The Soviet MiG-17 (NATO code-name "Fresco") was designed to replace the famous MiG-15 of the Korean War. Although similar in appearance to the MiG-15, the MiG-17 had more sharply swept wings, a longer fuselage, an afterburner, and better speed and handling characteristics. The first flight of a MiG-17 prototype took place in January 1950, and production began in late 1951. The first operational MiG-17s appeared in 1952, but they were not available in sufficient quantities to take part in the Korean War. Five versions of the aircraft eventually were produced. The MiG-17 has served in the air arms of at least 20 nations throughout the world -- including nations friendly to the United States -- and was flown against U.S. aircraft in Southeast Asia.
The North Vietnamese Air Force (VPAF) created its first MiG-17 unit, the 921st Fighter Regiment, in February 1964, after its pilots had received training in communist China. The VPAF also flew Chinese-built MiG-17s (called J-5s). U.S. Air Force fighter pilots were careful to use their considerable speed advantage to shoot down the more maneuverable MiG-17. Between July 10, 1965, and Feb. 14, 1968, USAF F-105s and F-4s downed 61 MiG-17s.
The aircraft on display was presented to the museum by the Egyptian Air Force in 1986 as a symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two nations. It is painted to represent a VPAF MiG-17.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One 37mm and two 23mm cannons and 16 rockets in underwing pods or 1,100 lbs. of bombs Engine: Klimov VK-1F of 7,452 lbs. thrust Maximum speed: 711 mph Range: 510 miles (1,160 miles with external tanks) Ceiling: 57,000 ft. Span: 31 ft. 7 in. Length: 36 ft. 5 in. Height: 12 ft. 6 in. Weight: 13,380 lbs. maximum