Made famous by the Vietnam War, the MiG-17F was the primary enemy aircraft engaged in the skies over Vietnam by U.S. aircraft, During that war and up until the F-16 entered service, it was the tightest-turning fighter in the world. This particular Mig entered service with the Soviet bloc in March 1960 and wasn’t withdrawn from service until May 1990. The MiG-17F can maintain 8g turns (8g = 8 times the force of gravity on the pilot’s body), attain a maximum speed of 715 mph (Mach 1.04) and can climb to 30,000 feet in only 3 minutes, with an initial rate of climb better than 14,000 feet per minute.
The pilot Randy Ball designed his demo to resemble the demo of the F/A-18 Hornet or the ‘high G’ show of the F-16 Falcon. During his demo in the MiG-17F, he routinely pulls 8gs, and reaches speeds approaching 700 mph, all while only a few hundred feet off the ground.
Randy has also had the honor of providing the enemy aircraft to be flown against the USAF’s F-4 Phantom II at a number of air shows around the U.S. (MiG vs. F-4), helping to tell the story of the USAF’s history over the skies of North Vietnam. Randy is the only civilian pilot ever approved by the USAF to fly with their Phantom. Randy has appeared in eighteen magazines, and on several occasions been filmed by the Discovery Channel, in particular while performing with the USAF F-4 Phantom II.
full frame shot, reduced digital noise, applied some lighting adjustment and resized