Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (Fagot) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet-powered fighter proved to be a potent adversary in the Korean War - particularly when flown by Soviet pilots.
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The MiG-15 (codenamed "Fagot" by the United Nations in reference to a "hastily bundled pile of sticks") became the Soviet Union's first true turbojet-powered fighter design of consequence and the first swept-wing aircraft of the Empire. The system went on to see extensive production total sand combat action particularly in the Korean War, proving more than a match for her contemporaries. With World War 2 delaying turbojet design in the Soviet Union, engineers instead looked to captured German scientists and their ground-breaking aircraft designs - along with securing an agreement with Britain to license-produce the Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engine - and manufactured a fighter that fit the Soviet Empire's need for a powerful, effective and easy-to-produce/maintain jet fighter. By all respects, the aircraft would achieve "classic" status by sheer numbers and a successful track record thanks to its actions in Korea.
As progress on turbojet-powered fighters was being steadily made in the West, the inevitable requirement for a similar Soviet system eventually came down. This new requirement specified an aircraft design capable of 621 miles per hour with a good rate-of-climb, a range of 745 miles and restricted landing and take-off distances. The new design was to take into account ease of production and maintenance to ensure it could stay in the fight as long as necessary without tanking the owners to the bank. Additionally, this aircraft was to be appropriately armed and offer up much internally in the way of its Western counterparts so as not to put the Soviet pilot at a disadvantage when they inevitably should meet one another.
1944 eventually brought about a certain level of respite in Russia's war with Germany. Soviet engineers could now be allocated back to developing an indigenous turbojet design of their own. Delayed by a number of years during the conflict, time to "catch up" to the West and their production turbojets was of the essence - with Germany, Great Britain and the United States all working on their own creations. As such, captured German plans - in particular, Focke-Wulf Ta 183 "Huckebein" fighter (developed by Kurt Tank) and associated German scientific minds were brought to the Soviet Union in an effort to produce an answer. Along with the captured German plans, the Soviets began researching and producing their own versions of two distinct German-made axial-flow turbojet engines - the Junkers Jumo 004 Orkan (becoming the RD-10 in the Soviet inventory) and the BMW 003 Sturm (becoming the RD-20) series. In time, these would power the early straight-wing Yakovlev Yak-15
and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9
jet fighters, serving more as developmental educational efforts than serviceable combat aircraft. Nevertheless, the information garnered from this work no doubt propelled an infant Soviet jet program along.