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MIKOYAN-GUREVICH MIG 15 FAGOT

WOSTOK FLYER

 

THE CLOCK

During the Second World War, the clocks for the Soviets were supplied by the United States. They even provided Swiss watches.

After the war, the first factory of clock machinery of Moscow, Wostok, was the one in charge of supplying clocks.

As you can see in the pictures, this “Flyer” is an exact copy of the Swiss Jaeger’s LeCoultre Chronoflite.In the back part of the case, it has a slot in which it was introduced an electric resistance inside the clock. It was used as a heater.

THE AIRPLANE

The Mig 15 was born out of the German technology captured during the Second World War. The engine is an exact copy as the British one “Super Nene”. The British naively gave 4 model to the Russians.

This mythical airplane will always be related to the Korean War. At the beginning of this war, the American fighters were much better than the Russians. The MIG 15 turned this completely around. No one in the west would have expected it. When it appeared, there was a huge surprise; it was over 100 km/h faster than any fighter.

It caused so many losses to the Americans that the strategic bombers B-29, stopped. Both air forces claimed much more losses than the real ones. What both of them seem to agree on was that the MIG had taken the aerial superiority that the US air force had over Korea.

When the F-86 Sabre came out, one of the most balanced duels started. The Mig was faster in acceleration, it had a better rate of climb, and heavily armed, it was also faster in turns over 30.000 feet. The Sabre was better in maneuverability under 30.000 according to this, if the MiG-15 forced the Saber to fight over 30.000 feet or vertical fighting, the victory of the MiG was evident. Easily, a MiG could escape from a Sabre flying up to 50.000, F-86 ceiling was 40.000 feet could not follow the Mig. Under 30.000 feet, the Saber dominated the Mig in mostly every aspect, and was the winner in most of the occasions, especially if the Soviet pilot committed the error to engage a flat fight below 30.000 feet. Butt he biggest difference between the 2 fighters was in pilot quality training and attitude.

THE COCKPIT

The instruments and the controls were easily to reach. The control stick was longer than the Saber's due to the lack of hydraulics for the flight controls surfaces. But many Migs kept flying even after been hit several times and the Sabre´s at once lost hydraulic power and couldn't follow flying.

The most important problem of the cockpit was its conditioning. The pressurization was not good at all, at 50.000 FT the cockpit pressure was the half part of the pressure at ground level. At 36.000 ft the temperature was

under 32ºF, and at a lower level, it reached 100ºF easily.

The canopy was made of a double layer of glass, and was not as transparent as the one the Sabre used. Also the fog in the glass was a big problem for visibility.

At first, the 23 mm and the 37 mm cannon could be used separately, but later the weapon system was redesigned and all 3 cannons would fire by clicking a single trigger. The weight of these weapons at the nose made the plane to loose its balance, and it was difficult to pull out the plane from a step dive, it had a very heavy nose.

   

OPERACION MOOLAH - HOW TO GET A MIG-15

When the Mig 15 appeared his superiority was so large compared to all aircraft of the era, that the U.S. developed a plot trying to get a Mig 15 with his pilot, this plan was called Moolah.

The night of 26 April 1953, 2 B-29 launched a million sheets of paper along the Yalu River, and 10 and 18 May, the Air Force launched a half million leaflets over enemy airports, pamphlets were written in Russian, Chinese and Korean, while 14 radio stations in as many languages relayed the same message.

In the pamphlet the American Command offered to the brave pilot wishing to fly to freedom by abandoning the corrupt communist regime, a new, better and honorable life in the free world. It provided shelter, protection, health insurance, job, guarantee of anonymity if desired and a 50,000 USD reward to any pilot to take his MIG in good condition and fly to South Korea, plus a bonus of 50,000 USD who were the first.

Then in the pamphlet came the instructions: to fly to the island Paengyong-do and from there to Kimpo Air Base at a height of 6.000 m and land immediately, if due to the bad weather it was not possible to find Kimpo AB, then the pilot must overfly to Seoul area in circles with the gear down, A United States aircraft will then fly close abreast and lead the way to the landing field. Upon initial contact with UN Aircraft, or if at any time UN Aircraft attempts attack, escapee will immediately lower landing gear and rock wings violently. The pamphlet concluded that the free world would welcome him as an old friend and a hero.

On 21 September 1953, 5 months after the start of this operation, which was already forgotten by failure, a MIG 15 in South Korea appeared, nobody saw the MiG-15 approaching Kimpo airbase against the flight pattern until after it had touched down on the runway. The defecting pilot “wagged” his wings and fired four colored flares, red, yellow, green and white, to indicate that he was friendly, in distress, and intended to land. The air base was ringed with anti-aircraft guns and he wanted to be sure that there was no mistake or thought that he was attacking the field. The Kimpo airbase radar was out for overhaul on that day. The MiG pilot spotted a half dozen F-86s on practice flights in the Kimpo's southeastern sky at slow speed but the American pilots failed to notice the MiG coming down for landing. An F-86 was landing at the same time at the other end of the runway and the two fighters passed at high speed barely avoiding a head-on collision, to the surprise of the entire base the plane rolled to a line of Sabers and the North Korean Lieutenant No Kum-Sok parked, stopped the engine and got out, while the American pilots watched in open-mouthed wonder.

The Pilot Kum-Sok said he did not know about the offer, although reading a leaflet was cause of death, as well as to touch the base radio dial, but if he would read the pamphlet it would not change anything because he did not understand nor knew the value of the coin, what could you buy with a dollar?. He simply escaped from communism because he grew up in a Christian atmosphere, was educated at a mission school, he always maintained Western values, and despite having followed the Communist slogans in his youth, when he saw the savagery of communism and Russian troops, decided to defect.

Since joining the Military Pilot School 17 years before he began planning his escape, he flew over 100 combat missions.

When he deserted the MIG 15 was less valuable, the MIG 17 was yet flying, however the plane was rapidly introduced into a hangar and 23 hours later it was disassembled and flying in a C-124 to Okinawa.

The American propaganda took the picture of Kum-Sok receiving the 100.000 USD reward check, but the check was a fake, it has no funds, the army had no endowment for the prize. It was after a year when finally kum-Sok received the money. it is believed that it was the CIA who paid.

Kum-Sok which was renamed Ken Rowe was working 7 months for military intelligence providing more than 100.00 USD valuable information about Russian bases, combat, training, etc. Ken worked for Boeing, General Dynamics, General Motors, General Electric, Lockheed, Grumman and Westinghouse. He taught engineering at the University of North Dakota and most recently at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.

Fulfilling international agreements, the U.S. was willing to return the plane to its rightful owner if it was claimed, as the Russians never admitted being behind the Koreans in this war they could not claim it. Chuck Yeager the first pilot to pass the sound barrier, performed on this plane several test flights, the plane is currently at the Museum of the USAF in Dalton Ohio.

 

 

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