MiG-19 PM. An interceptor from 1954: the first Soviet supersonic interceptor in the series. Flight range – 1910 km, max. speed – 1445 km/h, ceiling – 16800 m, armament – AAM

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-19; NATO reporting name: Farmer) is a Soviet second generation, single-seat, twinjet fighter aircraft, the world’s first mass-produced supersonic aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U.S. “Century Series” fighter was the North American F-100 Super Sabre, although the MiG-19 primarily fought against the more modern McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and Republic F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam. This aircraft was originally used by the Soviet Union but it was later used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

In 1950 the Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) design bureau (also known as OKB-155) began work on a new fighter aircraft, intended to have a greater range than the existing MiG-15 and MiG-17 aircraft, and capable of reaching supersonic speeds in level flight. MiG chose to use two of the new Mikulin AM-5 axial jet engines (a scaled-down version of the Mikulin AM-3 that powered the Tupolev Tu-16 bomber) for its new fighter.

As a test bed for the new engine, OKB-155 was authorised on 20 April 1951 to convert one of the prototype MiG-17s, replacing the single Klimov VK-1 engine with two 19.60 kN (4,410 lbf) AM-5s (later replaced by 21.08 kN (4,740 lbf) AM-5As), with the testbed, designated SM-1 (or I-340), flying late in 1951. While the SM-1 was a useful testbed, its performance was less than expected, and first resulted in an afterburner being designed for the AM-5, resulting in the AM-5F (reaching 26.45 kN (5,950 lbf) with reheat).

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