MiG-15UTI “RED 18”
This aircraft is a Polish-built SB Lim-2 (MiG-15UTI), produced by WSK-Mielec in 1952. The aircraft is operated by the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron as a representative of the Cold War ‘enemy’.
Following its Polish Air Force service ending in 1990, the aircraft was exported to the USA, and based at Quillayute Airport just outside Forks, Washington. It was again returned to Europe in the summer of 2014. Experienced ex. Polish Air Force MiG-15 engineers carry out the maintenance of the aircraft.
Given the shared border between north-eastern Norway and Russia, and the many encounters between Royal Norwegian Air Force and Soviet aircraft during the Cold War, the Polish MiG is an appropriate addition to the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron.
The aircraft is painted and marked as “RED 18” to represent Russian-Soviet pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s MiG-15. He was the first human to journey into outer space in 1961. Before his cosmonaut training Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was stationed close to the Norwegian boarder and only 40 km from the Norwegian city of Kirkenes as a fighter pilot flying the MiG-15.
MiG-15UTI (“Midget”) Fighter trainer
Two-seat trainer version. Same overall size. Single 12.7mm Gun. 3,433 built.
Length: 10.10 m (33 feet, 2 in)
Wing Span: 10.08 m (33 feet, 1 in)
Height: 3.7 m (12 feet, 2 in)
Weight (Empty): 8,115 lb (3,681 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 13,327 lb (6,045 kg)
Powerplant: 1 x Klimov VK-1 turbojet engine developing 5,952 lb of thrust.
Maximum Speed: 567 KIAS (1,050 km/h) or 0.92 Mach
Maximum Range: 1,156miles (1,860 km)
Service Ceiling: 50,853 ft (15,500m; 9.6 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 11,480 feet-per-minute (3,499 m/min)
Max Load Factor: Clean: 8 G
The prototype MiG-15 first flew 30. December 1947 and was series produced in the USSR between 1949 and 1959 in 13,131 examples. Foreign license production in Poland, Czechoslovakia and China reached about 6,000 examples. Total production of MiG-15 about 18,000 examples built.
Chinese Civil War against Taiwan (1946-50): In 1950 Russia deployed a squadron of MiG-15s that saw action against Taiwan.
Korean War (1950-53): Initially MiG-15s painted in North Korean markings were flown by Russian pilots.
Suez Canal Crisis (1956): Egyptian MiG-15s fought Israeli Air Force.
In 1947 Russia bought 25 Nene and 30 Derwent Engines from Rolls Royce in the UK. The Engine in both the MiG-15 and the MiG-15UTI is an 2,270 kg thrust RD-45F - an unlicensed copy of the Nene II. 9,143 RD-45 Engines were series produced by Experimental Design Bureau #45 (“OKB-45”) headed and named by Vladimir Klimov.