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MiG-15bis 'Fagot B'
The MiG-15 was developed by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich as a high-altitude, high-speed jet interceptor. The operational parameters were for a maximum speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour (620 mph), climb to 16,000 feet in 3.2 minutes, one hour endurance, take off in 2,300 feet and land in 2,600 feet. It was to have adequate armament and avionics, and needed to be easily maintainable.
It was first flown in late 1947 with the first production model flown exactly one year later. The jet was designed around its turbojet centrifugal-flow engine that was based on the Rolls-Royce Nene which had entered production in the USSR under license.
In 1949, an improved engine allowed for the MiG-15bis, or "second," which was a significant upgrade in performance.
The MiG-15 (given the NATO codename "Fagot") appeared during the Korean Conflict to attack the now obsolete Boeing B-29's which were pressed back into service after World War II. It startled the West with its performance and outclassed the straight-winged jet aircraft that United Nations (UN) forces used which included the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and F-94 Starfire, Republic F-84 Thunderjet, Grumman F9F Panther, and Gloster Meteor. Once the swept-wing North American F-86 Sabre was ready for service, the UN had a fighter that could counter the MiG. These two planes are considered two of the best and closely matched aircraft ever to meet in combat.
The Museum's aircraft is of the type deployed to China from the USSR beginning in 1950 and flown by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). It was given the designation "J-2." Initially MiG-15's were planned to be produced under license in China at the Shenyang aircraft factory, but the decision was made to change production to the more modern MiG-17. The Chinese MiG-15's though were maintained and repaired at Shenyang.
The MiG-15 went on to be one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made with an estimated 18,000 built and operated in over 40 countries.
#83227 was sold to an American with a registration number of N87CN and it came to the United States sometime during 1986 and was stored near Phoenix, AZ. The Museum obtained the aircraft in August, 1990. It is now being restored to be put on display at the Museum.
Sources: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, ISBN: 1-85780-105-9; Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; National Museum of the United States Air Force