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Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco)

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft

China | 1956

"The Chinese-originated Shenyang J-5 fighter had roots in the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco - production reached nearly 2,000 units."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/17/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this 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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Shenyang J-5 Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Wopen WP-5 (Klimov VK-1) turbojet engine developing 5,730lb of dry thrust and 7,452lb of thrust with reheat engaged.
652 mph
1,050 kph | 567 kts
Max Speed
46,916 ft
14,300 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
764 miles
1,230 km | 664 nm
Operational Range
5,315 ft/min
1,620 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Shenyang J-5 Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft.
37.7 ft
11.50 m
O/A Length
31.6 ft
(9.63 m)
O/A Width
12.5 ft
(3.80 m)
O/A Height
8,995 lb
(4,080 kg)
Empty Weight
13,702 lb
(6,215 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft .
1 x 37mm Type 37 automatic cannon in nose.
2 x 23mm Type 23-1 automatic cannons in nose.
Notable series variants as part of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco) family line.
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
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,825 Units

Contractor(s): Shenyang Aircraft Corporation / Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
National flag of Albania National flag of Bangladesh National flag of China National flag of North Korea National flag of Pakistan National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Sudan National flag of Somalia National flag of Tanzania National flag of the United States National flag of Vietnam National flag of Zimbabwe

[ Albania; Bangladesh; China; North Korea; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Somalia; Tanzania; United States (limited); Vietnam; Zimbabwe ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (652mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco)
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery database.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Shenyang (AVIC) J-5 (Fresco) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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