No cheesy puns in the title of this post, simply that my first Mirage drawings are done...

When is a Mirage NOT a Mirage?

Short answer - when its a Mystère. The MD550 was - as it turned out - the initial steps in French aircraft development that eventually led to the Mirage III fighter jet, but it wasn't call a 'Mirage' to begin with. It was called the Mystère Delta and only subsequently acquired the the nomenclature of 'Mirage 1' as it's evolutionary path became clear.

Designed to meet early 1950s requirements the first series of prototypes soon demonstrated that the criteria on which it's conception was based were far too modest, the MD550 was - it was decided - too small. A enlarged and revised design - the 'Mirage II' - was touted but then dismissed and the far more ambitious Mirage III was born.

Above: My completed MD550 profile drawing, done in Affinity Designer. This was the final iteration of the 'Mirage 1' and the most Mirage-looking, though several different shapes and configurations were tried before Dassault reached this design.

Mirage Matured

Like a fine cheese, the Mirage concept only came into it's finest form after maturing. I'll skip - but come back to in a later drawing project - the intermediate variations on the theme and jump straight to the later Mirage III 'E' for my next completed drawing (which, ironically, I finished before I did the MD550 sketch.)

I've been saving the unveiling of this sketch as I wanted the two pieces to come together to show concept and final implementation of Dassault's wonderful design...

Above: My sketch of the Mirage IIIE as it is exhibited at The Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington (taking from reference photos I took during a recent visit).

The Mirage III 'E' variant if the most modern multi-role mark of the jet to serve with the French Air Force (and many other nations) from 1964 and by 1971, this variant had become the most widely exported version of the aircraft. 183 'E' models were built for the French Air Force and in total the Mirage III series served with 10 nations and still serves with Pakistan today!

I'm undecide what will be my next drawing project but I definitely will be returning to the Mirage family tree very soon (and I also have a video project in development). 


Link & References:

- Dassault Mirage III colour scheme profiles at WINGS PALETTE

- Mirage Origins at DASSAULT AVIATION (in English)


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post