Hobby Master HA2417 North Korean Air Force Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15bis "Fagot" Fighter - Captain Nikolai Sutyagin, 17th IAP Tatung-kao, June 1951 - Jan 1952 (1:72 Scale)
"I hit this Sabre so hard that it disintegrated. Pieces of its right wing ripped away from the aircraft, and its vertical stabilizer also tore apart. The Sabre began to spin and plunged to the ground."
- Russian ace Colonel Yevgeni Pepelyayev
The spectacular MiG-15 fighter used a combination of Russian ingenuity and "borrowed" advanced European aviation technology to become one of the most famous aircraft designs of its era. Called the "aircraft-soldier" by Russian pilots, the aircraft was exceptionally strong and dependable. The MiG-15 is still respected for its speed, maneuverability and firepower; advantages that made it a worthy adversary of the North American F-86 during the Korean War.
The Mikoyan and Gurevich (MiG) design team utilized captured German technology when developing the layout of the MiG-15. The plane's 35 degree swept wing, fuselage mounted engine and clean lines gave the aircraft exceptional performance. Powered by a unlicensed copy of the famous British Nene centrifugal flow jet engine, the MiG-15 was capable of speeds up to Mach .934. The initial prototype, the I-310, made its first flight in December 1947 and won a fly-off against the Lavochkin La-15. The MiG-15 went into production and entered front line service in 1949.
Shortly after its introduction the MiG-15 entered combat over Korea. Flown by Russian, North Korean and Chinese pilots, the swept wing MiG fighter terrorized U.S.A.F. B-29 bombers flying strategic bombing missions over North Korean cities. The MiG-15's speed, maneuverability, and heavy armament (two 23mm and one 37mm cannon) allowed it brush aside escorting fighters and rip through the B-29 formations. B-29 losses to MiGs reached such high levels that the U.S.A.F. stopped daylight B-29 bombing raids and flew all strikes under the cover of darkness. Although several MiG-15s were brought down by B-29 gunners and other U.N. aircraft, only the North American F-86 Sabre was the MiG-15's equal in combat. The MiG's combat success and its dependability made the plane very popular with Eastern Bloc and Communist nations around the world. Since 1950 roughly 7,500 MiG-15s have been built in Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China. In addition to the Korean War, the MiG-15 has been used extensively as an air defense fighter, an air superiority fighter, a ground attack aircraft and reconnaissance fighter in a number of conflicts in the Middle East and the Orient.(courtesy Cavanaugh Flight Museum).
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Russian-built MiG 15 that was piloted by Russian ace Captain N V Sutyagin, who was attached to the 17th IAP Tatung-kao, from June 1951 to Jan 1952.
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "Hero of the Soviet Union" - In April 1947, Nikolai Sutyagin joined the 17th IAP, part of the 190th Fighter Aviation Division (IAD) in the Far East Military District. In 1950 the 17th was moved to the new 303rd IAD, which included the 523rd IAP and 18th Guards IAP, and the entire division was equipped with the new MiG-15 jet fighter. Sutyagin completed 54 flights in the MiG-15 before the division was ordered on a "secret tour" and reassigned to the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps at Mukden in Manchuria, with its regiments forward deployed to Myaogao and Antung airfields on the Korean border, in order to counter UN airpower over Korea.
Sutyagin began combat operations in April 1951. When he left Korea in February 1952, Captain Sutyagin had been credited with shooting down 21 UN aircraft. He was the biggest ace in the Korean war, outscoring the top U.S ace by 5 kills.
Sutyagin was awarded the Gold Star and the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and was soon promoted to Major. By 1970, he was a chief instructor and Major-General of Aviation (the equivalent of US rank of Brigadier general).
Sutyagin served a further combat tour as chief instructor for flight training to the Vietnamese People's Air Force and taught combat tactics in 1970-1971, flying the MiG-21PF and MiG-17. Suffering ill health he returned to the USSR in May 1972 and was sent to GSFG in East Germany to recuperate. Due to his failing vision Sutyagin was removed from flight status and relegated to either trainers or transports.