January 14, 1950 - The MiG-17 (right) flies for the first time. A follow-on to the earlier MiG-15, the MiG-17 entered service in October 1952. Too late for the Korean War, the type quickly began equipping Warsaw Pact air forces and was also built under license in Poland and China. Seeing service with Egypt and Syria during their conflicts with Israel, the type proved surprisingly effective against more advanced American aircraft during the Vietnam War. An agile fighter, its success led the US Navy and US Air Force to establish dissimilar air combat training programs to improve their pilots' dog-fighting skills. Though largely retired from frontline service, the MiG-17 remains in use with some air forces around the world.
Photograph Courtesy of the US Air Force