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Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft

Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft


The Chinese-originated Shenyang J-5 fighter had roots in the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco - production reached nearly 2,000 units.
National Flag Graphic
YEAR: 1956
MANUFACTURER(S): Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
OPERATORS: Albania; Bangladesh; China; North Korea; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Somalia; Tanzania; United States (limited); Vietnam; Zimbabwe

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Shenyang J-5 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 37.73 feet (11.5 meters)
WIDTH: 31.59 feet (9.63 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.47 feet (3.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 8,995 pounds (4,080 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 13,702 pounds (6,215 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Wopen WP-5 (Klimov VK-1) turbojet engine developing 5,730lb of dry thrust and 7,452lb of thrust with reheat engaged.
SPEED (MAX): 652 miles-per-hour (1,050 kilometers-per-hour; 567 knots)
RANGE: 764 miles (1,230 kilometers; 664 nautical miles)
CEILING: 46,916 feet (14,300 meters; 8.89 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 5,315 feet-per-minute (1,620 meters-per-minute)

1 x 37mm Type 37 automatic cannon in nose.
2 x 23mm Type 23-1 automatic cannons in nose.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon

Series Model Variants
• J-5 - Base Series Designation
• Jianjiji-5 - Alternative designation post-1964; 767 examples produced.
• Type 56 - Pre-service designation
• Dongfeng-101 - Original in-service designation
• J-5A - MiG-17PF variant with radar; 300+ examples delivered.
• JJ-5 -Two-seat trainer aircraft by Chengdu
• J-5 TB - One-off-aircraft modified for torpedo delivery; sans central fuselage cannon and reduced operational range.
• F-5 - Export designation of baseline J-5 single-seat fighters.
• FT-5 - Export designation of JJ-5 trainers


Detailing the development and operational history of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/16/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The close ties held between the communist Soviet Union and communist China benefitted the latter militarily during the early Cold War period. One of the advanced developments to fall to the Chinese was the jet-powered, swept-wing Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 "Fresco" fighter. This aircraft was eventually produced locally in Chinese factories in the "Fresco-A" and "Fresco-C" guises, both day fighters limited in their tactical value. A first-flight of the latter occurred on July 19th, 1956 and entered service from Shenyang that year as the "Dongfeng-101" (developmental designation of "Type 56"). Like its Soviet counterpart, the Dongfeng-101 was also known to NATO as the "Fresco".

It was not until 1961 that the MiG-17PF form became available to the Chinese and a local version of this dedicated interceptor model was worked on by Shenyang as well. The Sino-Soviet Split (1960-1989) soured relations between the two nations considerably to the point that the MiG-17PF project was slowed for it was not until 1964 that the first PF-model flew. That same year, the line was redesignated to become the "J-5" and the MiG-17PF became the "J-5A" in service. Export models were therefore known as the "F-5" and fellow concern Chengdu managed production of the two-seat trainer form in the "JJ-5" (export designation of "FT-5"). First examples of the trainers became available in 1968.

Externally, the fighter retained the same form and function as the MiG-17 of Soviet origin. The fuselage was tubular with the bifurcated intake located at the nose and the exhaust port under the tail fin. The pilot say under a heavily framed canopy with adequate views ahead of midships. The wing mainplanes were mid-mounted along the fuselage sides and swept rearwards. Boundary layer fences were prominent. Under each wing could be slung a jettisonable fuel tank for extended range. The tail unit incorporated the horizontal planes high up the length of the single vertical tail fin. The undercarriage was wheeled and wholly retractable with the main legs found under the wing elements and the nose leg under the nose section. The cannon armament was installed in the nose above and below the intake.

As built, the J-5 sported a length of 11.5 meters, a wingspan of 9.6 meters and a height of 3.8 meters. Empty weight was 4,080kg against an MTOW of 6,215kg. Power was from a single Wopen WP-5 (the Soviet Klimov VK-1) turbojet engine of 5,730lb thrust with afterburner capability (7,452lb of thrust). Maximum speed reached 1,050kph with a range out to 1,230 kilometers and a service ceiling of 47,000 feet. Rate-of-climb was 5,315 feet-per-minute.

Installed armament became 1 x 37mm Type 37 autocannon with 2 x 23mm Type 23-1 autocannons. The JJ-5 was outfitted with 1 x 23mm cannons and the J-5A carried three.

Total production of J-5 fighters (including export units) was 767 and the trainer stock added another 1,061 before the end with production of the latter running into 1986. In all, 1,828 were produced with operators in Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe despite the design being obsolete by 1970s/1980s standards. The United States even acquired several J-5 fighters directly from China for use as mobile threats in testing at Kirkland AFB.

In Chinese service, the J-5 was directly succeeded by the more-capable "J-7" (detailed elsewhere on this site) provided by Chengdu. Some 2,400 of this type were produced and sold to many of the same operators.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (652mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Shenyang J-5's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1,825)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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