Hobby Master HA2402 North Korean Air Force Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 15bis "Fagot" Fighter - Major I.P. Golshevskij, 351st Aviapolk (Night Fighters), North Korea PDRK, Antung, China, 1953 (1:72 Scale)
"My God, we simply have to figure a way out of this situation. There's no point in talking about 'winning' a nuclear war."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
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 North Korean Air Force Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 15bis "Fagot" fighter that was flown by Soviet ace Major I.P. Golshevskij, who was attached to the 351st Aviapolk (Night Fighters), North Korea PDRK, then deployed to Antung, China, during 1953.
Wingspan: 5.5 inches
Length: 6 inches
Release Date: January 2009
Historical Account: "Night Rangers" - Russian ace Georgy Lobov's 303rd IAD was based at Manpo, North Korea, and proved only marginally less successful than Ivan Kozhedub's Division, claiming a similar number of kills and losing 30 jets. In mid-1951, the more powerful MiG-15bis began to replace the basic MiG-15 in Korea, offering a small, but significant, improvement in thrust. When the USAF switched its B-29s to night attacks, the aircraft proved almost invulnerable, and the ageing La-11s used as night fighters could not stop the raiders. The 64th IAK's night-fighter unit, the 351st IAP, therefore re-equipped one of its two squadrons with MiGs during February 1952, the other retaining La-11s.
Within a year the unit had provided an ace, Anatoli Karelin, whose five kills (one scored in the La-11) won him the award of a Hero of the Soviet Union. The night sky was a dangerous place for the single-seat, radarless, MiG, which had to contend with prowling Allied night fighters (all with radar), The MiG-15 had to get closer to its target than it would have done by day, and this exposed it to hostile fire. As an example, Karelin's fifth victim, a B-29, put 117 holes in his jet and severed its fuel supply line.