MiG-15 bis Fagot Fighter
The MiG-15 Fagot fighter used a combination of Russian ingenuity, "borrowed" advanced Western aviation technology, a British jet engine and WWII German research to become one of the most famous aircraft designs of its era. First flying on December 31, 1948, the MiG-15 entered service in 1949. Originally intended to be a bomber interceptor, the MiG-15 was armed with two 23 NR-23 23 mm cannons and one Nudelman N-37 37 mm cannon. While the heavy canon armament gave the plane a heavy punch against bombers, their limited rate of fire and low velocity made it difficult to score hits against small and maneuverable fighters in air to air combat. The two different canons had very different ballistics and there are reports of United Nations pilots in Korea seeing the 23 mm shells passing over them while the 37 mm shells flew under them. The MiG-15 was widely exported and the People's Republic of China received the MiG-15bis in 1949. These Chinese MiG-15s took part in the first jet versus jet dogfights during the Korean War along with “North Korean” MiGs flown by Soviet pilots. The first jet vs. jet victory in history was scored by a MiG-15 against a F-80 C. Only the F-86 Saber was a match for the MiG-15. The United States offered a reward of $100,000 and political asylum to any pilot who would defect with his MiG-15. The first defection was a Polish pilot on March 5, 1953. There were several others over the years. During the 1950s the MiG-15 was involved in many interceptions of Western aircraft flying near or over the Communist borders in which several planes of both sides were shot down. The MiG-15 is believed to be one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made with over 18,000 built in at least 22 different models. The MiG-15 was widely exported, flying with Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Communist China, Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Egypt, Finland, Guinea, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, North Korea, North Vietnam, North Yemen, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Somalia, South Yemen, Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, United States, Vietnam and Yemen. There are also a large number of MiG-15s in private hands with 43 in the US alone. This mode shows a MiG-15 bis flying with the PLAAF in 1949.