posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 12:22 PM
It is very real longbow, the Balzac (irreverently re-named the 'Ball-sac' by British critics, please don't ask me to explain that reference, its
) was a small scale prototype for the intended service version the Mirage III-V and should be viewed in relation to that aircraft in the
same way that the P.1127 is related to the Harrier.
This can be related to our other discussion on VTOL engines as its main drawback was its reliance on lift engines in a layout borroed from the Short
SC.1 research vehicle of the 1950's which was the first VTOL plane to transition from vertical lift to wing borne flight.
It shouldn't be viewed as a major technical triumph like the Harrier, Yak -41 or the F-35 as it uses the most rudimentary possible arrangement of a
supersonic airframe fitted with enough lift jets to blast it vertically upwards. This arrangement was already rejected by UK, US and Soviet designers
as impractical by the time it flew.