WSK Mielec Lim-5, Lim-5 P 1956. - History
140 Section 1956-05-25
WSK Mielec MiG-17 PF, Lim-5, Lim-5 P
Purchase history for MiG-17. 1955.
The political situation was barely under control, ending the bloody war in Korea, and already in the mid-50s, it again became inflamed politically and militarily in Europe. On 1955-05-05, in connection with the ratification of the Paris Agreements, Germany was incorporated into NATO's structures. The Eastern Bloc established the Warsaw Pact at a convened conference in Warsaw under the direction of CCCP. Its effect was the reorganization of armed structures, especially their tasks and subordination. A further effect was the introduction of new equipment. Helicopters appeared. But not only.
As part of the modernization of fighter aviation, the first batch of 12 MiG-17 PF aircraft was purchased at CCCP. The aircraft were delivered in the second half of 1955. MiG-17 P aircraft had on-board radar sights, which ensured interception of targets in all weather conditions. Based on these aircraft, an interceptor (pursuit) was created at the airport in Bemowo (Babice) under the Warsaw Pact.
In 1956, Polish Fighter Aircraft had: 541 fighters, exclusively turbojets; MiG-15, MiG-15bis, Lim-1, Lim-2 and MiG-17 PF. In 1956, we bought 4 MiG-17 F aircraft at CCCP, one of which served as a benchmark for mass production at PZL WSK-Mielec.
In 1955, a group of selected pilots went to CCCP to train for new MiG-17 PF aircraft. Among them were pilots; Capt. Czajka, lieutenant R Operacz, lieutenant S. Radziejowski, lieutenant S. NY The training took place in Lipiecki and Taganrog. After returning to the country, the Independent Fighter Squadron was created from these pilots at Bemowo (Babice) airport. Cpt. Czajka. Meanwhile, a second group of a dozen or so pilots began training in Lipiecko on an annual course. They were it; S Wdowczyk, H Michałowski, S Kowal, M Polech, Czesław Tanana, Garczyński, Graczyk, Kozik, Skibicki, Lewiński, Padlewski, Czajkowski, Zieleziński. In 1956, a third group of 9 pilots underwent CCCP training. They were there; W Hermaszewski, A Dobrzeniecki, T Matras, S Zaniewski.
In 1955, a decision was made to start serial production of MiG-17 fighters. The Russians initially agreed to the production of the MiG-17 F version, i.e. without a radar sight. Time came later for the version with the radar sight.
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 production of ordered Lim-2 aircraft was still in progress. The aircraft belonged to a 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 with the numbers 1C 00-01 became the aircraft of the air force commander. After years, he came to Dęblin as a study aid.
The airport in Bemowo (Babice) has become a place of training Polish pilots. Further planes 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 aircraft have already hit combat units. 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 8.02.1957 to 19.04.1957, the first copy of the second production series 1C 02-01 passed the tests. The tests were conducted by pilots Z. Stręk, Z. Korab and M. Skowroński. 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 model by 130 kg, presumably because the Polish aircraft already included changes that the Soviet model did not have. 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 underwent all possible tests. The pilots were Major Antoni Parol, Capt. Józef Menet and Major Józef Luty. The tests were not completed until December 1959. Later, the AFA-39 camera was mounted on this specimen under the middle of the fuselage, 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. Last produced on 30.06.1960. Lim-5 is designated 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.
Supplying new aircraft to units 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.
Lim-5 P. 1959.
MiG-17 PF aircraft imported to Poland belonged to an early production series. They were equipped with the Izumrud RP-1 radar station. However, the pattern from the later production series with the RP-5 radar station was chosen for serial production.
At the beginning of 1959, the plant in Mielec launched the license production of MiG-17 PF aircraft, under the designation Lim-5 P. The first copy, with the serial number 1D-01-01, left the plant in 1959-01-18. After the flight, the plane was directed to Modlin. In 1959-1960, 129 aircraft were built in 6 production series. 40 of them were sent to the GDR. The last copy of 1D 06-41 was made in 1960-12-29. The main production lasted 24 months, and the average production rate was 6 machines per month.
Service MiG-17 PF. 1955.
As mentioned above, 12 MiG-17 PF aircraft arrived in Poland in the second half of 1955, at the airport in Bemowo. On their basis, an Independent Pursuit Squadron was created under the direct command of the Warsaw Pact. The squadron functioned full-time at 1 PLM, which at the time had mainly Lim-2 fighters.
Already in 1956, the transfer of 1 PLM and the Independent Squadron to the new airport in Janów near Mińsk Mazowiecki began.
The use of Lim-5 aircraft.
About 357 Lim-5 aircraft went to the armament of Polish fighter regiments by the end of 1960. 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 Aviation Squadron, adjacent to 1 PLM, performed 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 necessity to introduce more radar planes (equipped with radar sights) into the armament was inevitable.
The use of Lim-5 P aircraft.
There is no doubt, however, that at the end of the 1950s, developed fighter aviation surpassed the possibilities of our economy, and above all the standard of living of the citizens. One gets the impression that our leaders, realizing this, have restrained Moscow's pressure for constant quantitative and qualitative growth of our army. We think that the production of the Lim-5 P (MiG-17 PF) subsonic radar fighter was just such a solution. After all, we knew that the era of supersonic aircraft had already arrived.
Equipping our aviation with about 89 Lim-5 P was undoubtedly a compromise, allowing to postpone the next costs of purchasing more modern, but expensive aircraft in CCCP. According to available information, Lim-5 P aircraft were assigned to squadrons with Lim-5 fighters. Commanders of squadrons and keys were usually pilots of these machines.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman