YouTube - MiG-15

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Year Deployed:
Klimov VK-1
5,950 lbs.
33 ft. 2 in.
33 ft. 1 in.
8,115 lbs.
13,460 lbs.
1- 37mm; 2- 23mm
525 mph
685 mph
10,100 fpm
50,850 feet
1,560 miles



The MiG-15 produced by Mikoyan-Gurevich was designed in the USSR with the benefit of swept wing research captured from the Germans at the conclusion of the Second World War. Its engine, an illegally copied Rolls Royce Nane turbojet, obtained through industrial espionage, was far more advanced than contemporary Russian engines. Its performance outclassed virtually all NATO jet fighters of the time.

The MiG-15 was developed for the Soviet Project S requirement for an interceptor designed to combat heavy bombers. It was armed with one 37 mm and two 23 mm cannons. During World War II, the Luftwaffe found that cannons 20 mm or larger were the most effective for downing large bomber aircraft.

The MiG-15 first flew in December of 1947, but only came to the attention of the West during the Korean War. In early November of 1950, USAF fighter pilots reported being attacked by MiG-15 aircraft flying out of China. The appearance of the Mig-15 over Korea gave the United Nations forces a wake-up call.

After initial combat encounters with Western fighter aircraft, an improved version of the MiG-15 appeared. Its engine had 1,000 lbs. more thrust than its predecessor, the aircraft was lighter, and could carry more fuel. The Soviet jet fighters were starting to down NATO heavy bombers with relative ease. Previously the bombers had operated in significant safety.

Flying from Chinese basis immune from UN attack, the MiG's were used to defend North Korean installations. They represented a major threat to UN air superiority in the north where they created a very dangerous "MiG alley". UN aircraft could fly freely across the battlefields, but faced deadly opposition when they neared areas in range of MiG-15 bases. Due to the MiG-15, UN bombers moved their operations to night time.

The United States responded to the MiG threat by deploying the F-86, the newest USAF fighter jet.  However, the MiG-15 initially had a better climb rate, could turn tighter, and fly higher. The six 12.7 mm machine guns of the USAF fighters had less fire power than the heavy cannons of the MiG's. However, the U.S. jets were a steadier gun platform.

On December 17, 1950 four U.S. fighter aircraft encountered four MiG-15 aircraft over North Korea.  In the ensuing dogfight Lt. Col. Bruce H. Hinton, flight leader, downed one of the MiG aircraft.

During the Korean War, NATO Allies wanted so badly to examine a MiG at close quarters that they offered a US$100,000 reward for any pilot who would defect and bring his MiG-15 with him. When a North Korean pilot, Lt. Ro Kun Suk, did defect in September of 1953, he was not aware of the reward, but was given it anyway.

The MiG-15 had many encounters with American jets before the Korean War ended. United States aircraft pilots reported a victory ratio of fourteen to one. Superior training of U.S. pilots, a Soviet World War II gun sight incapable of performing well at jet aircraft speeds, and a reluctance of Soviet aircraft pilots to engage U.S. aircraft have all been said to account for the poor record of the MiG-15. Because the Soviet Union was technically not in the Korean War, their pilots could not afford to be captured by the enemy.

Codenamed "Fagot" by NATO, the MiG-15 became standard equipment with Warsaw Pact air forces until the late 1960's when it was relegated to training duties. About 18,000 MiG-15 aircraft of all types were produced in the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, making it the most produced jet fighter of all time.

MiG-15 Carf-Models


The MiG-15 from Carf-Models has an 80 1/2 in. wingspan and a 75 in. length.  It can be powered by Jet Cat P100-RX or P140-RXI turbojet engines.  Dry weight should be around 23 lbs.

BVM Jets has a MiG-15 ARF.  Its wingspan and length are both 68 in.  Construction is all composite and retracts are included.  You can power it with an EVF electric motor and fan or a jet turbine engine.

Century Jet Models has a MiG-15 kit.  It builds to a 74 1/2 in. wingspan and a 74 in. length.  Its fuselage is glass fibre and wings are sheeted foamy.  Jet turbine engines can have from 21 to 26 lbs. of thrust.  Weight is about 17 lbs.