The MiG-17 was an improved and significantly upgraded derivative of the original post-war MiG-15. Equipped with an afterburning turbojet engine of considerably greater thrust than its predecessor, the MiG-17 was the first Russian aircraft capable of near-sonic velocities in level flight. It could, in fact, fly supersonically in a shallow dive.
Numerous versions of the MiG-17 were manufactured in Russia and several satellite countries. The type eventually saw combat in Vietnam, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.
The Museum's MiG-17 is an early production version, formerly active with the Moroccan Air Force. It was brought to the U.S. through the efforts of Maj. Gen. "Boots" Blesse, former president of the American Fighter Aces Association, and Col. Maj. Kabbaj, Royal Moroccan Air Force. The transfer to the Champlin Museum was approved formally by His Highness, King Hassan II, in 1983. The MiG-17 was transported by C-130 and truck to Mesa, Arizona following disassembly in Morocco.
The MiG-17 now bears the markings of a standard-camouflaged North Vietnamese MiG-17F.