This MiG-17F is flown in airshows all across the USA by
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History: The Soviet MiG-17
fighter was designed to be more stable than its predecessor, the
MiG-15. When it first appeared, Western analysts gave it the Allied
codename "Fresco-A" and thought it to be nothing more than a lengthened
MiG-15. It was, in fact, a new design that improved on the problems found in
The MiG-15 was unstable at high speed and too tight a turn could cause an
uncontrolled snap roll and spin. To overcome this problem, the fuselage was
lengthened, small 'fences' were installed on the upper surfaces of the wing
to control airflow, and the wings swept back 45 degrees. The extra room in
the fuselage enabled the internal layout and systems to be revised, and a
more angular tail was added. These changes gave the aircraft great
stability, essential for an effective weapons platform. The resulting
prototype, the I-330, flew in the early 1950s and
the MiG-17 entered frontline service in February,
1953. The Fresco-A maintained the original VK-1 turbojet of the MiG-15. A
VK-1F engine with afterburner was then fitted to the new Fresco-C, or
MiG-17F. A fixed-scan radar was added to the
MiG-17PF, or Fresco-D. The MiG-17PFU,
Fresco-E, became the Soviet Union's first interceptor with its cannon
deleted and four air-to-air missiles added.
Czechoslovakia also produced the MiG-17 as the
S-104. Poland produced a Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL)
aircraft from the MiG-17, the LIM-5M, a
close-support LIM-6 and the LIM-5P,
a standard MiG-17F. China also produced the MiG-17F and MiG-17FP, using the
designations J-5 and J-5A.
Considered obsolete in the 1960s, North
Vietnamese pilots flew MiG-17s against American aircraft during the Vietnam
War. Slightly more rare than the MiG-15, only about a dozen MiG-17s currently fly in
the United States, and at least one is being rebuilt in Australia.
[History by David MacGillivray]
(NATO Codename); Silver Swallow (North Vietnamese AF designation)
Engine: One 7,452-pound thrust Klimov VK-1F turbojet
Weight: Empty 8,664 lbs.,
Max Takeoff 13,393 lbs.
Wing Span: 31ft. 7.25in.
Length: 36ft. 11.25in.
Height: 12ft. 5.5in.
Maximum Speed at 10,000 ft: 711 mph
Ceiling: 54,460 ft.
Range: 1,230 miles
One 37-mm N-37 cannon
Two or three 23-mm NR-23 cannon
to 1,100 pounds of mixed stores on underwing hard-points
Number Built: 9,000+ (6,000+
in the USSR alone)
Number Still Airworthy:
MiG-17 Cockpit Photo:
(Click for larger photo)
All Red Star -- Information
for operators of Eastern-bloc aircraft.
FlyMiG.com -- MiG
flight adventures in Moscow.
Fighters (Airshow Team)
Red Eagle Evaluation and Airshows (Will Ward)
Airshows, LLC (Jack Wilhite)
Klassen Airshows (Mig-17F)
The Soviet Union's Jet Fighter of the Fifties
By Yefim Gordon
Paperback, Published 2002 by Aerofax Midland Publishing, Ltd.
design, production, models and specifications of the MiG-17. Includes
color photos and wartime combat records. Much of the
material in this book is drawn from Russian sources and has not been
seen before in the West.
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