american AIM-9 Sidewinder became part of the Mirage's F1 armament, after the Hellenic Air Force request for its own Mirage F1CG's.
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 refuelling probe, which required an extension of the fuselage by 7 cm.
Data for Dassault Mirage F1
Video 2: Wild Fly - Mirage F1 Low Level in Chad
Video 3: High speed French Dassault Mirage F1 Extremely Very Low Fly by !!!
text was adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )(GFDL)
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