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Polish Project Plane: 1953 MiG-15UTI Jet

“No, honey, I told you that I’m not buying any more old motorcycles or cars, I don’t remember mentioning not buying any Russian-built jets used by the Polish military”… The seller has this 1953 Mikoyan-Gurevich, or MiG, 15UTI training jet project posted here on eBay in Saint Augustine, Florida. The current bid price is $23,433.33, but the reserve isn’t met.

The photos aren’t the best for this listing, but I realize that something like this MiG can’t just be pulled outside to get better photos – the bidders don’t seem to mind. A fully-operational 15UTI Midget can be found for $150,000, give or take, from China or possibly other countries and the bidders must know that this flyer can be put back together again. Paying $25,000 – or whatever the seller’s reserve is – for a project like this is so far off my radar that it’s not even funny.

I have an FAA commercial drone pilot’s license/certificate with training and all of that, but it’s an infinitesimal fraction of what a pilot would need in order to fly a jet like a MiG, especially during wartime. These planes were used heavily during the Korean War and they were a very worthy adversary to western military aircraft. They were introduced in 1949 after the first flight in 1947.  Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich – Mikoyan-Gurevich, i.e. MiG – introduced them to the USSR and it’s reported that up to 20,000 of them were made in the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China. It was an early sweptwing jet fighter and they would go on to be further modified and improved over the years. Being a MiG 15UTi, this example is a two-seat, dual-control jet trainer, not a fighter jet.

The seller mentions that this jet is from Poland and it’s one of the first imported here. They say that it’s extremely clean and very complete and has been stored indoors. The canopy glass is in good condition and the “wings and tail feathers were dustless blasted and etched in preparation for paint.” There are 100 hours on the engine and it includes “airframe logs from Poland.”

The “Wheels have been cleaned, etched, painted, and US rubber installed.” The “Engine is installed and was borescoped prior to our purchase” and it should be a “Klimov VK-1A turbojet (copy of Rolls Royce Nene) with 6,000 lbs. of thrust”, according to the planesoffame.com website. With a reported top speed of around 611 mph and a ceiling limit of 51,000 feet, these were amazing jets in their day. How many of you are pilots? Would you take on a project like this MiG?


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Don’t remount the wings, just drive it to your local Kars and Kielbasa and amaze your friends with a unique ride.

    Like 25
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great find and write up Scotty! ‘so far off my radar’ LOL!

    Like 14
  3. Melton Mooney

    LS swap it.

    Like 18
  4. fcs

    Let’s say its a completely clean airframe with perfect log books. The chance of your average Joe pilot putting it together (Russian/Polish manuals?) is slight. Even more slight is getting the FAA to allow it to be flown for anything other than exhibition.

    My ’49 Bonanza is enough of a challenge to keep flying. Finding/fabricating parts for this thing would be a full time job.

    Like 10
  5. Tony Primo

    A local restaurant owner flys a Yakovlev YAK-50 Russian trainer. So it is possible. I know that the jet engines are more complicated and expensive though.

    Like 5
  6. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    The MiG 15 was the reason the West had to up their game in jet technology when the Korean War came to be, and was used for awhile in the opening of the Vietnam War. The F86 was its primary nemesis in Korea, with the dogfight usually ending with the better trained pilot (usually the US, though the Russians were more often in the cockpit than admitted).
    This was the death kneel for prop planes, though the A1 Sky Raider (post WW2 development) was used for close ground support in Vietnam as were more than a few models of WW2 vintage leftovers like the Douglas A26, P51 Mustang and F4U Cutlass.
    This will be a big budget rebuild but if someone has the money and wants to bring on a conversation at the annual Oshkosh this is the ticket..
    USA-Home of the Free because of the Brave!

    Like 24
    • douglas hunt

      Wasn’t the Mig15 a kinda/maybe/probably a copy of the F86 ?.
      they were VERY similar.
      Never mind, this article indicates that the F86 was a direct response to the Mig15:

      Like 2
      • Emel

        Yep the F80 Shooting Star was no match for the Mig 15….so thankfully the F86 Sabre had been designed, developed and became available.

        Like 1
    • unclemymy Member

      While Germans like to boast of superior engineering tradesmen, the Polish have long been appreciated around the world for their mechanical skills. As a machinist AND aviation mechanic beyond four decades, I’d feel like I had a fighting chance with a machine maintained in Poland. It is a daunting project for most, but in the aviation community itself, it’s simplicity and likely sound maintenance history would make it very worthy. Now, money? That could be a bit of a challenge, but I’ve got way more than $25K worth of projects that I’ll never get to – it would be just as well for me if they were all conglomerated into this MiG.

      Like 4
      • Gerard Frederick

        -The Germans like to boast, etc.,etc.? That´s news to me. They have the REPUTATION for excellent engineering, but that´s a different thing altogether.

        Like 4
      • unclemymy Member

        I don’t disagree at all with the Germans’ reputation, and they are worthy to boast. I was merely pointing out that the Poles’ reputation doesn’t usually get projected as actively, and that they are themselves very worthy. BTW, I am neither Polish nor German; I just have great respect for competent tradesmen of all nationalities. In this case, it was an opportunity to offer that the Polish reputation would be sufficient for me, with regard to properly documented maintenance of an aircraft. And I must concede that there are some things that the Germans never boast about.

        Like 5
  7. Steve Clinton

    “Project-requires assembly”
    No kidding?

    Like 1
  8. Matthew Wright

    My brother-in-law also has a Yak. I’d say the difference between restoring the Yak and restoring this trainer is vast. That said, it was once together and in the right hands can fly again.

    Like 4
  9. Joe Haska

    This is always fun to talk about and speculate what you could and would do.
    In the end the conclusion is you can do anything if resources (MONEY) is un-limited and you don’t have to justify your reason to anyone.
    Tom Cruise flys a P-51 and a jet, You could just ask him how he does it and do the same thing..

    Like 4
  10. DeeBee

    That would attract some attention taxiing up to cars and coffee!

    Like 3
  11. MikeB

    Tom Cruise should take this project on !!

    Like 0
  12. RC Graham

    I remember when Leroy Penhall started Chino Fighter Imports. It was because these had just come on the market (along with 17’s and 21’s) and were cheap as dirt. They were Rocky Stoneaxe simple, but they were also fast, strong and relatively reliable. When the first few were uncrated, to everyone’s horror and delight, it was discovered that they had been shipped with all of their armament in tact. Including machine guns! ATF was notified, and appropriate steps were taken. But those were the wild and wooley days!

    Like 12
  13. Howie

    Yes very cool, but from 1953.

    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      And yet it’s more together than some of the folks we know from 1953…not all, but some!

      Like 4
  14. FrankD Member

    No one is buying this with todays gas prices. You want a project try Trade-a-Plane. Just think how many G’s this plan has had since the Korean Conflict.

    Like 0
  15. Rod Clarke

    And you complain about gas mileage on the road!

    Like 5
  16. Beignet atthe Beach

    Here in Ocean Isle Beach, NC we hear & see a restored MIG, replete with sickle & hammer buzz in from Charlotte, NC on occasion. Rumor is that a retired airline pilot purchased the MIG in a “needed-to-be-put-back-together” state, and DID it ! Haven’t seen or heard it since Covid. It was a thrill to hear about the fuel cost to get from Charlotte to here, (some 200 miles) in just afew minutes on afterburner….

    Like 1
  17. Bruce

    The fuel consumption is the big problem with these early jet engines. Not just noise but massive fuel consumption. That is why many jets from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and even the 80’s and 90’s are not flown much is fuel consumption as the newer jet engines are far more efficient.
    I have a restoration friend that I restored cars with that won best restoration at Oshkosh meet. He is a Airframe and Power Plant certified FAA mechanic and FBO and he has worked on these and agrees that they are very well made and if cared for are excellent planes. Just know that it is not just the restoration that will bite you wallet but the operational expenses for fuel will be a swift kick into some important parts as well.

    Like 3
  18. Beignet atthe Beach

    Bruce, that’s correct. We heard through the local rumor mill that rides were always available if you paid for the fuel! $700 to go 200 miles?? WOW!

    Like 0
  19. Steveo

    Bah. ANYONE can fly this…once.

    (reminds me of an obit I read a few years ago about a poor guy who fatally crashed his homemade helicopter when it failed midair. It started off with something like “Steve was the kind of guy who could build anything…”)

    Like 2
    • RC Graham

      I have a friend who flies for the airlines. I began flying before he did, but he advanced faster, so I got some dual from him, lo these many years ago. From time to time, we would discuss things like homebuilts and military planes. He was always adamant that he would NEVER be caught flying in anything that didn’t have current FAA certification – and absolutely nothing that required an “EXPERIMENTAL” placard. That included all ex-military aircraft, since none of them has been through the civilian certification process (or, at least very few have). It was my position that even though he had a point, he was missing out on some wonderful airplane experiences.

      Like 1
  20. Emel

    Speaking of German engineering and research.

    Apparently both the Mig 15 and the F86 Sabre used German research from
    the Focke Wulf TA 183 jet project. And a pic of the FW shows the Mig 15
    is almost identical. The FW was a later design than that of the famous German ME 262, first operational jet of WW2.

    Like 1
  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Still time to fly! Ended:Jun 10, 2022 , 1:37PM
    Current bid:
    US $23,433.33
    Reserve not met
    [ 23 bids

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Mike! It’s been resisted and the current bid is $25,100.

      Like 1
  22. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this unique “ride” sold for $30,000!

    Like 1

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