Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Far above the quagmire of the war on the ground in North Korea, the world’s first jet dogfights took place between American F-86 Sabres and their impressive opponents, Soviet MiG-15s.

Left: F-86 Sabre, Right: MiG-15
Simply called “MiGs”, the aircraft produced by the Mikoyan-Gurevich company were the firm adversaries of Western air forces through the Cold War. The company was founded by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich, and its name shortened to МиГ (M for Mikoyan, и as the Russian word for “and”, and Г for Gurevich). The first airplanes produced by the company had major flaws, but was producing fearsome fighter aircraft by the time of the Korean War. 

The MiG-15 terrorized American B-29s, whose fighter escorts were simply too slow and clumsy to provide defense. Its main feature was its swept wings, which reduced drag and allowed for faster speeds compared to the conventional straight wings of Western fighter planes. On top of this, they were piloted by the Soviet Union’s top pilots from WWII, which had taken place only a few years before. It was not until the F-86 appeared on the scene that the MiG-15 had any real competition. In the end, their battles in the air had very little impact on the war, but they did open the age of the jet fighter.

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