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MiG-17 "Fresco"


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#1 GregP

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:30 PM

The MiG-15 from the Korean War days was a very good aircraft, and many still are. It had a few issues, among which were a tendency to snake directionally, somewhat less than stellar low-speed handling, and a strong tendency to nose up out of a dive anywhere near Mach 1.

The answer for the Soviets was the MiG-17. It had a larger fin, slightly more wing area that was a slightly changed in sweep with threee wing fences instead of two, speed brakes, and an afterburner.

It was and is a very good aircraft. Going into Vietnam, the USA dismissed the MiG-17 as "obsolescsnt." Two years later it was fast being reappraised as a potent dogfighter able to hold its own against even the F-4 Phantom. Later, when the F-4 got an internal gun, the MiG-17 was still a tough cookie to crack. It continued to be so right up to the end of that conflict.

Just wanted to find out if anyone out there has any experience with MiG-17's from a service point of view. That is, if you were in an Air Force or are knowledgeable of such things, what was the opinion of the MiG-17 in your country?



#2 wineionah

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:52 AM

I am from Vietnam, the Migs are legend in my country, actually we have nothing but Migs and thanks god, they are good ones
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#3 GregP

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

Welcome to the board!

Can you tell us something about the MiG-17 that most people don;t know" What parts wear out quickest?

Anyway, I have assembled a MiG-15, sat in and even taxied one, and am a big fan of the MiG-17. It appears to have no or few vices and seems to handle quite well from the airshows I have seen it fly.



#4 matisse

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:56 PM

In Poland MiG17 was produced as Lim-5. Also Polish engineers developed MiG17-based Lim6Bis which was conceptual version of MiG.
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#5 Flo

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:06 PM

Welcome to the forum, matisse. :D

I read the Lim-6 was an attack variant? Was that the case? Or was it a multi role aircraft, capable of light attack duties as well as conventional fighter roles?

Edit- I ask because Western sources aren't always accurate when it comes to (former) Eastern Block or Warsaw Pact equipment.

Edited by Flo, 16 May 2012 - 07:07 PM.
see text


#6 matisse

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:30 PM

I don't know much about it, because I just starting to get interested in this topic but as far as I know Lim-6 was light attack fighter.

P.S Sorry for my english. I don't know many technique words.

#7 Flo

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

English is the product of a race (of lovely neighbours :D), who seem to have invented the hardest language they could conceive of to confound the rest of us. Believe me, you're not the only one who struggles with it. :D

#8 flying kiwi

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

Welcome to the forum. Don't worry about English - it's the easiest language to be spoken badly and still be understood, and possibly the hardest to speak well. I have several friends who did military service in Yugoslavia and the Warsaw Pact during the Soviet years, but all in their various armies. Because they were scientists as well, they were usually assigned to tactical electronic detection duties and told their lifespan would be a few hours if the proverbial hit the fan.

#9 Bill B.

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:53 AM

Welcome to the board!

Can you tell us something about the MiG-17 that most people don;t know" What parts wear out quickest?

Anyway, I have assembled a MiG-15, sat in and even taxied one, and am a big fan opf the MiG-17. It appears to have no or few vices and seems to handle quite well from the airshows I have seen it fly.

Hi Greg, read your post. I have recently aquired a Mig 17, ex Bulgarian. I have a few questions for you. Best, Bill B.
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#10 Double T

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:29 AM

It took 40 years, but was finally confirmed that a US Army Grumman OV-1 Mohawk shot down a Mig 17F Fresco C over South Vietnam.

Pretty neat story too.

--Tim

 

OV-1 vs.  MiG-17:

            Several years ago when I reviewed the Roden OV-1A, I mentioned in the history section that it was long rumored that an OV-1 might have shot down a MiG-17.  Imagine my surprise 18 months ago when I found an e-mail in my in-box from Ken Lee, telling me that he had been searching the net for pictures of OV-1s and had found my review, ending with the statement: “I’m the guy who shot down the MiG-17.”  I immediately contacted him, and did an interview, which resulted in an article in “Flight Journal” that created quite a stir in the Army Aviation community.  As a result, the Army now recognizes Ken’s achievement after 40 years of denial.

Here’s his story:

            From 2,000 feet above the triple-canopy jungle, the Ashau Valley was deceptive in the early morning light through the clouds to the east. Twenty-two miles long and less than six miles from Laos, Ashau was one of two strongholds for the North Vietnamese Army in South Vietnam, the other being the U Minh Forest north of Saigon. Known to the North Vietnamese as Base Area 611, it was Charlie’s personal territory: a major hub on the Ho Chi Minh Trail for the infiltration of personnel and supplies into Thua Thien Province and northern I Corps, the launch point for the Tet Offensive against the Marines at Khe Sanh, and the ancient imperial capitol of Hué. 

            On that clear morning in mid-February 1968, the pilots of the two Grumman OV-1A Mohawks flying in loose trail across the valley as they headed toward the Laotian end of the Ho Chi Minh Trail could easily look through the scattered cumulus clouds and see the three abandoned U.S. airfields along the middle of the valley floor and the deserted Special Forces Camp that had been overrun in March 1966. United States forces had been pushed out of Ashau back then and had no immediate plans of returning.

            Flying lead was CAPT Ken Lee, a veteran considered one of the most experienced Mohawk pilots in the 131st Aviation Company, who had first flown Mohawks with the 73rd Aviation Company from December 1964 to November 1965, when the 73rd "wrote the book" about Mohawk operations in Vietnam. Lee was thoroughly familiar with this particular piece of geography. He’d taken hits regularly over the Ashau as he "threaded the needle" through the pass at the eastern end of the valley that led to the tmc17fc.jpgLaotian plains beyond.

            The two pilots kept their height, since they knew that under the riot of green below were more than 6,000 permanent troops, their installations ringed by one of the most sophisticated complexes of interlocked anti-aircraft batteries to be found anywhere. The bug-headed OV-1 Mohawk with its distinctive triple tail was both unmistakable and feared by the North Vietnamese, who had learned the hard way just how easy it was to be discovered under their jungle canopy by the Mohawk’s side-looking radar and infrared detection gear. If luck wasn’t riding with them and they were forced down, the fliers could expect to encounter leech-infested streams, cliffs and hills with 60-degree slopes, covered with jungle so dense one could not see more than a few feet in any direction, crossed by meager animal trails covered with rotted tree roots, populated by 140 varieties of poisonous snakes, the most unusual insects in the world, and all that was if the NVA didn’t find you.

            "All of a sudden, I felt the airplane taking hits," Lee recalls, "but it felt different from before, not like the usual ground fire. I didn’t know why, so I commenced a clearing turn to the right, but then my wingman - who was maybe half a mile behind me in trail - shouted ‘You got a MiG behind you!’"

            "I immediately leveled my wings, just as a silver, swept-wing airplane dove past on my left about sixty feet away at around 275 knots. My first thought was it was an Australian F-86 Sabre, since they were based in Thailand, but then I saw the red star on the tail and knew I was in trouble."

            The MiG-17 - for that is what it was - was already pulling out of its dive two hundred feet below Lee and turning back for more. "I was a sitting duck. With our full load of ordnance and extra fuel, I was so heavy I’d stall at about 165 knots in a 30 degree bank, so I sure couldn’t dogfight him." Lee ordered his wingman to break left and over the mountain range into a cloud bank.  No point in two Mohawks being shot down that day.

            The MiG pilot had made a major error in slowing down to make his attack. While the OV-1A may have looked more like a dragonfly than an airplane, it was a thoroughly-competent warplane. More than half the wing span was within the wash of the big, reversible pitch propellers, and the wing incorporated a pair of hydraulically operated auxiliary ailerons that worked only when the flaps were down, for better low-speed control. It was fully aerobatic, rated at plus 5G and minus 1.5G, and at least one Mohawk had reportedly pulled 7Gs without structural damage. A British test pilot who flew one when the RAF considered operating them compared its low-level performance favorably with the Gloster Meteor in terms of acceleration and power available.

            Lee’s immediate thought was that the best defense was a good offense. The OV-1A was different from all other Army fixed-wing aircraft in that it could carry a 2.75-inch rocket pod and a podded .50-caliber machine gun under each wing - a load Lee was tmc17fd.jpgcarrying that morning. "I fired 38 rockets in two shots, and got what looked like four hits on the MiG. I put about 100 rounds of .50-caliber into him - I could see the tracers going into the fuselage. Hitting his engine killed his power." 

            The MiG was climbing at about 1,000 fpm when Lee opened fire. "His right wing dropped when he got hit, and he went into a cloud bank. I pulled out of the clouds to the right, and saw him come out about three to five seconds later. His right wing was low and his nose was pitched over, with flickers of red flame, followed by white smoke, then black smoke, and then orange flames."

            The MiG went around one of the mountains ringing the Ashau, turning into what Lee knew was a blind valley. "He was so low, he could not have gotten out of that valley without impacting the hillside. The clouds were dense and I didn’t follow him in there."

            With the MiG gone, Lee and his wingman resumed their mission into Laos. On the way back to their base, they reported the attack to the C-130 Control ship, "Hillsboro."

            The two Mohawks landed back at their home base at Phu Bai, home of the 131st Aviation Company. "I didn’t get scared from the fight till I climbed out and saw the bullet holes in the tail and the aft fuselage, but the unit leaders were also worried that maybe it had been an Aussie Sabre, plus nobody could explain how a MiG could be down over South Vietnam when they never came that far south before. The doubt continued for days."

            One accusation made was that the two pilots - neither of whom were trained for air combat - might be telling this story to cover themselves from the repercussions of being involved in a second friendly fire incident. "Three weeks earlier, my wingman was accused of hitting my airplane when we made a strafing run up in Ashau," Lee explained. The doubts came to an end with the production of incontrovertible evidence that an air battle had indeed happened. "My crew chief measured those 39 holes in my rear section, and found they’d all struck at about a 45-degree angle, which would mean my wingman would have had to have been diving on me to do that. And then there

was the fact that the holes were bigger than a .50 cal. They were about 20 millimeter. After my chief reported that, they started taking the story more seriously."

            For the Army, Lee’s "victory" could turn into a major defeat if the event became widely known. As Lee explained, "The Army was terrified that the Air Force would force them to either disarm the Mohawks or even turn them over to the Air Force."

            While some might argue that Lee’s actions were in fact self-defense after being attacked, and to prevent his airplane being shot down in a second pass, senior Army aviation commanders didn’t see it that way. "When I came back with a probable MiG kill," Lee explains, "there was just terrific fear that any publicity at all would wreck the mission. I was specifically ordered not to talk to anyone about any of it."  The Army knew well that the Air Force had reserved shooting down MiGs as their exclusive domain. 

tmc17fe.jpg            A few weeks later, Lee took a flight from Phu Bai to Ubon, Thailand to deliver a target portfolio to COL Robin Olds, then commanding the 8th TFW at Ubon. Olds had heard the rumors about a Mohawk shooting down a MiG, and was interested to discover that Lee was the pilot involved. "He told me they knew the North Vietnamese Air Force had set up an airfield just north of the DMZ, and had planned to make air strikes on Khe Sanh during the siege, so it was entirely plausible to him that there could be a MiG-17 all the way down over the Ashau Valley." 

            In May, 1968, Lee flew another mission that stopped at Ubon. "This time, I was met by Robin Olds and Chappie James, and they ordered me to accompany them over to the Officer’s Club. When we got there, the two of them accompanied me around the room on a ‘MiG Sweep’ that ended at the bar where the drinks were waiting. They told me a MiG had definitely been shot down under the circumstances I had described. When I asked how they knew, Olds said to me ‘We know things you guys don’t and will never find out.’"

[Just for the record, the OV-1 is the only Army fixed wing plane shot down in aerial combat during the war, and that by a MiG-17 in 1969.(Reference-US Army Aviation In Vietnam, Squadron/Signal, 2009, pg 18). Ed]

 

--http://modelingmadne...ussr/tmc17f.htm






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