Length: 10.6m (35ft)
Wingspan: 10m (33ft)
Max speed: 1,078Km/h (670mph)
Ceiling: 15,545 (51,000ft)
Range: 1770 (1,100 miles)
Flying almost unannounced out of the iron curtain, the MiG-15 was used primarily to shoot down US bombers such as the B-29 Superfortress.
Favouring a multi-cannon armament, the MiG-15 had two 23mm cannons, one 37mm cannon and either a 2 x 220lb bomb load or unguided rockets.
The first of the jet engined MiG’s to enter mass production, the MiG-15 was a pioneer for jet aircraft and has spawned many upgrades with the current fighter of choice, the MiG-35 a descendant.
The MiG had a better climbing rate and a higher ceiling than the F-86 and could also turn more sharply.
Length: 12.29m (40ft)
Wingspan: 11.3m (37ft)
Max speed: 1,137km/h (707mph)
Ceiling: 16,642m (34,600ft)
Range: 1,345km (835 miles)
The Sabre was designed as a direct response to the MiG-15 that was causing havoc in the Korean skies. Flown by WW2 veterans, they were moderately successful in hunting down and intercepting the MiG-15’s.
6 x .50 cal machine guns as well as 2x 1000lbs bombs, air-to-ground rockets and napalm canisters.
Rushed into production, the Sabre became outdated quickly but it was an important template for the future and was only retired completely in 1994.
Despite being inferior on paper, the F-86 duelled with the Mig’s over ‘MiG alley’ and the first jet engined dogfights were generally vey equal.
This is a very close call but the MiG-15 just shades it due to its originality and instant and lasting impact. The F-86 performed its role very well but it is was developed to combat the MiG threat rather than on its own accord. The constant hassling of American bombers by the MiG’s severely disrupted the US war effort.