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Fifth annual "year in review"...

November 28th, 2004.  "The Mirage site" is five years old.  My sincere thanks to all the aircraft, panel, sound, and scenery designers, aircraft repainters, and others who have contributed this past year and the years prior.  By sharing your creations and your interest in Mirage aircraft with the rest of us you have made this website possible.  And thanks also to those who have written to tell about new items available and to just say "hello".

This is my second attempt at publishing this page.  I have had a lot of computer problems over the past couple of months that has severely reduced my ability to make my own contributions to the hobby both individually and in collaboration with others.  It has also slowed down the updates of this website.  In the latest mishap I lost my original draft of this page so this is from memory.

Last year there was a decline in the number of new aircraft but this year has more than made up for it.  The reason for this was the large number of new repaints available.  There were four main contributors in this area: Mathieu Bilquey, Jean-Marc Mangiavacca, Pierre Marchardier and Garry Smith.  Well over half of the total new aircraft can be attributed to these four.

 Aircraft Type11/28/9911/28/0011/28/0111/28/0211/28/0311/28/04
  Mirage III  414225465105 (40 new)
  Mirage 5/50  31113212531 (6 new)
  Mirage F1  61825313950 (11 new)
  Mirage 2000  91115293238 (6 new)
  Mirage 4000  1  3  3  5  66 (0 new)
  "Other" Mirage  5162641 5569 (14 new)
  Rafale  1  5  7101823 (5 new)
  Early Dassault  0  0  1  0  014 (13 new)
Totals:   2978112191239334 (95 new)

It wasn't all repaints that produced these numbers.  There were a few new aircraft as well.
  • Jason Ashworth released a new version (the fourth) of his Cheetah C to wear a new set of textures by Jens-Ole Kjølberg.
  • Warwick Carter released a new Mirage IIIO for FS2004 designed with Gmax.  He teamed up with Garry Smith who painted well over a dozen texture sets.  Jean-Marc Mangiavacca also painted several texture sets for this new aircraft.
  • Roland Laborie released four Mirage aircraft/instrument panel packages this past year: a pair of Mirage 2000C's and a pair of Mirage IV bombers.
  • Phil Perrott of Alpha Simulations decided to release all of their aircraft not specifically designed for FS2004 as freeware.  This is included their Mirage IIIC and IIIB.  Pierre Marchardier of FSFrance.com painted many textures sets for these as well as others.
  • Vasco Ferreira released a Mirage F1CZ with a new instrument panel by Thinus Pretorius.
  • Wim Reeger released a Super Mystère B2 that resulted in many repaints by Jean-Marc Mangiavacca and Mathieu Bilquey.
Mirage IVA by Roland Laborie. Roland Laborie released two versions of the Mirage IV, an IVA in early bare metal and an IVP in the camouflage scheme.  Both included a new 2D instrument panel and virtual cockpit. Mirage IVP by Alpha Simulations. Alpha Simulations also released a Mirage IV this past year designed by David Bushell.  The payware package included three versions and several special effects.

Super Mystère B2 by Wim Reeger. The Super Mystère B2 by Wim Reeger received a lot of attention including a new page on this website and many repaints including this one by Mathieu Bilquey. Cheetah C by Jason Ashworth. Jason Ashworth released a fourth version of his Cheetah C.  This one was designed specifically to use the "Flag Cheetah" textures by by Jens-Ole Kjølberg.

All of the new instrument panels this past year were bundled with new aircraft as mentioned above.  There were however several modifications to existing panels.  The majority of these were based on the Super Etendard Modernisé by Romain Lucas and the Rafale by Cyril Pioffet.  Contributors included Chris Coarse, Sonny, Siegfried Vlaminck, and myself.  One of the more important modifications was by Siegfried Vlaminck to the Rafale panel, correcting the ecran gauche (left screen) display problem.  Another important event for instrument panels this past year was getting the interceptor radar of Eric Marciano running again.  Pete Dowson released freeware keys for his FSUIPC software.

The Scenery page grew a little this past year.  There were only two new airbase offerings but they are all very well made and add quite a bit to the overall experience.  Several existing sceneries were updated for FS2004.

  • Bill Holker released a new RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia (WMKB) scenery for use with the Mirage IIIO by Warwick Carter.
  • Christian Santoni released his interpretation of Solenzara AB (LFKS) on the Island of Corsica in two versions: a lite (frame-rate-friendly) version a fully populated version.
  • Jean-Jacques Herve updated his Lorient Lann-Bihoué BAN (LFRH) scenery.
  • Philippe Jacquot updated his scenery for Base ALAT d'Etain-Rouvres (LFQE).
  • Fabien Prevost updated his scenery for Cambrai-Epinoy AB (LFQI) and Reims-Champagne AB (LFSR).
  • The Island of Corsica received quite a bit of attention this past year.  This began with the Projet LandCorse in the Forum at Francesim.  This resulted in Landclass files by Hotshot and VFR sceneries for the island by Toni Agramont and Alexandre Cadel.
So what's on the horizon?
  • Cyril Pioffet continues to work on his Mirage 2000.  You can read more about it here.  I have flown the latest beta version with the complete VC (November 2004).  I have painted eight add-on textures for it, six Armée de l'Air, one Hellenic Air Force and one Indian Air Force.  Pierre Marchardier is also painting texture sets.
  • Roland Laborie will be releasing a set of two-seat Mirage 2000 including the 2000D and 2000N.  There may even be a 2000B trainer.  You can read more about it here.
  • Kirk Olsson will soon release his Gmax Mirage F1.  He is adjusting the flight model and waiting for me to finish the 2D instrument panel (sorry).  Images are available here.
  • Pierre Marchardier is working a vast Armée de l'Air AI Traffic project.  As part of the project I converted the Mirage 2000C by Oxyd (because of it's low polygon count) for FS2004 but the 2000D still have visible afterburner.  Since the da Silva brothers seem to have fallen off the planet Pierre has decided to make his own 2000D and 2000N.  You can read more about it here.  The aircraft are being designed using a CAD program but will be imported into Gmax for use with FS2004.  Pierre is also working on a new Mirage IIIC.
  • fmm40fr (Fernando?) is working on a pair of low polygon Mirage 2000 for use as AI Traffic.  You can read more about it here.
  • Thinus Pretorius is working on a new MD450 Ouragan.
  • I, your humble webmaster, will be releasing my own Solenzara AB (LFKS) scenery this year.  I also have been entrusted by Jason Ashworth with the source code masters for his Mirage IIIC/E and Cheetah C series.  Between other projects I am in the process of animating these for use with FS2004.
I want to say a special thank you to a few people who have helped out with this website by providing English to French translations of the What's New page for the Quoi de Neuf? page.  These have included Michel Gérard, Sylvain Devidal, Mathieu Bilquey, Philippe Gillet, and Siegfried Vlaminck.  Without their help I would have to rely on the terrible online translators.

As usual I got a little long-winded.  This next year promises to be a good one for Mirage fans.  In November our 300,000th visitor passed through the Index page.  There have probably been more because when the website is mentioned in the Forums the writers point to a particular page.  That's fine.  It adds a little fudge factor to the number on the main page.  Thank you everyone for continuing to visit.  If you haven't already done do so, make a bookmark and be sure and stop by again.  I hope I didn't overlook anyone.  If I did, you have my apologies.  Please

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