WSK Mielec Lim-5. 2020. - History
140 Section 1956-05-25
WSK Mielec Lim-5
In 1956, Polish Fighter Aviation had: 541 fighters. All planes were turbojet powered; MiG-15, MiG-15bis, Lim-1, Lim-2 and MiG-17 PF. In 1956, we bought 4 MiG-17 F aircraft from CCCP, two of which served as a benchmark for mass production at PZL WSK-Mielec.
In 1955, a decision was made to start serial production of MiG-17 fighters at the WSK PZL Mielec factory. The Russians initially agreed to the production of the MiG-17 F version, i.e. without a radar sight. The version with the radar sight came in 1959.
At the beginning of 1956, preparations for the production of MiG-17 F aircraft under the designation Lim-5 began in WSK Mielec.
The first copy of Lim-5 with the factory number 1C 00-01 left the factory hall in Mielec on 1956-05-25, that is when the ordered Lim-2 aircraft were still being manufactured. The Lim-5 aircraft belonged to the trial batch consisting of three machines with numbers from 1C 00-01 to 1C 00-03. Machines have undergone factory and military tests. On 1956-11-28, the machines were handed over to the army and transported to the airport in Bemowo. It was five days after the last copy of the Lim-2 fighter plane was delivered to the army. The first copy of the Lim-5 aircraft numbered 1C 00-01 became the aircraft of the commander of the air forces. After years, he came to Dęblin as a study aid.
The airport in Bemowo (Babice) has become a place of training Polish pilots on Lim-5 planes. Further Lim-5 aircraft were delivered from the factory in 1957. One plane went to Dęblin. Also one to the Technical Institute for further flight tests.
By the spring of 1957, Lim-5 production was already well controlled. More planes were already in combat regiments. In total, throughout 1957, the army from the Mielec factory received 73 Lim-5 fighters. Adding to this 4 MiG-17 F machines and 12 MiG-17 PF machines previously imported from CCCP. In total there were 84 pieces. By the end of 1957, 222 fighters rolled off the assembly line in Mielec.
From February 8, 1957 to April 19, 1957, the first copy of the second production series 1C 02-01 passed the tests. This copy did not yet have an SRD-1 M radio-range meter, due to delays in delivery from CCCP. The aircraft was also heavier than the Soviet standard by 130 kg, presumably because subsequent changes have already been included in the Polish aircraft. This machine was not handed over to the army, it only served as a benchmark for serial production. In March 1958, the aircraft was transferred to the Institute of Aviation. At the Bemowo airport in Warsaw. The aircraft has passed all tests. The tests were completed in December 1959. Later, on this specimen, the AFA-39 camera was mounted under the middle of the fuselage, thus creating the Lim-5 R aircraft.
The production of Lim-5 aircraft was completed in 1960-06-30, after building 477 units, of which 120 fighters from 6, 7, 8 and 9 series were delivered to the GDR. The total production series was 19. The last produced on 1960-06-30, Lim-5 bears the designation 1C 19-14. The main production lasted 44 months, and the average production rate was 11 machines per month. It should be emphasized that the factory mastered the production of the aircraft and a good level of performance of all the copies.
The delivery of new aircraft to combat regiments resulted in machine rotation. The MiG-15, MiG-15 bis, Lim-1 and Lim-2 aircraft were gradually moved to assault aviation. It continued gradually from 1957 to 1960. The last two assault regiments from Mirosławiec and Inowrocław received jet aircraft in 1960. It was the end of the era of reciprocating aircraft in assault aviation.
The use of Lim-5 aircraft.
By 1960, approximately 357 Lim-5 aircraft had been armed with Polish fighter regiments. This aircraft became the basic fighter defending Polish Sky, but daytime fighter. The lack of radar sight meant that he was not a first-fighter. 12 MiG-17 PF aircraft gathered in the Independent Pursuit Squadron, adjacent to 1 PLM, played this role. At the same time, the MiG-19 P radar fighters and the MiG-19 PM radar and rocket radar fighter jets were introduced into our armament. The need to deploy more radar aircraft equipped with radar sights was inevitable.
Lim-5 aircraft were very important for the Polish Army. Many fighter pilots piloted these aircraft before they began piloting MiG-19 and MiG-21 fighters. However, in military history, Lim-5 planes are briefly described. We believe that this is wrong, and the plane should occupy a worthy place in history. In addition, the Lim-5 was the most-built fighter aircraft in Polish history.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman