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Home > Fact Sheets > Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis


Posted 2/20/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 on display in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The Soviet Union developed the MiG-15 following World War II and the fighter entered service in 1949. By 1952 the Soviets provided the MiG-15 (NATO code name "Fagot") to a number of communist satellite nations, including North Korea. In 1950 the Soviets began production of a more capable version, the MiG-15bis. The MiG-15bis used a more powerful engine and hydraulically boosted ailerons. During the Korean War, both versions of the MiG-15 operated extensively against United Nations forces.

A defecting North Korean pilot flew the airplane on display to Kimpo Air Base in South Korea on Sept. 21, 1953. The airplane provided important intelligence data, especially since it was the advanced version of the MiG-15. After considerable flight-testing, the U.S. offered to return the airplane to its "rightful owners." The offer was ignored, and in November 1957 it was transferred to the museum for public exhibition.

Armament: Two 23mm cannons and one 37mm cannon plus rockets or 2,000 lbs. of bombs
Engine: Klimov VK-1 of 6,000 lbs. thrust (developed from the British Rolls-Royce "Nene" engine)
Maximum speed: 670 mph
Range: 500 miles
Ceiling: 51,000 ft. 
Span: 33 ft. 1 1/2 in.
Length: 33 ft. 3 5/8 in.
Height: 11 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 11,270 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 2015357

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Related Fact Sheets
The Story of the MiG-15bis on Display
Russian VK-1 Jet Engine
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