The MiG-15 came as a great surprise to the Western nations when they first encountered it during the Korean War. It was much more advanced and capable than the West had believed and proved to be more than a match for most Western fighters except for the F-86 Sabre. The MiG-15s engine was a direct copy of the British designed Rolls-Royce Nene engine, samples of which had been bought from England in 1946. The Fagot first flew in 1948. A total of 16,085 MiG-15 were built in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China as well as in Russia. The MiG-15UTI is the two-seat trainer version of the Fagot. It is ten inches longer to allow the incorporation of the second seat but is otherwise the same as the single seat version. In Poland, many of the two-seat version were rebuilt from earlier single-seat fighters.
Built by the Wytwornia Sprzetu Komunikacyjneo (WSK) factory in Mielec, Poland as a Lim-1 fighter and delivered to the Polish Air Force on November 13, 1953. The aircraft served with the 29th Fighter Regiment. In the late 1950s Poland was in desperate need of jet trainers and so early Lim-1s were rebuilt as two-seat Lim-1SB trainers. In 1974, some of these aircraft and some Lim-2 fighters were further upgraded to Lim-2SB trainers with an improved engine.
The aircraft was acquired by the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s and flown by civilian contractors for research projects conducted by the Defense Test and Evaluation Support Agency at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Apparently retired to storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona around 1990.
In July 1992 it was placed on loan to the Pima Air & Space Museum from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Polish People’s Republic Air Force, circa 1974
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