This is a 1955 Mikoyan-Gurevich 15, better known simply as the MiG-15, it was the dominant Soviet fighter jet of the years just after WWII, and the model saw significant combat against the Americans and South Koreans during the Korean War.
The aircraft you see here has been restored to static condition as part of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, it’s now being offered for sale for $25,000 USD. It’s not in flying condition of course, but with enough money and expertise it would likely be possible to get it in the air once again.
Fast Facts – The MiG-15 Fighter Jet
- The MiG-15 is a Soviet fighter jet that was developed by Mikoyan-Gurevich, it first flew in 1947 and it was designed using a combination of German, British, and Russian technology.
- The swept wing design was borrowed from the WWII-era German Me 262 and the Focke-Wulf Ta 183. The engine was an illegal copy of the Rolls-Royce Nene jet engine – of which the Brits had provided blueprints and running engines in the hopes of winning a lucrative contract. When Stalin heard of the plan to get the design he’s said to have exclaimed: “What fool will sell us his secrets?”
- The MiG-15, or more correctly the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, quickly became the dominant Soviet fighter. It earned a reputation for toughness and it proved popular in Eastern Bloc and Communist nations around the world. Over 13,000 were made in total, making it one of the most prolific jet fighters of all time, and amazingly some remain in military service to this day with the North Koreans.
- The MiG-15 you see here has been restored to static display condition for show at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. It’s now being offered for sale with an asking price of $25,000 USD.
The “Soldier’s Aircraft” – Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 became one of the most successful fighter aircraft of all time, despite its origins as a hodge-podge mix of designs from Germany and Britain, with some Russian additions of course.
In the latter years of the Second World War it had become clear that the future of aircraft propulsion, fighter aircraft propulsion in particular, was destined to be jet-based and not rely on piston engines. The turbojet engine had been invented by Englishman Sir Frank Whittle and submitted for a patent in 1930.
It took many years for the concept to be refined to the point where it was superior to the piston engines of the time. The first aircraft to fly under jet power was the German Heinkel HeS 3 turbojet, there would be other German and British designs, followed by flying jet aircraft developed by the Italians and Americans.
The first jet powered combat aircraft to enter service was the German Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1942, an astonishingly advanced looking design that would prove highly influential. At this time jet engines were still not a practical and mass-producible alternative to piston engines, however it was clear to most that jets were the way of the future.
In the years immediately after WWII it became clear that the Soviet Union was going to need a fighter jet of their own that would be capable of matching the performance of the jets coming out of the West. Some earlier Soviet jets had taken to the air however they had not been truly on-par with Western designs.
Above Video: This vintage documentary runs at almost 45 minutes in length, it covers the development, deployment, and operations of the MiG-15 fighter jet.
Engineers at Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB had been tasked with what must have seemed like an impossible task, that of catching up with the Brits and Americans, and so they began work on a new design that would succeed the failed MiG-9 project.
This new project was called the MiG-15, it had a similar wing and tail design to the German Focke-Wulf Ta 183, and as the Soviets had no reliable jet engine to power it with they worked on a plan to clone the Rolls-Royce Nene jet engine. They approached the Brits under false pretenses, to license the design officially. The Soviets and Brits had been allies by the end of WWII, albeit awkwardly.
A deal was struck and Rolls-Royce provided some engines and all the blueprints needed, the Soviets never signed or paid for any licensing agreement, and thus they now had the perfect engine for their new aircraft.
The MiG-15 first flew in 1947, it entered production in 1949, and over the course of its production over 13,100 would be made, plus an additional 4,180 that had been built under license by other nations. Over 40 air forces would use the MiG-15 and despite its age one air force still does – that of North Korea.
The 1955 MiG-15 Fighter Jet Shown Here
The aircraft you see here is a 1955 two-seat MiG-15UTI trainer (known as the “Midget” by NATO). It’s a rarer variant that was used for instruction with new pilots, and with pilots that needed to be type rated on the MiG-15.
Each MiG-15UTI actually started out as a standard single-seat MiG-15, it was then modified with a longer canopy, two seats in tandem configuration, and the other changes that were required.
This MiG was produced under license in Poland, it’s armed with a single 12.7mm machine gun, it’s now finished in Soviet MiG-15 markings, and it’s being offered for sale on Platinum Fighter Sales by the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas for $25,000 USD.
If you’d like to read more about it or register your interest you can visit the listing here. The aircraft isn’t airworthy though it has been restored to display condition.
Images courtesy of Platinum Fighter Sales
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