Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F “Fresco-C”

The MiG-17 successful opposed American aircraft in the air over Vietnam, with 28 air-to-air victories.

The Soviet MiG-17 fighter appeared to observers in the West as a lengthened version of its predecessor, the MiG-15. Engineers overcame the deficiencies of the MiG-15 by lengthening the fuselage, installing “fences” on the top of the wings to control airflow, increasing the sweep of the wings and redesigning the tail.  These revisions gave the MiG-17 exceptional stability and turning capability, essential qualities in a fighter.  The MiG-17 was also the first Soviet fighter with an afterburning engine.

The MiG-17 entered service in 1953 and was a formidable adversary during the Vietnam War.  In the hands of an experienced pilot, it was able to defeat the American F-4 Phantom II, the world’s most advanced fighter at the time.  The key for the MiG-17 was to keep the battle at close range to take advantage of its turning capability and large cannons.  The F-4 was designed without a gun, as it was thought that missiles dominated most air-to-air engagements, and was at a disadvantage in a close-in dogfight.  MiG-17s accounted for the destruction of 28 American aircraft during the conflict.

Over 9,000 MiG-17s were built both in the Soviet Union and under license in Poland and the People’s Republic of China. They served with the air forces of over 20 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.  This aircraft is a license-built Polish LIM-6.  It was acquired by the Vietnam War Flight Museum and is on loan to the Lone Star Flight Museum.


Quick Facts

Mikoyan-Gurevich / LIM
Soviet Union
One Klimov VK-1F turbojet
Maximum Speed: 
711 mph; Cruise Speed 450 mph
One 37 mm N-37 cannon; two or three 23 mm NR-23 cannon; up to 1,100 pounds of rockets, bombs or missiles.
54,460 ft
1,230 miles
36 ft. 11.25 in
31 ft. 7.25 in
Number built: 
9,000+ (6,000+ in the USSR alone)

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