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MIG-15bis Egyptian Air Force, Sinai, Oct 1956
General Background
The MiG-15 (NATO name Fagot) was designed from information and technology gathered from captured WWII Germans. The main features of the Mig-15 were its simplicity and swept wings. The MiG-15bis was an improved single-seat fighter with better cannon, fuel capacity, avionics and a Klimov turbojet engine developed using an unlicensed Rolls-Royce Nene engine. All this was put in a strengthened airframe. The Allies were completely surprised when the Mig-15 arrived in Korea and quickly brought about the development of the F-86 Sabre.
The Aircraft
At the start of hostilities in late 1956, Egypt had two squadrons of MiG-15s, purchased from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. They first saw aerial action on the morning of October 30, when MiGs intercepted four RAF Canberra bombers on a reconnaissance mission over the Canal Zone, damaging one. Later that day, MiG-15s attacked Israeli forces at Mitla and El Thamed in the Sinai, destroying half a dozen vehicles. As a result, the Israeli Air Force instituted a standing combat air patrol over the Canal, and the next attack resulted in two MiGs downed by Israeli Mysteres, although the Egyptian planes were able to successfully hit the Israeli troops. The next day, the MiGs evened the score somewhat when they badly damaged two IAF Ouragan fighters, forcing one of them to crash-land in the desert. British and French warplanes then began a systematic bombing campaign of Egyptian air bases, destroying at least eight MiGs and dozens of other Egyptian aircraft on the ground and forcing the others to disperse. The remaining planes still managed to fly some attack missions, but the Egyptians had lost air superiority.
Specifications :
Country of origin: Russia
Manufacturer: Mikoyan-Gurevich
Role: fighter/interceptor
Crew: 1 X pilot
Engine: 1 X 5,952 pound thrust Klimov VK-1 turbojet
Maximum Speed at Sea Level: 668mph (1,075km/hr)
Ceiling: 50,855ft.
Range: 1,156miles (1860km)
Emptyt: 8,115lbs. (3,681kg)
Max Takeoff: 13,327lbs. (6,045kg)
Wing Span: 33ft. 0.75in. (10,08m)
Length: 35ft. 7.5in. (10,86m)
Height: 12ft. 1.75in. (3,70m)
Armament: 1 X 37-mm N-37 cannon
2 X 23-mm NS-23 or NR-23 cannon
Up to 1,100 pounds of mixed stores on under-wing hard-points