| Continued from above… may have been inspired by the German Ta-183 design; the engine was a copy of the Rolls-Royce Nene. 'Midget' was the trainer version. The MiG-15 is the most built jet fighter, with over 18000 produced. The US counterpart of this plane was the F-86 Sabre. |
The prototype MiG-15 first flew in December 1947. It began appearing in service in 1949 and by 1952 it had been provided to a number of Communist satellite nations, including North Korea where it was used extensively against United Nations forces. The MiG-15 was deployed against American Air Forces in December of 1950 in Korea. On November 8, 1950, 1st Lt. Russell Brown, flying an F-80, shot down a MiG-15 in the first all-jet dogfight in history. It was apparent, however, that the MiG-15 was superior to any aircraft then in the US inventory.
Initial encounters with American aircraft led to the development of the MiG-15bis (improved). Its VK-1 engine had 1,000 lbs more thrust than the RD-45 engine of the earlier version, and had hydraulic ailerons. Although the MiG-15bis could climb faster and higher than the F-86, poor turning performance and high mach instability limited its dogfight performance. In aerial combat against the F-86, the MiG-15 suffered high losses, but against the B-29 it was very effective and prevented the heavy bombers from operating in daylight.
By Debs McCaffrey