More Mirages

Above:-  GAF Mirage IIIO A3-51 on static display, on a cold and blustery morning at Avalon Air Show, 2011.

Above:- Forty years earlier – Mirage IIIO A3-4 in the static park at Richmond RAAF Air Show. The technology may be outdated, but those classic lines will never age. One interesting difference between the photos is in the position of the air intake shock cones. A3-4’s cones are in the retracted, low-speed position, while A3-51’s are in the forward position for high speed flight.

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GAF Mirage IIIO

An unidentified GAF licence-built Mirage, A3-xxx overhead at Richmond RAAF Air Show, 1972 – 73. A beautiful aeroplane, the classic delta shape only slightly interrupted by those long range tanks. The “Miracle” was very small and very fast, and getting a good photo with a pocket camera was more a matter of luck than judgement.

On a lighter note

This is a Transavia PL12 M-300 Airtruk multipurpose military aircraft at the NSW Bicentennial Airshow, October 2008. The Airtruk was normally built as an agricultural aeroplane, at Seven Hills in Sydney. It was possessed of a pretty spectacular performance when lightly loaded, and the passenger/freight PL12U and M300 were intended as inexpensive short field carriers for undeveloped areas.
Unfortunately, the Airtruk’s production rate was glacially slow – averaging 5 airframes per year over a run lasting a quarter of a century. More aggressive marketing and a more efficient production line may have given this interesting design a bright future, rather than a regrettable past.