Hobby Master HA5907 Peoples Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-5 "Fresco C" Fighter - 1960s (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 Shenyang J-5 (NATO reporting name Fresco) is a Chinese-built single-seat jet interceptor and fighter aircraft, licensed version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17. The J-5 was exported as the F-5 and was originally designated Dongfeng-101 (East Wind-101) and also Type 56 before being designated J-5 in 1964.
The MiG-17 was license-built in China and Poland into the 1960s. The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) obtained a number of Soviet-built MiG-17 Fresco-A day fighters, designated J-4 in the early 1950s. To introduce modern production methods to Chinese industry the PLAAF obtained plans for the MiG-17F Fresco-C day fighter in 1955, along with two completed pattern aircraft, 15 knockdown kits, and parts for ten aircraft. The first Chinese-built MiG-17F, (serialed Zhong 0101), produced by the Shenyang factory, performed its initial flight on July 19th, 1956, with test pilot Wu Keming at the controls.
Plans were obtained in 1961 for the MiG-17PF interceptor and production began, as the J-5A (F-5A), shortly afterwards. At this time the Sino-Soviet split occurred, causing much disruption to industrial and technical projects, so the first J-5A did not fly until 1964, when the type was already obsolete. A total of 767 J-5s and J-5As had been built when production ended in 1969.
The Chinese also built a two-seat trainer version of the MiG-17, designated the Chengdu JJ-5 (Jianjiji Jiaolianji - Fighter Trainer - FT-5), from 1968, by combining the two-seat cockpit of the MiG-15UTI, the VK-1A engine of the J-5, and the fuselage of the J-5A. All internal armament was deleted and a single Nudelman-Richter NR-23 23 mm cannon was carried in a ventral pack. Production of the JJ-5 reached 1,061 when production ceased in 1986, with the type exported to a number of countries.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Peoples Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-5 "Fresco C" fighter from the 1960s.
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Release Date: March 2020
Historical Account: "Sino-Soviet Split" - The PLA's first organized air unit, was formed in July 1949 at Beijing Nanyuan Airport. It consisted of six P-51s, two Mosquitoes, and two PT-19s. On October 25th, 1949, Liu Yalou was appointed as the chief of air force in the People's Liberation Army. By November 11th, the air force command was officially formed from the headquarters of Liu Yalou's 14th bingtuan (which Witson translates as "Army"). Much Soviet assistance was received to help the process along.
The PLAAF fought the Korean War in Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s, known as the J-2 in Chinese service, with training from Soviet instructors. The war also brought Soviet assistance for the indigenous aircraft industry. The Shenyang Aircraft Corporation built the two-seat MiG-15UTI trainer as the JJ-2, and during the war manufactured various components to maintain the Soviet-built fighters. By 1956, the Peoples Republic was assembling copies of MiG-15s and eight years later was producing both the Shenyang J-5 (MiG-17) and the J-6 (MiG-19) under license.
The 1960s were a difficult time for the PLAAF. The withdrawal of Soviet aid due to the Sino-Soviet split, and the prioritization of the missile and nuclear weapon programs, crippled the industry, which markedly declined through 1963. A recovery began around 1965 as J-2s, J-5s, and some J-6s were provided to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Development of the Shenyang J-8, China's first indigenous fighter, was also initiated during the 1960s.