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  Dassault Mirage IIIB-RV
  by Alpha Simulations

  (Reviewed December 2000)

As a sort of tongue-in-cheek remark to Phil Perrott of Alpha Simulations I suggested that I would be happy to put together a review of their new Mirage IIIB-RV and publish it on this website -- if only I had a copy. <g>  Within the day Phil took me up on the offer.  After spending some time with the aircraft I wrote back suggesting a number of corrections and changes.  Happily for us Mirage fans, Phil and the crew at Alpha Simulations incorporated many of them.  The aircraft reviewed here is the final release.  The images are a mix of my first flight and subsequent releases.  Thank you Phil and Alpha Simulations.
The visual model of Alpha Simulations' Mirage IIIB-RV is the work of Chris Lampard with modifications by Michael Davies.  It is based on the Dagger model that will be included in Alpha's upcoming Jump Jet package.  The aircraft is configured with 500-liter subsonic drop tanks and the nose-mounted dry refueling probe used for Mirage IV flight crew training.  The RV stands for Ravitaillement en Vol or in-flight refueling.  

  The aircraft is almost fully animated.  Although the elevators and ailerons on the Mirage share the same parts, current Flight Sim technology doesn't allow them to move independently.  Therefore, a compromise must be reached.  In this case, the designer elected to model full span ailerons and not animate the elevators.

The download package includes the aircraft with panel (the latter designed by Phil Perrott) and all necessary files for use with FS2000 and CFS2 (a damage profile file and a special effects file for exhaust smoke).  The exhaust smoke effect is pretty realistic looking.  This CFS2 image (courtesy of Colin Norwood) only gives a suggestion of the effect.  You'll need CFS2 to see the full exhaust smoke effect.    

  The flight model is very easy to handle.  Perhaps too easy.  Final approach in the real Mirage III is at 185-190 kts and touch-down at 170-180 kts.  However, you'll be able to slow this one down to speeds of nearly 130 kts.  Somewhat unrealistic for a Mirage.  On the other hand, acceleration is quick and the roll rate is quite accurate for a Mirage with drop tanks.  It's very maneuverable and fun to fly.

The textures (by Phil Perrott) are well done with the correct pattern in a NATO color scheme of dark gray and dark green.  These are high resolution so details are not compromised on the wings as is usually the case with a delta.  Even the small unit insignia of CIFAS 328 on the tail is sharp.  The engine exhaust shape is more accurate for a SNECMA Atar 9C powered Mirage IIIBE than the Atar 9B powered Mirage IIIB-RV though.  

The images on this page were made at various stages of my reviewing this aircraft for Alpha Simulations.  The aircraft initially had flaps but thankfully these were removed.  By the time my suggestions had been added and Alpha had moved on to other projects the landing gear doors had been changed to Kfir style (as seen in the takeoff/gear retraction image further up).  The landing image above shows an early release (with no unit insignia on the tail) with the correct Mirage gear doors.  In the end this is a nice aircraft despite lacking the characteristic tall canopy of the Mirage III trainers.

Originally Payware, this aircraft is now available
as a free download (panel now included).

Header photograph Copyright Conservatoire de l'Air et de l'Espace d'Aquitaine (CAEA).
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