Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Videos


Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Video - F-4 Dogfight kill on Mig 17 Vietnam

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Aircraft Information

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

Warbird Picture - Restored MiG-17 in the markings of the Polish Air Force

Picture - Restored MiG-17 in the markings of the Polish Air Force

Role: Fighter aircraft
National origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich
First flight: 14 January 1950
Introduced: October 1952
Status: Retired
Primary users: Soviet Air Force PLA Air Force Polish Air Force Vietnam People's Air Force
Number built: 10,603
Developed from: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
Variants: PZL-Mielec Lim-6 Shenyang J-5

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (NATO reporting name: Fresco) (China:Shenyang J-5) (Poland: PZL-Mielec Lim-6) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. The MiG-17 cannot carry air-to-air missiles, and is mostly used for ground attack, but can shoot down enemy aircraft with its numerous cannons. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War, and was used as an effective threat against supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War. It was also briefly known as the "Type 38", by USAF designation prior to the development of NATO codes.


The major innovation was the introduction of a swept wing with a "compound sweep" configuration: a 45 angle near the fuselage, and a 42 angle for the outboard part of the wings. Other easily visible differences to its predecessor were the three wing-fences on each wing, instead of the MiG-15's two, and the addition of a ventral fin. The MiG-17 shared the same Klimov VK-1 engine and the rest of its construction was similar. The first prototype, designated "SI" by the construction bureau, was flown on the 14 January 1950, piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko.

Airplane Picture - A North Vietnamese MiG-17 on display at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

Picture - A North Vietnamese MiG-17 on display at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

Despite the SI prototype's crash on 17 March 1950, tests of another prototype "SI-2" and experimental series aircraft "SI-02" and "SI-01" in 1951, were generally successful, and on 1 September 1951 the aircraft was accepted for production. It was estimated that with the same engine as the MiG-15's, the MiG-17's maximum speed is higher by 40-50 km/h, and the fighter has greater manoeuvrability at high altitude.

Serial production started in August 1951. During production, the aircraft was improved and modified several times. The basic MiG-17 was a general-purpose day fighter, armed with three cannons. It could also act as a fighter-bomber, but its bombload was considered light relative to other aircraft of the time, and it usually carried additional fuel tanks instead of bombs.

The second prototype variant, "SP-2", was an interceptor equipped with a radar. Soon a number of MiG-17P all-weather fighters were produced with the Izumrud radar and front air intake modifications. In early 1953 the MiG-17F day fighter entered production. Fitted with the VK-1F engine with an afterburner, which improved its performance, it became the most popular variant of the MiG-17. The next mass-produced variant with afterburner and radar was the MiG-17PF. In 1956 a small series (47 aircraft) was converted to the MiG-17PM standard (also known as PFU) with four first-generation Kaliningrad K-5 (NATO reporting name AA-1 'Alkali') air-to-air missiles. A small series of MiG-17R reconnaissance aircraft were built with VK-1F engine (after first being tested with the VK-5F engine).

Several thousand MiG-17s were built in the USSR by 1958.


Airplane Picture - MiG-17F on display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California

Picture - MiG-17F on display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California

Day-fighter variants (MiG-17, MiG-17F) were armed with two 23 mm NR-23 cannons (80 rpg) and one 37 mm N-37 cannon (40 rounds), which were mounted on a common bed under the central air intake. The gun bed could be easily wound down for maintenance. On radar-equipped variants (MiG-17P, MiG-17PF), the 37 mm N-37 was replaced with a third 23 mm NR-23 (carrying 100 rpg) to compensate for the weight aft of the radar. All variants could carry 100 kg (220 lb) bombs on two underwing pylons and some could carry 250 kg (551 lb) bombs; however, these pylons were usually used for 400 l (106 US gal) fuel tanks. The MiG-17R was armed with two 23 mm cannons. Most MiG-17s in third world service today fly as ground attack or trainer aircraft.

The only variant with air-to-air missiles was the MiG-17PM (or MiG-17PFU), which could carry four K-5 (NATO: AA-1 "Alkali"). It had no cannons. Some countries occasionally modified their MiG-17s to carry unguided rockets or bombs on additional pylons. MiG-17s in Cuba could be armed with AA-2 "Atoll" missiles.

The MiG-17P was equipped with the Izumrud-1 (RP-1) radar, while the MiG-17PF was initially fitted with the RP-1 which was later replaced with the Izumrud-5 (RP-5) radar. The MiG-17PM was also equipped with a radar, used to aim its missiles. Other variants had no radar.

Licence production

Airplane Picture - Lim-5 in Polish Air Force markings

Picture - Lim-5 in Polish Air Force markings

In 1955, Poland received a license for MiG-17 production. The MiG-17F was produced by the WSK-Mielec factory under the designation Lim-5. The first Lim-5 was built on 28 November 1956 and 477 were built by 1960. An unknown number were built as the Lim-5R reconnaissance variant, fitted with the AFA-39 camera. In 1959-1960, 129 MiG-17PF interceptors were produced as the Lim-5P. PZL-WSK also developed several Polish attack plane variants based on the MiG-17: the Lim-5M, produced from 1960; Lim-6bis, produced from 1963; and Lim-6M (converted in the 1970s); as well as two reconnaissance variants: the Lim-6R (Lim-6bisR) and MR.

Airplane Picture - A privately-owned JJ-5 (MiG-17) at JeffCo Airport

Picture - A privately-owned JJ-5 (MiG-17) at JeffCo Airport

In China, an initial MiG-17F was assembled from parts in 1956, with license production following in 1957 at Shenyang. The Chinese-built version is known as the Shenyang J-5 (for local use) or F-5 (for export). According to some sources, earlier MiG-17s which had been delivered directly from the USSR were designated "J-4". From 1964, the Chinese produced a radar-equipped variant similar to the MiG-17PF, which was known as the J-5A (F-5A). The Chinese also developed a two-seat trainer variant, the JJ-5 (FT-5 for export), which integrated the cabin of the JJ-2 (a license-built MiG-15UTI) with the J-5. It was produced in 1966-1986, being the last-produced MiG-17 variant and its only twin-seater variant. The Soviets did not produce a two-seat MiG-17 as they felt that the training variant of the older MiG-15 was sufficient.

Many Soviet and licence-built examples remain in service to this day, though not all are currently active, making the MiG-17 one of the longest serving fighters ever built.

Operational history

Airplane Picture - An Egyptian MiG-17

Picture - An Egyptian MiG-17

Vietnam War MiGs were designed to intercept straight and level flying enemy bombers, not for air to air combat (Dog-fighting) with other fighters. This subsonic (.93 Mach) fighter was effective against slower (.6-.8 Mach), heavily loaded US fighter-bombers, as well as the mainstay American strategic bombers during the MiG-17's development cycle (such as the Boeing B-50 Superfortress or Convair B-36 Peacemaker, which were both still powered by piston engines). Even if the target had sufficient warning and time to shed weight and drag by dropping external ordnance and accelerate to supersonic escape speeds, doing so would have inherently forced the enemy aircraft to abort its bombing mission. By the time the USAF introduced strategic bombers capable of cruising at supersonic speeds such as the Convair B-58 Hustler and General Dynamics FB-111, however, the MiG-17 became obsolete in PVO service and was supplanted by supersonic interceptors such as the MiG-21 and MiG-23.

MiG-17s were not available for the Korean War, but saw combat for the first time over the Straits of Taiwan when PRC (Communist China) MiG-17s clashed with ROC (Nationalist China) F-86 Sabres in 1958.

Vietnam War

In 1960, the first group of approximately 50 North Vietnamese airmen were transferred to Communist China to begin transitional training onto the MiG-17. By this time the first detachment of Chinese trained MiG-15 pilots had returned to North Vietnam, and a group of 31 airmen were deployed to Communist China's base at Son Dong for conversion to the MiG-17. By 1962 the first North Vietnamese pilots had finished their MiG-17 courses in the Soviet Union and Red China, and returned to their units; to mark the occasion, the Soviets sent as a "gift" 36 MiG-17 fighters and MiG-15UTI trainers to Hanoi in February 1964. These airmen would create North Vietnam's first jet fighter regiment, the 921st. By 1965, another group of MiG pilots had returned from training in Krasnodar, in the USSR, as well as from Red China. This group would form North Vietnam's second fighter unit, the 923rd Fighter Regiment. While the newly created 923rd FR operated strictly MiG-17s, the 921st FR would operate both MiG-17s and MiG-21s (in 1969 the 925th FR MiG-19 unit would be formed).

Although US jet fighter-bombers (the North American F-100 Super Sabre and McDonnell F-101 Voodoo) had been engaged in combat since 1961, the North Vietnamese Air Force MiGs had not. The baptism of fire of the MiG-17 in this conflict occurred on 3 April 1965. That day two groups of MiGs took of Noi ai airbase. The first group comprissed two-jets and acted like a bait; the second was made-up of four MiG-17s and was strike group. Their target were US Navy aircraft supporting an USAF 80-aircraft strike package trying the knock out Ham Rung bridge near Thanh Hoa. The MiG-17 leader, Lt. Pham Ngoc Lan, spotted a group of Vought F-8 Crusaders of the VF-211, USS Hancock, and shot-up the F-8E flown by Lt. Cdr. Spence Thomas, which should perform an emergency landing ashore Da Nang. His wingman Phan Van Tuc claimed a second F-8, but this is not corroborated by USN loss listings.

On 4 April 1965, the USAF conducted a "re-strike" on the Hxm Rồng/Thanh Hoa bridge with 48 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) loaded with 384 x 750 lb (340 kg) bombs. The Thunderchiefs were escorted by a MiGCAP flight of F-100 Super Sabres from the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS). Coming from above, four MiG-17s from the 921st Fighter Regiment (FR) tore through the escorts and dove onto the Thunderchiefs, shooting two of them down; the leader Tran Hanh downed F-105D 59-1754 of Major F. E. Benett, and his element leader Le Minh Huan downed F-105D 59-1764 of Captain J. A. Magnusson. The Super Sabres engaged with one firing a "AIM-9 Sidewinder" air-to-air missile which apparently missed (or malfunctioned), and another F-100D flown by Captain Donald Kilgus fired 20mm cannons, which also apparently missed, but in fact shot down and killed Tran Hanh's wingman Pham Giay. No other US airmen reported any confirmed aerial kills during the air battle. However, Tran Hanh stated that three of his accompanying MiG-17s had been shot down by the opposing USAF fighters.

During the 4 April 1965 engagement, four MiG-17s from the 921st FR had tangled with over 50 US jet fighter-bombers, consisting of F-105s and F-100s. Three F-100s from the MiGCAP, piloted by LTC Emmett L. Hays, CPT Keith B. Connolly, and CPT Donald W. Kilgus, all from the 416th TFS, engaged the MiG-17s. One Super Sabre fired an air-to-air missile and Connolly and Kilgus engaged with 20mm cannon, with only Kilgus claiming a probable kill. The four attacking MiGs from the 921st FR were flown by Flight Leader Tran Hanh, Wingman Pham Giay, Le Minh Huan and Tran Nguyen Nam. Flight Leader Tran Hanh was the only survivor from the air battle and reportedly stated that his three MiG-17s were "... shot down by the F-105s." Based upon the report, the USAF F-100s very well could have been mistaken for F-105s, and the reported loss of three MiG-17s to those mistaken jet fighters would indicate that the USAF North American F-100 Super Sabres had obtained the first US aerial combat victories during the Vietnam War.

The MiG-17 was not originally designed to function as a fighter-bomber, but in 1971 Hanoi directed that United States Navy warships were to be attacked by elements of the North Vietnamese Air Force. This would require the MiG-17 to be fitted with bomb mountings and release mechanisms. Chief Engineer of the NVAF ground crews, Truong Khanh Chau, was tasked with the mission of modifying two MiG-17s for the ground attack role; after three months of work, the two jets were ready. On 19 April 1972, two pilots from the 923rd FR took their bomb laden MiG-17s and attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Higbee (DD-806) and light cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5). Each MiG was armed with two 250 kg (550 lb) bombs. Pilot Le Xuan Di managed to hit the destroyer's aft 5" gun mount, destroying it, but inflicting no fatalities, as the crewmen had vacated the turret earlier due to a malfunction with the gun system. The other attacker from the two-plane sortie was flown by Nguyen Van Bay, an airman who would later end the war with seven confirmed air victories, all accomplished with his MiG-17. On this day however, his fighter either managed to slightly damage the USS Oklahoma City, or miss it entirely, depending upon the source. Each pilot had completed their drop of two bombs each and returned to base. After the war, Truong Khanh Chau became the director of the Vietnam Institute for Science and Technology in 1977.

The MiG-17 was the primary interceptor of the fledgling Vietnam People's Air Force in 1965, scoring its first aerial victories and seeing extensive combat during the Vietnam War, the aircraft frequently worked in conjunction with MiG-21s and MiG-19s. Many historians believe that some North Vietnamese pilots, in fact, preferred the MiG-17 over the MiG-21 because it was more agile, though not as fast; however, of the 16 NVAF Aces of the war, 13 of them attained that status while flying the MiG-21. Only three North Vietnamese Airmen gained Ace status while flying the MiG-17. Those were: Nguyen Van Bay (7 victories), Luu Huy Chao and Le Hai (both with six).

From 1965 to 1972, MiG-17s from the NVAF 921st and 923rd FRs would claim 71 aerial victories against US aircraft: 11 Crusaders, 16 F-105 Thunderchiefs, 32 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, two Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, seven Douglas A-1 Skyraiders (propeller driven strike aircraft), one C-47 cargo/transport aircraft, one Sikorsky CH-3C helicopter and one Ryan Firebee UAV.

The American fighter community was shocked in 1965 when elderly, subsonic MiG-17s downed sophisticated Mach-2-class F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bombers over North Vietnam. To redress disappointing combat performance against smaller, more agile fighters like the MiGs, the Americans established dissimilar air combat training (DACT) in training programs such as "TOPGUN", which employed subsonic Douglas A-4 Skyhawk aircraft to mimic more manoeuvrable opponents such as the MiG-17. The US Navy also set Adversary squadrons equipped with the nimble A-4 at each of its fighter and attack Master jet bases to provide DACT.

Other MiG-17 users

MiG-17s were sold and/or imported to many Middle Eastern countries and saw action in nearly all of the Arab-Israeli conflicts starting when 12 of them served with the Egyptian Air Force during the Suez Crisis of 1956, plus hundreds more served, and were mostly destroyed, in the Egyptian and Syrian Air Forces during the Six-Day War of 1967 as well as the War of Attrition, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon.

At least 24 of them served with the Nigerian Air Force and were flown by a mixed group of local Nigerian and mercenary pilots from East Germany, Soviet Union, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Australia during the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War. Four were hurriedly supplied by the USSR to Sri Lanka during the 1971 insurgency and were used for bombing and ground attack in that conflict. Four North Korean Mig-17 aircraft were involved in the EC-121 shootdown incident, where they managed to shoot down an American EC-121 Warning Star. Similarly in 1958, a USAF Lockheed C-130 was shot down by four MiG-17 fighters when it flew into Soviet airspace near Yerevan, Armenia while on a Sun Valley SIGINT mission, with all 17 crew killed.

Twenty countries flew MiG-17s. The MiG-17 became a standard fighter in all Warsaw Pact countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were also bought by many other countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, that were neutrally aligned or allied with the USSR. The MiG-17 still flies today in the air forces of Burkina Faso, China (JJ-5 Trainer) Mali, Mozambique, North Korea, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Somaliland, Sudan, and Tanzania.


Airplane Picture - MiG-17F

Picture - MiG-17F

MiG-17 (Fresco-A)
Basic fighter version powered by VK-1 engine ("aircraft SI").
Fighter version powered by VK-1A engine with longer lifespan.
Multirole conversion, fitted to carry unguided rockets and the K-13 air to air missile.
MiG-17P (Fresco-B)
All-weather fighter version equipped with Izumrud radar ("aircraft SP").
MiG-17F (Fresco-C)
Basic fighter version powered by VK-1F engine with afterburner ("aircraft SF").
MiG-17PF (Fresco-D)
All-weather fighter version equipped with Izumrud radar and VK-1F engine ("aircraft SP-7F").
MiG-17PM/PFU (Fresco-E)
Fighter version equipped with radar and K-5 (NATO: AA-1 'Alkali') air-to-air missiles ("aircraft SP-9").
Reconnaissance aircraft with VK-1F engine and camera ("aircraft SR-2s")
Experimental variant with twin side intakes, no central intake, and nose redesigned to allow 23 mm cannons to pivot to engage ground targets. Not produced.
Shenyang J-5

Some withdrawn aircraft were converted to remotely controlled targets.


Airplane Picture - MiG-17 operators

Picture - MiG-17 operators

Afghan Air Force. Around 100 MiG-17F acquired by the Afghan Air Force from 1957.
Albanian Air Force - 20 aircraft, including 8 Chinese-made JJ-5 trainers, were acquired. All Albanian fighters are in storage, retired from active service, due to lack of spare parts
Algerian Air Force
People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola.
Bangladeshi Air Force
Bulgarian Air Force
Burkina Faso
Royal Cambodian Air Force - possibly in storage
see also Shenyang J-5

People's Liberation Army Air Force
People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force. J-5 trainers still in limited service. Single seat fighters have been retired and sold to other countries.

Republic of the Congo
Congolese Air Force
Cuban Air Force
Czechoslovakian Air Force - 2 MiG-17F for evaluation purposes (EP-01 and EP-02), 34 MiG-17PF all-weather interceptors. All retired before 1970.
East Germany
East German Air Force
Egyptian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force. All retired.
Indonesian Air Force - Using MiG-17F and MiG-17PF. All of the aircraft acquired in 1961. Used during the preparation of Operation TRIKORA in 1962 to retake Western New Guinea, now Papua and Papua Bara, from the Netherlands. Some of the aircraft were used intensively in Air Forces / TNI-AU Acrobatic Team in 1962 for air show events around Indonesia. All aircraft were grounded in 1969. None have been in service since 1970.
Iraqi Air Force
Hungarian Air Force
Libyan Air Force
MiG-17 in service.
Mongolian Air Force - Between in 1970-1977 received than 17 aircraft
Royal Moroccan Air Force
MiG-17 in service.
Nigerian Air Force
North Korea
North Korean Air Force - J-5 still in service.
Pakistan Air Force
Polish Air Force
Romanian Air Force - 12 MiG-17PF and 12 MiG-17F entered service in 1955 and 1956, respectively.
Somali Air Corps
Soviet Union

Soviet Air Force
Soviet Naval Aviation
Soviet Anti-Air Defence

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Air Force - All retired from service.
Sudanese Air Force - MiG-17 and J-5 still in service
Syrian Air Force
Tanzanian Air Force - J-5 in service.
Ugandan Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
Yemen Air Force
Air Force of Zimbabwe

Specifications (MiG-17F)


General characteristics

Crew: One
Length: 11.36 m (37 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 9.63 m (31 ft 7 in)
Height: 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 22.6 m (243.2 ft)
Empty weight: 3,930 kg (8,646 lb)
Loaded weight: 5,354 kg (11,803 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 6,286 kg (13,858 lb)
Powerplant: 1x Klimov VK-1F afterburning turbojet, 33.1 kN with afterburner (7,440 lbf)


Maximum speed: 1,144 km/h at 3,000 m (711 mph at 10,000 ft (3,000 m))
Range: 1,080 km, 1,670 km with drop tanks (670 mi / 1,035 mi)
Service ceiling: 16,600 m (54,500 ft)
Rate of climb: 65 m/s (12,795 ft/min)
Wing loading: 237 kg/m (48 lb/ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.63


1x 37 mm Nudelman N-37 cannon (40 rounds total)
2x 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannons (80 rounds per gun, 160 rounds total)
Up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) of external stores on two pylons, including 100 kg (220 lb) and 250 kg (550 lb) bombs, unguided rockets or external fuel tanks.

(some versions of MiG-17F equipped with 3x NR-23 cannons)

Related development

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
PZL-Mielec Lim-6
Shenyang J-5

Comparable aircraft

F-86 Sabre
Dassault Mystxre IV
Hawker Hunter


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