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 prototype of the MiG-17 was a conversion of an older MiG-15 airframe. This prototype had a thinner wing that incorporated a mid-span bend in the leading edge. The prototype also had a longer fuselage and a larger vertical fin than the older MiG-15. In August 1951, with its test program completed, the aircraft was ordered into mass production and designated the MiG-17 (called the "Fresco" by NATO). The first MiG-17F (known as the "Fresco C") rolled off production lines in the spring of 1953. Not surprisingly, the MiG-17F was the most widely produced variant of the MiG-17. The main difference between the MiG-17 Fresco A and the later MiG-17F was the power plant. The MiG-17F used the more powerful VK-1 F after-burning turbojet which provided a substantial increase in power for takeoff and combat maneuvering over the older Fresco A model (the "F" in MiG-17F stands for Forsirovannyy, meaning "boosted").
Although it did not see combat in Korea, the MiG-17 saw extensive action in the Arab-Israeli Wars and in a wide variety of other Third World conflicts. In 1958, Communist Chinese produced MiG-17Fs (designated the F-5) destroyed two Republic F-84G Thunderjets and six North American F-86A Sabres flown by Nationalist Chinese pilots. However, the MiG-17F's most visible role came during the Vietnam War. The MiG-17 proved the continued worth of automatic cannons in an era of advanced air-to-air missiles. The North Vietnamese Air Force's leading ace and MiG-17 pilot, Col. Toon, was credited with destroying 13 American aircraft before being shot down in 1972 by a US Navy F-4J Phantom II. American flight crews repeatedly stated they feared the North Vietnam's elderly MiG-17s far more than the newer, faster and missile armed MiG-21 Fishbeds.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Peoples Liberation Army Air Force Shenyang J-5 "Fresco C" fighter from the 1960s.
Pre-order! Ship Date: February 2020.
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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 11 November, 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.