The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17) (NATO reporting name: Fresco) (China:Shenyang J-5) (Poland: PZL-Mielec Lim-6) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. The MiG-17 cannot carry air-to-air missiles, and is mostly used for ground attack, but can shoot down enemy aircraft with its numerous cannons. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War, and was used as an effective threat against supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War. It was also briefly known as the "Type 38", by USAF designation prior to the development of NATO codes.
 The major innovation was the introduction of a swept wing with a "compound sweep" configuration: a 45° angle near the fuselage, and a 42° angle for the outboard part of the wings. Other easily visible differences to its predecessor were the three wing-fences on each wing, instead of the MiG-15's two, and the addition of a ventral fin. The MiG-17 shared the same Klimov VK-1 engine and the rest of its construction was similar. The first prototype, designated "SI" by the construction bureau, was flown on the 14 January 1950, piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko.
Despite the SI prototype's crash on 17 March 1950, tests of another prototype "SI-2" and experimental series aircraft "SI-02" and "SI-01" in 1951, were generally successful, and on 1 September 1951 the aircraft was accepted for production. It was estimated that with the same engine as the MiG-15's, the MiG-17's maximum speed is higher by 40–50 km/h, and the fighter has greater manoeuvrability at high altitude.
Serial production started in August 1951. During production, the aircraft was improved and modified several times. The basic MiG-17 was a general-purpose day fighter, armed with three cannons. It could also act as a fighter-bomber, but its bombload was considered light relative to other aircraft of the time, and it usually carried additional fuel tanks instead of bombs.
Full article ▸