MiG-15: References for Scale Modelers

Although it would make its place in history as a participant in the first jet vs jet air battles over Korea, the MiG-15 was conceived of as an interceptor rather than an air superiority machine. The USSR’s leadership was all too keenly aware, from their perspective, that a confrontation with their former wartime allies could come at any time, a confrontation that would likely involve the use of nuclear weapons. The Red Air Force had no available counter to nuclear-armed B-29s and B-50s, let alone the forthcoming B-36, and a major crash effort was made to field a jet fighter that could meet the Superfortress on advantageous terms.

The MiG prototype first flew in December 1947, and like its F-86 adversary, used swept surfaces derived from captured German aerodynamic research. Indeed, Focke-Wulf’s Ta-183 project bore a resemblance to the MiG, although Mikoyan’s aircraft was by no means merely a warmed-over -183. Powered by an engine derived from the Rolls-Royce Nene, the MiG-15 was armed with a pair of NS-23 23mm and a single N-37 37mm cannon; these slow-firing but hard-hitting weapons were intended to score killing blows against large SAC bombers.

Former North Korean MiG-15 at Dayton

The NMUSAF’s MiG-15 was flown by North Korean Senior Lt. No Kum-Sok, who defected on 21 September 1953, flying from Sunan in the DPRK to Kimpo AB, South Korea. The US had been able to get its hands on several crashed MiGs during the war, but No’s defection with an intact aircraft allowed the USAF to run evaluations of the Soviet-built fighter, these being conducted on Okinawa. It went on display at the museum’s original site in 1957. Note the remnants of the North Korean star on the tail.

“Fugitive MiG Closeup Shows New Details” Aviation Week April 13, 1953 Covers the defection of a Polish MiG-15.

Photo: “USAF Pilots Flight Test Captive MiG” Aviation Week October 26, 1953 p.14

David A. Anderton “Red MiG-15: AF Test Pilots Analyze Captive Fighter” Aviation Week November 30, 1953 p.16-17

Photo: The Air Force Museum’s MiG-15, wearing the nose code TC-616 on outside display Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette March 1958 p.82

Photo: Camouflaged Egyptian MiG-15UTI Air International May 1982 p.219

Photo: Sri Lankan MiG-15UTI Air International January 1983 p.150

MiG-15 color profiles, including aircraft from the Red Falcons aerobatic team, the PRC, North Korea, and Hungary. Air International June 1985 p.326

MiG-15bis 3-view Air International December 1986 p.319

Photo: “California Firm Restoring MiG-15s, Selling Them For Civil Use” Aviation Week & Space Technology September 28, 1987 p.28

1/72 scale MiG-15 drawings, with a MiG-15UTI side view Air Forces International August 1989 p.245

Scale Aviation Modeller May 2009 1/48 MiG-15bis scale plans

Olivier Bonnet “one Day One Build” Building the 1/72 Airfix MiG-15 kit as an Hungarian aircraft Included are 1/72 MiG-15 drawings. Scale Aviation Modeller International April 2012

1/72 scale MiG-15bis plans, with scrap side views for the noses of the MiG-15bis SP-1, CS-102, I-310, recce aircraft, and other configurations. Model Aircraft November 2012 p.42-44

Bill Bunting “Red Leader: Pepelyaev’s Korean War MiG” Model Aircraft October 2014 p.41 Review of the 1/72 MiG-15bis kit from Eduard

Vitor Costa “Midget MiG” Model Airplane International December 2016 Building the Eduard 1/72 MiG-15UTI as an Algerian aircraft
Replic No. 240 MiG-15UTI color profiles

W. Wayne Patton Aces p.46 large color 3-view of a MiG-15bis flown by Yevgeni Pepelyaev in North Korean markings.

The Encyclopedia of World Air Power Bill Gunston, editor 1980 p.259: color side view of a Finnish MiG-15UTI

MiG-17 Fresco