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Eastern Aviation: MiG-15

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Mikoyan and Gurevich MiG-15


mig15bis_003.jpg (38042 bytes)"Urgent program

From the end of the Second World War the USSR undertook a vast development program for modem jet-powered warplanes, and the first classic fighter to emerge was the swept-wing MiG-15, which flew in December 1947 as the 1-310 with a Rolls-Royce Nene II turbojet. The Nene was copied in the USSR as the RD-45, and in its improved RD-45F version this was used in the MiG- 15 production fighter, which entered service late in 1948.

Shock for the Western powers

The MiG- 15 was extensively operated by the communist forces in the Korean War (1950-53), and its first-class performance and firepower came as a nasty surprise to the Western nations until ultimately the MiG- 15 and improved MiG- 15bis were equaled by the North American F-86 Sabre. Soviet production continued up to 1951 and was complemented by Chinese, Czechoslovak, and Polish production to build 5,000+ single-seaters and 3,000+ two-seaters.

Principal versions

MiG-15 (fighter with 4,998-lb12270-kg thrust RD45F engine), MiG-15bis (improved fighter with more power and slab tailplane), and MiG-15UTI "Midget" (two-seat trainer).

Principal users

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Egypt, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, Iraq, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, USSR, Vietnam, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.


Type: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis "Fagot" single-seat fighter.

Engine: one 5,952-lb (2,700-kg) thrust Klimov VK-t turbojet.

Performance: maximum speed 669 mph (1,076 km/h) at sea level; climb to 32,810 ft (10,000 m) in 5 minutes 30 seconds; service ceiling 50,855 ft (15,500 in); range 826 miles (1,330 kin).

Weights: empty 8,115 lb (3,681 kg); maximum take-off 13,327 lb (6,045 kg).

Dimensions: span 33 ft 1 in (10.08 in); length 35 ft 7.5 in (10.86 in); height 12 ft 1.75 in (3.70 in); wing area 221.75 sq ft (20.60 in2).

Armament: one 37-mm cannon and two 23-mm cannon, and up to 1,102 lb (500 kg) of disposable stores."

(source: Text and/or technical data from The International Directory of Military Aircraft, 1996/97, by Gerard Frawley and Jim Thorn. Published by Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd.)

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