During the 1960s there was a great drive
to develop VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft. Many aircraft
were designed, but most of these projects ended in failure. Only two aircraft
- the BAE Systems Harrier and Yakovlev Yak-38 - were put into production.
One of France's greatest attempts was the Mirage III V, which was successful
in many ways. Its most impressive achievement was high speed - today it
still holds the record for the fastest VTOL aircraft, having achieved
a top speed of Mach 2. However, after numerous crashes and the deaths
of test pilots, the project was finally abandoned and France never received
a VTOL fighter.
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