The prototype of the MiG-15 (NATO code name "Fagot") made its maiden flight on 30 December 1947. The first production aircraft flew exactly one year later.
It was in the frozen skies of Korea that the MiG-15 proved one of the most formidable fighters of its generation. On 8 November 1950, MiGs tangled with USAF F-80Cs. Lt. Russell Brown downed one of the communist fighters in history's first jet-to-jet dogfight. Despite this initial success, the performance of the swept-wing MiG was far superior to that of straight-wing aircraft like the F-80 and the Navy's F9F Panther. The 4th F.I.W. with its F-86A Sabres was rushed to the Far East, clashing with MiGs for the first time in December.
For the next two and a half years Sabers and MiGs (frequently flown by Soviet and other Eastern Bloc pilots) dueled in the skies over the Yalu River in an area called "MiG Ailey." At the end of the Korean War, Saber pilots claimed a 14:1 (later revised to 7:1) kill ratio over their opponents. This lopsided total is usually attributed to the superior training given to USAF pilots.
The West got its first close-up look at a Mig-15 in September 1953 when a North Korean pilot defected. Mig 15s served with virtually every air force in the communist bloc, including those of Soviet client states in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Some soldiered on into the 1970's. Over 17,000 aircraft were built in the USSR, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Thousands more were built in China. Planes of Fame Air Museum owns three MiG-15s, one airworthy and two on static display.
||Length: 33 ft. 2 in.
||Height: 12 ft. 2 in.
||Maximum Speed: 611 mph
|Model: MIG-15 Fagot
||Cruise Speed: 520 mph
|Serial Number: 910-51
||Power Plant: 1-Klimov VK-1 tubojet (copy of Rolls Royce Nene)
with 6,000 lbs. of thrust
||Range: 1,250 miles
|Max T/O Weight: 13.500 lb.
||Service Ceiling: 51,000 ft.
|Span: 33 ft. 1 in.
||Armament: One 37mm cannon and two 23mm cannon