The spectacular MiG-15 fighter used a combination of Russian ingenuity and “borrowed” advanced European aviation technology to become one of the most famous aircraft designs of its era. Called the “aircraft-soldier” by Russian pilots, the aircraft was exceptionally strong and dependable. The MiG-15 is still respected for its speed, maneuverability and firepower; advantages that made it a worthy adversary of the North American F-86 during the Korean War.
The Mikoyan and Gurevich (MiG) design team utilized captured German technology when developing the layout of the MiG-15. The plane's 35-degree swept wing, fuselage-mounted engine and clean lines gave the aircraft exceptional performance. Powered by a unlicensed copy of the famous British Nene centrifugal-flow jet engine, the MiG-15 was capable of speeds up to Mach .934. The initial prototype, the I-310, made its first flight in December 1947 and won a fly-off against the Lavochkin La-15. The MiG-15 went into production and entered front line service in 1949.
Shortly after its introduction the MiG-15 entered combat over Korea. Flown by Russian, North Korean and Chinese pilots, the swept-wing MiG fighter terrorized USAF B-29 bombers flying strategic bombing missions over North Korean cities. The MiG-15's speed, maneuverability, and heavy armament (two 23mm and one 37mm cannon) allowed it brush aside escorting fighters and rip through the B-29 formations. B-29 losses to MiGs reached such high levels that the USAF stopped daylight B-29 bombing raids and flew all strikes under the cover of darkness. Although several MiG-15s were brought down by B-29 gunners and other UN aircraft, only the North American F-86 Sabre was the MiG-15's equal in combat. The MiG's combat success and its dependability made the plane very popular with Eastern Bloc and Communist nations around the world. Since 1950, roughly 7,500 MiG-15s have been built in Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and China. In addition to the Korean War, the MiG-15 has been used extensively as an air defense fighter, an air superiority fighter, a ground-attack aircraft and reconnaissance fighter in a number of conflicts in the Middle East and the Orient.
The two seat MiG-15UT1 trainer (known as the “Midget” by NATO) was introduced soon after the standard MiG-15 entered service and served as the standard Soviet advanced trainer for many years. The Cavanaugh Flight Museum's MiG-15UT1 was produced in Poland in 1954, and received the designation SBLim-2. The fully restored aircraft features operational dual controls. It carries Soviet markings and is armed with a single 12.7mm machine gun.
|ENGINE||Klimov VK-1F turbojet 7,452 lbs. of thrust|
|ARMAMENT||One UBK-Ye 12.7mm machine gun or one NS-23 23mm cannon|
|WING SPAN||33 feet, 3 inches|
|LENGTH||33 feet, 4 inches|
|HEIGHT||10 feet, 10 inches|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||12,006 pounds|
|MANUFACTURED BY||Mikoyan Gurevich|
|TOTAL BUILT||Over 7,500|
|MUSEUM'S AIRCRAFT BUILT||1954|
|ON DISPLAY AT||Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport (KADS), Dallas, Texas|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||579 m.p.h.|
|RANGE W/EXTERNAL TANKS||450 miles|
|SERVICE CEILING||49,729 feet|