Soviet jet fighter aircrafts – the first steps.

Mega successful MiG-15 aircraft demanded further development. The improvements to the aircraft resulted in the creation of a new jet fighter MiG-17.

Changes in the structure of the aircraft

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 FRESCO

by Rick Leche (CC, flickr)

Engineers had an objective to increase the speed and maneuverability of the aircraft. By increasing sweepback of the wing to 45 degrees, extending the fuselage and changing brake flaps they were able to achieve the speed of 1114 km / h. The aircraft has also undergone several different improvements. For example, in Vietnam, in order to reduce the length of the runway, the aircrafts were equipped with a parachute to reduce braking distance during landing.

The aircraft was able to detect a target at a distance of 12 km.

MiG-17 FRESCO was a subsonic aircraft. It could only reach the sound velocity during the dive.

Originally, the fighter jet was equipped with cannons. In the future, the fighter got guided missiles “air-to-air.”

When creating an air defense system of the USSR, MiG-17 became the main interceptor aircraft.

In addition, the fighter jet wassupplied to many countries and was manufactured in some countries under license.

In the skies of Vietnam

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 FRESCOby Rick Leche (CC, flickr)

MiG-17 took part in the war against the United States on the side of North Vietnam. Despite the fact that the plane was subsonic, it had to go against the American supersonic aircraft F-4 equipped with missile weapons. Both North Vietnamese military and American pilots noted the excellent qualities of the aircraft.

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Also, MiG-17 was successful against supersonic F-105, when loaded with bombs plane lost speed and maneuverability. MiG-17 used the terrain to get to F-105 at low altitudes, and then suddenly attacked it with gun battery and shot down.

Vietnamese military successfully took advantage of the aircraft: its low visibility in the air, the ability to take-off from poorly prepared airfields.

Despite the fact that the main task of MiG-17 pilots was to prevent bombings, the ratio of losses of MiGs and American planes were not in favor of the Americans until 1970. Later, the Americans having learned their lessons, changes the principles of air operations and started using the advantage of their combat aircrafts compared to MiG-17s more successfully. But by that time Russians already had a new aircraft MiG-21.

Of course, the US data is different. We have already mentioned the populist methods of counting losses of American planes (in the article about MiG-15). And we have already noted that the other party had exactly the opposite objective: to prevent recording unreasonable victories. In addition, the USSR did not have a habit of advertising military losses in the period after World War 2, that is, populist objective to overstate the opponent’s losses and understate your own was not realized.

So we are thoroughly skeptical about any US data which is not accompanied by carefully described counting method (which is virtually all of the data).

Altogether, there were 8045 MiG-17 FRESCO aircrafts of all modifications manufactured in the world. The aircraft proved more predictable than MiG-15, which allowed experienced pilots to successfully use the aircraft even against the next generation aircrafts.

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