The Avions Marcel Dassault Mirage III aircraft is a French supersonic fighter aircraft. Its counterpart in Sweden was the SAAB J-35 Draken, in the USA it was the Lockheed F-104, in the UK it was the English Electric P-1 Lightning, and in the CCCP there were Mikojan and Guriewicz MiG-21. The first flight of the Mirage III fighter was made on November 17, 1956. On June 18, 1959, one of the Mirage III-A prototypes was used to set the world record for 100 km closed circuit speed, achieving an average speed of 1,771 km / h.
Mirage III / 5 planes in Poland.
When discussing the Mirage III-C aircraft, it is worth mentioning the courtesy visits of these fighters to Poland. In 1967, during the flight of Mirage III-C planes from France to CCCP, these planes landed at the airport of the higher officer's aviation school in Dęblin. The regiment in which the fighters flew was called "Normandy-Niemen". During World War II, a group of French airmen fought against the German troops on the Eastern Front, and this was the reason to visit the areas of the former battles after many years.
Belgium was equipped with: 63 Mirage 5 BA (fighter-bomber), 27 Mirage 5 BR (reconnaissance) and 16 Mirage 5 BD (training-combat) aircraft. Belgium, next to Libya, was the largest user of Mirage 5 airplanes. The planes were assembled in Belgium by SABCA. The planes were operated in the years 1970-1993. SABCA has been involved in the production of a large number of licensed aircraft as well as related modernization programs. These were planes such as Hawker Hunter, Republic F-84 Thunderjet, Lockheed F-104 G Starfighter, Dassault Mirage 5, General Dynamics F-16 and AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter.
In 2008, the Mirage 5 BA 03 plane, i.e. the fighter-bomber version, was delivered to the Museum in Krakow. The aircraft was built in 1970 by Belgium at SABCA. The aircraft was in operation until 1993 and was put into storage.
The Mirage 5 BA 03 aircraft is painted in a tricolor camouflage pattern: dark green, green, brown. The airplane was marked BA 05 in several places. The airplane did not have radar, so the bow is not made of radio-transparent material. Additional fuel tanks 2 x 850 liters are attached under the wings of the aircraft.
There is one more Belgian Mirage 5 plane in Poland. The plane has the designation Mirage 5 BA 21. For several years, the plane was operated in a private Museum in Łódź-Lublinek. In 2013, the museum was closed. Most of the exhibits were transported to the Air Force Museum in Dęblin. As the Mirage 5 BA 21 plane has no clarified legal status, it is not an exhibit of the Museum and is in the back room. The plane is painted identically to the one in the Museum in Krakow.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman