Aircraft in Detail 010: Dassault Mirage F.1
Author: Robert Pied, Nicolas DeBoeck
Publisher HMH Publications
Price $29.00 from 
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Notes: 84 pages, paperback, 9.45 x 9.45 inches
ISBN 978-2-960248-89-0

This is the second of this series I've had a chance to read and it is very much like the previous volume. It is basically a photo book series of fairly modern aircraft. Much of what you will find within are full color photos of not only the overall aircraft but also detail photos of various parts of the subject.

The Mirage F.1 was a company-sponsored jet designed to be a replacement for the Mirage III. This was produced thanks to the failure of the variable wing G8 and the VTOL Mirage IIIV. While either of those aircraft would have probably been developed into successful aircraft, time was fairly critical. The Mirage F.1 looks very much like the IIIE, which makes production easier. What is quite different is the high swept wing. This meant that the landing gear had to be put into the fuselage and it is a very convoluted system in order to get the twin main wheels to fold into the well. Production got underway and the aircraft met all the requirements of an interceptor. It was later developed into a ground attack and reconnaissance airframe. Like most French fighters, it found a ready clientele in African, Middle Eastern, and South American states. It was also offered to NATO, who chose the F-16 instead, though Spain did purchase a goodly number.

Like the Harrier book, the greatest concentration of images is on the French aircraft with a fair number of Spanish and a smattering of images of planes from other nations.  Most of the book is straight eye candy and when it gets down to detail stuff (landing gear, cockpit, etc) there are still a lot of overall images. The only parts that are all detail images are on the cockpit and a section on maintenance. Interestingly, the maintenance photos were all taken in Florida where a company who bought all the extant Spanish planes is refurbishing them to use as adversaries. All of the images in the book are in full color, making this a visually interesting book and a real boon for modelers. I should also mention that there are a few, but not many, images of the two seat trainer. 

Overall, it makes for a superb photo book on the last of the Harriers and one that I can easily recommend.

September 2020

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