MiG-17 Fresco Fighter
Designed as a follow up to the MiG-15, the MiG-17 Fresco still strongly resembled its forebear. It had a new thinner and more highly swept wing and tailplane for performance nearing Mach 1. It also has 3 wing fences on each wing, a ventral fin and a longer rear fuselage. It shared the same engine, forward fuselage, landing gear and guns. The first prototype flew on January 14, 1950, it went into production on September 1, 1951 and entered service in October 1952. Serial production started in August 1951, but large quantity production was delayed in favor of producing more MiG-15s so it was never introduced in the Korean War. The MiG-17 was designed as a general purpose day fighter and bomber interceptor. It was armed with one Nudelman N-37 37 mm cannon and two 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 canons. While it had the ability to carry a light bomb load, it almost always carried two drop tanks. The MiG-17's combat debut was in 1958 when Communist Chinese MiG-17s fought Republic of China F-86 Sabers. Also in 1958 MiG-17s shot down an unarmed C-130 Hercules over Armenia. In 1964 the North Vietnamese began operating the MiG-17 and they went into combat on April 3, 1965. Surprisingly to the USAF and the USN, the subsonic MiG-17 was an effective fighter against the newest US supersonic fighters and fighter bombers. During the war they shot down 28 US aircraft including the F-4 Phantom II, F-105 Thunderchief, A-4 Skyhawk, A-1 Skyraider and F-8 Crusader. They notably fought in the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, the Sri Lanka 1971 insurgency and during the various Arab Israeli Wars for Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The MiG-17 was upgraded over it's life with the radar, air to air missiles and the ability to carry additional air to ground weapons. It was flown by Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, PRC, Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Hungary, Khmer Republic, Libya, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe. Burkina Faso, PRC, Mali, Mozambique, North Korea, Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe still fly the MiG-17 today. Also there are 27 privately owned MiG-17s flying in the US. About 10,824 MiG-17 of all versions were produced. This model shows a MiG-17 Fresco A flying with the Syrian Air Force in the 6 Day War.