David Knights' Weblog

September 5, 2008

MiG-17 Research help

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 2:18 pm
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I need some help.  I love the MiG-17.  I build in 72nd scale.  If any of you have built the DML MiG-17 or J-5 kit you know that the nose is not correct.  The top of it has a lump on it that bears no resemblance to reality.


In doing research to correct the kit I came across something that I can’t explain and that none of my reference mentions.  I am posting here in hopes that someone has an answer.


I have used the following books as reference for the following.

OKB MiG by Butowski and Miller

Aerofax MiG-17 by Gordon

The MiG-17 Fresco in Detail and Scale by Slatton

Squadron/Signal MiG-17 in Action

Squadron/Signal MiG-17 Walkaround

Kagero MiG-17/Lim-5



All of the reference drawings in all of these books depict the curve on the top of the nose from the intake to the windscreen as a single radius curve.  This is true no matter what version they are depicting. 


MiG-17 drawings

MiG-17 drawings




This is true whether or not the SRD-1M radar rangefinder is present.



However, from photographs and personal inspection of two separate MiG-17s, I have found two different distinct nose profiles.  One is the constant curve depicted in the drawings and illustrated in the photo below.



This is a Chinese J-5


This is a Mig-17 Fresco-A


But there is another nose profile.  It rises higher than the ones above and then flattens out prior to the end of the nose panel in front of the windscreen


This is a MiG-17 Fresco-C at Nellis AFB


This is a Czech MiG-17 Fresco-C

The bump is present on some aircraft whether or not the SRD-1M antenna is present.  It can be seen on some MiG-17 Fresco-A & Cs, some Lim-5/6 and some Chinese J-5.  It is not present on any MiG-17 Fresco-D that I have seen.  The nose profile on the aircraft with the alternate nose is also different when viewed from head on, but I don’t think that makes any difference for the purposes of this discussion.


Now can anyone tell me, for sure, anything about this alternate nose profile?  Is it peculiar to a particular variant?  Why do none of the mainstream western publications on the MiG-17 even mention it, much less illustrate it?  I’d appreciate any accurate information on this issue.  Thanks.




1 Comment

  1. Dave I think I have an idea. There are definitely 2 styles here. Was the Fresco D equipped with a different radar system at the factory? Is the SRD-1M a retrofit or factory installed, or both? And were a/c built concurrently with and without radar? My guess is the bulged panel MUST be fitted to all a/c equipped with the radar, and the fairing on top may be a separate piece. If the fairing was removed it would be replaced with a simple cover. Later built a/c, radar equipped or not, would have the bulged panel, which would also be be universal i.e. could fit ANY MiG 17. Look for more pix of radar equipped a/c, my guess is they ALL have the bulged panel.


    Comment by scott king — September 6, 2008 @ 11:26 am

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