The III V (V for "vertical") was a Mirage III airframe, modified with eight RB.162-31 lift engines (generating 5,400 lb thrust each, or 16:1 thrust to weight!), long-stroke landing gears, and various doors to minimize the undesirable effects of the lift engine exhausts. It was 59 ft long, with a 29 ft wingspan, and weighed about 30,000 lb. It was powered by a SNECMA TF-104 (12,000 lb thrust dry, 20,000 lb in afterburner). Control power was improved over the Balzac, with similarly located control jets at the nose, tail and wingtips.

First hover was achieved on 12 February 1965. The TF-104 was upgraded to a TF-106 for the first supersonic flight. First transition was conducted in March 1966. The second aircraft was fitted with a 10,750 lb thrust Pratt & Whitney TF30. It is the fastest V/STOL aircraft on record, achieving Mach 2.04 on 12 September 1966. The eight engines didn't leave much room for fuel and a visiting US Air Force pilot had to eject, destroying one of the two aircraft when he ran out of fuel during low-speed and hover operations. The other III V was also lost. With the entire fuselage filled with lift engines, the Balzac and the III V seemed to prove that with enough lift engines, any aircraft could be converted to V/STOL. The problem, however, was that there was no room for anything else. The Mirage III V weighed about 3,000 lb over the basic Mirage III, which cost about half the payload and fuel.

Source: AHS V/STOL Wheel


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Avions Marcel Dassault

Primary manufacturer: Avions Marcel Dassault

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Jet lift VTOL

Compound type: N/A

Lift configuration: Lift augmentation (x8)

Dedicated control device: Thruster (x99)

Dedicated propulsion devices: 1

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Single seater

Landing gear: Wheels (all retractable)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
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Airframe Dimensions
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Landing Gear Dimensions
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Cabin Dimensions
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Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

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Climb Performance
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Hover Performance
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Range and Endurance
Max Range:  
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Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 9
Designation: RR RB.162-31 turbine
Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
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OEI Ratings
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Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

Main Rotor Characteristics
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Hub Type:  
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
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Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
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Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
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Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades:  
Blade Construction: N/A
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area:  
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the Mirage III V , provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the Mirage III V , provided by public sources across the internet.