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  Mirage IIIO
  by Warwick Carter

  (Previewed February 2004)


In early January Warwick Carter posted an announcement in the forum at the Australian Simulation website that he was working on a new Mirage III for FS9.  Among the enthusiastic responders was Garry J. Smith, also of Australia, offering to texture the aircraft.  Warwick and Garry have since teamed up for this project.  A 1% airfile is being worked by on a friend of Warwick's from the UK.

      When asked why he selected the Mirage III as a subject, Warwick shared that his father was in Fire and Rescue in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).  As a youth, Warwick spent many days "hanging around flight lines and where ever else he could get in the way."

Not relying solely on his recollections of the Mirage, Warwick has spent a lot of time at the Classic Jets Fighter Museum in Adelaide.  The museum has a complete Mirage IIIO(F) (A3-16) on display and a Mirage cockpit from a training simulator.  Warwick has taken a lot of detailed digital photos since patrons are free to sit and climb around the displays.      

      In addition to the clean configuration shown in these images there will a drop tank version.  According to Warwick, "I like to keep my polygon counts low (5000 is my goal) as I run a low-end PC (P3-1GHz).  I like to build them so they run at a reasonable FPS so we computer-disabled people can have some fun.  I'm hoping to work out if it's possible to jettison the drop tanks as FS9 has drop tank keys mapped.  If not it will be a separate MDL."

The aircraft will include both a 2D instrument panel (left) and a Virtual Cockpit (right), both shown below in early stages of development.  Warwick has been able to photograph the simulator cockpit at the museum for reference.  The gauges will come from a variety of sources.  "I'm searching the net for 'em all the time but will probably use a mix of default and ones located on the net.  These will only be used if I can get permission from the original authors.  I've edited a number of gauge BMPs to fit into the 2D cockpit."

 

As mentioned above, Garry J. Smith is creating the textures.  Garry is already well know for his past contributions to the flightsim community in the form a complete flightsim management program titled Control, but most recently for his metal texture sets and his aircraft painting tutorials.

Garry is no stranger to the Mirage III either, having served with 77 Sqd in 1970-1972 and at Butterworth in 1972-1975 while in Operations.  In both of these assignments he had the enviable pleasure of many back seat "joy flights".

Gary has begun work on at least nine different RAAF schemes ranging from the initial bare metal (highly polished of course) to the final lo-visibility gray schemes.  Among these will be the colorful Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU) "Fanta Can" scheme, the RAAF 60th Anniversary Air Show scheme (ala Diamond Jubilee Aerobatic Team), and the 2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) scheme.  Tactical camouflage examples from 75 Squadron, 76 Squadron, and 77 Squadron will also be included.  More images can be seen on the Mirage III texture page at Garry's website.

     
Mirage IIIO(F), A3-2, of the Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU).


Mirage IIIO(A), A3-51, of 2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU).


Mirage IIIO(A), A3-77, of 77 Squadron.


Mirage IIIO(A), A3-99, of 79 Squadron.


Mirage IIIO(A), A3-59, of 79 Squadron (Butterworth deployment markings).

Read additional reviews and see more screenshots at South African Virtual Pilot
and (French language) L'escadrille, and #2.

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