Fresh out of the paint shop
This immaculate looking Mirage F1M, registration N576EM/576 (c/n 73), from Draken International emerged from the paint shop at Fort Lauderdale (FL). On 29 January 2020, the Mirage F1 was photographed when it departed to Sarasota-Bradenton Intl. (FL) on the Florida west coast. According to Flight Aware it already arrived at Fort Lauderdale on 3 January 2020.
Draken International, an American provider of tactical fighter aircraft for contract air services including military and defense industry customers, bought 23 Mirage F1 fighter aircraft from Spain (nineteen Mirage F1M) and France (four Mirage F1B). This particular Mirage F1M is bought from the Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force), with former military serial C.14-73.
This is the third Mirage F1M operational with Draken. In our previous news item (*) we mentioned that this third Mirage F1M would continue to carry its original light grey livery, but without Spanish roundels. The rest of the paint job will be preserved, including the original Spanish serial, code and tail flash. We asked for pictures of this one. It now seems we proved to be wrong on the information of the aircraft's paint scheme. But it looks great!
In a video from Rich Trajano made at Nellis AFB (NV), you can seen another former Spanish Air Force Mirage F1M (N574EM/574).
According to the official website from Draken International, the company has a fleet of more than 100 aircraft. On 2 December 2019, Lakeland Linder International Airport (FL), home base of Draken International, closed for runway repairs for a period of ninety days, during which it will get a new nine inch thick asphalt layer. This will influence the operations of Draken International with its new Mirage F1s, as first flights (for aircraft as well as pilots) need to take place.
When tests are completed the aircraft will be moved to Nellis AFB (NV), ahead of the scheduled runway closure.
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