In 1948, the Soviet MiG design bureau developed a high-performance jet fighter design called the I-310. It incorporated some advanced features, such as a 35-degree wing sweep, and it promised to be a sprightly performer. However, the design lacked one essential component: A suitable engine. This problem was resolved when the British government authorized the Rolls-Royce company to export their Nene turbojet engine to Russia. As soon as the Russian Klimov design bureau received the engines, they immediately developed their own copy of the Nene, called the Klimov RD-45. Within months, the first prototype of the I-310 had flown with the new engine. The aircraft was re-designated MiG-15 and entered service early in 1949.
Later in the year, the improved MiG-15bis version appeared, and a two-seat trainer version, the MiG-15UTI, was also introduced. In 1950, Western air forces were surprised at the combat capability of the new design in the skies over Korea. The MiG-15 could out-climb, out-turn, and fly higher than the US-built F-86 Sabre. Fortunately, Allied pilots were better-trained and had better equipment installed in their aircraft, and they prevailed against the MiG.
The MiG-15 was eventually built under license in Czechoslovakia as the A-102, S-102 and two-seat CS-12; and in Poland as the LIM-1, LIM-2, and two-seat LIM-3 and SBLim2. China also built many components of the airplane. As would be expected, many Warsaw Pact nations used the MiG-15, and after the introduction of the MiG-17 and MiG-19, the -15 was retired as a fighter and became the standard advanced trainer of the Eastern bloc.
Viper North's MIG 15 started its life as a single seat aircraft. After entering service in Poland it was converted to a two seat trainer.
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