The MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed after World War II by the Soviets. It first saw action in the Korean War from 1950-1953, fighting against the F-86 Sabre. One thing peculiar is that both of the jets look very much the same, and the reason might be that the U.S. and Russia were looking at the same blue prints of the German jet designs.
An F-86 Sabre.
A MiG-15 "Fagot".
The Fagot was one of the first jet planes to have swept wings as German research in World War II proved that piston-engined fighters with ninety-degree wings limited their high-speed performance. There were many claims that Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich were heavily influenced by the Folke-Wulf Ta-183, but these claims were discredited as most of the Folke-Wulf engineers were captured by the West and the MiG-15 differ significantly in structure and general design with the Ta-183. Currently, most sources acknowledge that the MiG-15 is an orginal Svoiet design only benefiting from German research.
By 1946, there was increasing problems for the Soviet engineers to perfect the German HeS-011 axial-flow jet engine, making it almost impossible to power the MiG-15. There were also new airframe designs from Mikoyan-Gurevich which threatened to outstrip development of the engines to power them. Soviet aviation ministers approached the Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin with suggestions to buy advanced jet engines from the British. Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will us his secrets?"
The proposal was, however, approved and engine designers, such as Vladimir Klimov, travelled to the UK to request the engines. To their shock and amazement, the British agreed and they were provided technical information and license to manufacture the Rolls Royce Nene, which was reverse-engineered and produced as the Klimov RD-45, which subsuquently used to power the MiG-15. Rolls Royce, however, was not able to claim £207 million in license fees from the USSR.
The Fagot has seen action throughout the entire Cold War, having confrontations with NATO aircraft and ending up either getting shot down, or shooting down the enemy. And as time went by, MiG-15 aces emerged from the many Soviet pilots, one of them, Yevgeny Pepelyayev having a total of 19 kills.
The MiG-15 first appeared in the Korean War, where it was greatly mistaken as the F-86 Sabre by US Forces due to their remarkable similarity. Many thought they were being attacked by their own people.
MiG-15s also participated in the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis under Egyptian pilots.
The first detailed examination of the MiG-15 was capable due to a defection by a North Korean traitor, Lieutenant No Kum-Sok. The U.S., at that time, was offering a US $100 000 (a huge amount back then) reward to any pilot who defected with a MiG-15, and No Kum-Sok recieved every cent of it. However, Lieutenant No Kum-Sok claimed he was not aware of the reward when he decided to defect. The MiG-15 was inspected thoroughly and test flown by several test pilots, as well as Chuck Yeager, the first man to survive breaking the sound barrier. Lieutenant No's aircraft is not in display in the National Museum of United States Air Force.
Crew: MiG-15bis=1, MiG-15UTI=2
Length: 10.11 m (33 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 10.08 m (33 ft 1 in)
Height: 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 20.6 m² (221.74 ft²)
Airfoil: TsAGI S-10 / TsAGI SR-3
Empty weight: 3,580 kg (7,900 lb)
Loaded weight: 4,960 kg (10,935 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 6,105 kg (13,460 lb)
Fuel capacity: 1,400 L (364 US gal)
Powerplant: 1× Klimov VK-1 turbojet, 26.5 kN (5,950 lbf)
Maximum speed: 1,075 km/h (668 mph)
Cruise speed: 840 km/h (520 mph)
Range: 1,200 km, 1,975 km with external tanks (745 mi / 1,225 mi)
Service ceiling: 15,500 m (50,850 ft)
Rate of climb: 50 m/s (9,840 ft/min)
Wing loading: 240.8 kg/m² (49.3 lb/ft²)
2x 23mm cannons, 23x115mm, (80 rounds per gun ,160 rounds total), and 1x 37 mm cannon (40 rounds total)
Note: All bullets were armor piercing and highly explosive
2x 100 kg (220 lb) bombs, drop tanks, or unguided rockets on underwing hardpoints.