WSK Mielec Lim-2, MiG-15 bis. English version

Kraków, June 24, 2018
117b Section 1954
OKB Mikojan and Guriewicz MiG-15 bis  January 23, 1953
WSK PZL Mielec Lim-2 September 17, 1954


Modernized MiG-15
History Lim-2 / MiG-15 bis

Lim-2 airplanes at an airport. 1960. Photo of the Polish Air Force Museum

Lim-2 side number 307. 2012. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Lim-2 side number 1980. 2012. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The Lim-2 aircraft is a modernized Lim-1 aircraft. The Lim-2 aircraft is the equivalent of the Soviet MiG-15 bis. The Lim-2 fighter was equipped with a new more powerful engine and a new avionics. Some aircraft have a camera.

MiG-15 bis. 1953.
Despite the production of the MiG-15 fighter, the OKB Mikoyan office continued to improve the machine. The information coming from the front in Korea was helpful. The basic change has been to equip the aircraft with a more powerful engine. Other changes concerned the modernization of avionics equipment, as well as the assembly of new equipment not used so far.

On January 23, 1953, the first MiG-15 bis fighters arrived in Poland. Several copies (probably up to 20 copies) were used to compare with the previous version. The new aircraft were placed in combat regiments in the north of Poland. These aircraft were introduced into the country's defense system.

Lim-2. 1954
When the new MiG-15 bis aircraft was developed, it was considered in Poland to launch its serial production. The MiG-15 bis No. 1370086 aircraft became a model replica. After eighteen months of preparations, the MiG-15 bis production was launched, with the Polish name Lim-2. The first copy with the serial number 1B 01-001 was completed on September 17, 1954. It was 17 days after the end of production of the Lim-1 fighter. Production Lim-2 lasted until November 23, 1956. At that time, 530 aircraft were built in 20 production series. The production pace was impressive. At the peak of production, over 20 fighters were built in one month.

Engine WK-1 A / Lis-2
Together with the launch of series production of Lim-2 aircraft, the production of WK-1A turbojet engines was commenced in WSK PZL Rzeszów. These engines in Poland were marked as Lis-2.

Lim-2 R - reconnaissance
In WSK PZL Mielec, and later also in LZR (Lotnicze Zakłady Remontowe) and combat battles, planes were modernized. These modifications resulted from user comments, improvement proposals and projects consisting in adapting aircraft to new tasks, such as reconnaissance.

The result of this work was the development of a special tray with a set of AFA cameras. They were placed under a convex cover, under the fuselage, behind the NR-23 guns. Airplanes in this version were used by regiments of support and air reconnaissance. They received the Lim-2 R designation.

In 1956, using the available equipment for Lim-2 aircraft (ARK-5 radiocomputer, RW-2, SRU-0 radio altimeter and others), in LZR (Lotnicze Zakłady Remontowe) upgraded many Lim-1 fighters, assembling this equipment on them. Airplanes created in this way were unofficially called Lim-1.5 (one and a half).

Several aircraft (Lim-1 and Lim-2) were equipped with a device for towing air targets for artillery. The device was mounted instead of a 23 mm cannon.

Lim-2 streak
There was a variant of the Lim-2 aircraft called streak. Polish fighters often took part in air shows. To increase the attractiveness of the performance, it was decided to use the smoke extending behind the plane. Initially, smoke candles were used. But they worked for a short while, and once used a candle was an unnecessary element. A device was built that produced smoke when the pilot started it.

This device was developed by Lt. Col. MSc. Zenon Klimkowski. The plane had disassembled rear fuel tanks. Two pressure tanks were put in their place. The first one was filled with oil and used to obtain white smoke, the second one was filled with a red emulsion and was used to obtain red smoke. The liquids passed into the injectors, which were located behind the engine turbine. The liquid supply was enough to produce smoke for about 5 minutes.

Lim-1/2 service
Around 1955 in Poland almost all hunting regiments were equipped with Polish Lim-1/2 fighters. Fighter planes with a piston engine have been completely withdrawn. Also, Jak-23 fighters were withdrawn from service in hunting regiments.

The Lim fighters were on duty and were firing off intruders from NATO forces trying to violate our airspace. Mainly at the Baltic Sea. But not only. There are known photos taken by Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. In these pictures you could see flying, at the lower level of Poland Lim-1/2. These photos show two things. First, that our country was being spied. Secondly, we were able to track down an intruder and pick up fighter planes. But the planes could not intercept the target.

In the years 1952-1956, many propaganda balloons were released from Germany to Poland. These balloons were fought against the Lim-1 and Lim-2 fighters.

Lim-1/2 planes were very popular among Polish society. These aircraft were exhibited many times on the occasion of various exhibitions, equipment inspections, and later set as monuments.

In 1955, the original MiG-15 No 26 was exhibited in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw to show the residents of the capital.

The aircraft Lim-2 No. 1B 07-024 / 724 was shown for the first time close to the inhabitants of Warsaw during the First Warsaw Air Show, organized at Okęcie on August 26, 1956 - September 9, 1956.

In 1956, at the initiative of 1 PLM pilots, the first team of higher pilotage on the Lim-2 fighters was created. Personal team; captains; Zygmunt Dębowski, Jerzy Figurski and Ryszard Grundman. During the central celebration of the Feast of Aviation on August 26, 1956, the team presented itself for the first time. The pilots made a complicated set of aerobatic figures, with a spectacular team of barrels.

Air parade. 1957
On September 8, 1957, at the Babice-Bemowo airport, an impressive air event was organized on the occasion of the Aviation Feast. It was the largest event involving a large number of aircraft until then. The parade consisted of two blocks; demonstration of civil and military aviation skills and air parade.

One of the points of the program was an impressive flight of several hundred Lim-1/2 fighters, formed into a column of fours. The other two Lim-2s showed a mirror piloting demonstration. One Lim-2 demonstrated a very impressive set of flying figures. The next two Lim-2 demonstrated air combat using blank ammunition. At the end the largest attractions are shown flying team tricks: of three Lim-2 commanded by Cpt. Józef Sobieraj and five Lim-2 commanded by Cpt. Józef Dębowski.

260 combat aircrafts took part in the whole event. Lim-2 aircrafts were the largest amount. It was the first parade with the participation of MiG-17 PF fighters.

Air parade. 1959.
The aviation parade organized on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of PRL was one of the tests of training fighter pilots. Commander Gen. Jan Frey-Bielecki decided to demonstrate aviation splendidly. The plan was interesting but difficult to implement. Only five days was for the preparation of the parade. Up to now, the parade preparation period was two weeks. At the airport in Bemowo-Babice, all the personnel designated for participation were gathered.

The entire parade formed a column and consisted of 10 different groups of over 200 aircraft. The column formed; 1 - leader, 2 - four columns for 20 aircraft, each consisting of 5 four-lobes diamonds, 3 - 20 Ił-28 planes, 4 - 16 Ił-28 planes, 5 - famous panel composed of 64 Lim fighters, (including 32 Lim -2), 6 - 16 Lim aircraft, 7 - 6 MiG-19P planes in the delta pattern.

At the end there was a show of crossing the MiG-19 P sound barrier by the pilot Roman Operacz. The show was widely commented in Poland and abroad.

Next shows
On July 22, 1960, on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the battle of Grunwald, a demonstration over the Grunwald Fields took place. Once again, a pane of 64 fighters was shown. In addition, planes streaked with red or white smoke. The team was led by Lt. Col. Władysław Heramszewski. In September 1960, a surface of 64 aircraft was shown for the third time over Lodz. This time the team was leading, as the first time Lt. Col. Marian Bondzior.

On July 22, 1964, pilots of the Dęblin School of Eaglets, prepared a symbolizing the Roman XX composed of 26 Lim-2. The show took place on the occasion of the XX-PRL.

On June 26, 1965, on the Old Town of Gdansk, on the occasion of the Holy Sea, the naval pilots demonstrated the anchor formation on the Lim-2 planes.

On July 22, 1966, on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the Polish State, 43 Lim-2 planes demonstrated the number of 1000.

Institute of Aviation in Warsaw
A sample copy of the MiG-15 bis aircraft No. 1350086, for Polish serial production, was transferred from WSK Mielec to the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw in 1957. This aircraft was registered on September 18, 1958 and given the civil identification SP-GLZ. The plane was used at the Institute of Aviation as a flying aerodynamic laboratory. Many trials have been carried out on various scientific and research topics. The model of the school airplane TS-11 was tested on the MiG-15 bis aircraft. Unmanned objects were tested. Meteorological rockets were tested. And many other tests were carried out. For example, when testing meteorological missile recovery systems, the SPD-3, SP-3 bis, SPD-6 type bunkers were dropped to universal under-wing brackets, and then attached, while those in free flight, braked in the final phase by a parachute, fell to the ground.

The aircraft was removed from the civilian ships register on November 4, 1972, and transferred to the Aviation and Astronautics Museum in Krakow.

Summary of fighters Lim-1/2, MiG-15 / bis
When the aircraft was introduced to production in Poland, it was one of the most modern and best fighters in the world. This plane has proved its worth in Korea. When the American F-86 fighter reached its maximum flight altitude, the MiG-15 still had a stock of 1,200 m. However, in those years technical progress was very large and the plane quickly aged. The plane from a good fighter became sufficient, and after a few years it was outdated.

However, in the Polish Air Force, Lim fighter played a special role. One can make fun of the fact that Polish aviation has operated aircraft with the Lim-1 / -2 mark for so long. That Polish pilots flew on obsolete equipment. I remember how in the 1980s young aviation fans were surprised that these machines are still flying. The causes of this situation are negative and positive. The first one is the lack of money for the purchase of a new aviation technique. The latter confirm that it was a good plane. That it was a successful and simple construction. It was possible to reconstruct the combat value on the Lim aircraft. It was an airplane that was easy to pilot, reliable and economical. This fighter was excellent in assault aviation. The longevity of Lim aircraft, especially in the two-seater version, was also influenced by the lack of the school version of MiG-17 and Lim-5 / -6 aircraft. An argument that we often do not remember was that all production, repairs and repairs took place in Poland. The Polish Air Force, with the Lim aircraft was independent of the rest of the world.

List of disasters on the Lim-1/2 aircraft
They died during service in 9 PLM
- second lieutenant pil. Jerzy Golik. He died on March 4, 1954. while performing tasks in the air in a plane crash. The causes of the catastrophe have not been established.
- second lieutenant pil. Jerzy Świnczak. He died on September 9, 1954. at. 1015 in a plane crash. The accident occurred during the approach to landing on a non-fully operational aircraft after a collision in the air with an airplane piloted by a second Lieutenant. pil. Mieczysław Kochanowski. Kochanowski happily catapulted, while the second lieutenant. Świnchak wanted to save equipment and he paid for it with his life.
- second lieutenant pil. Marian Wolszczak. He died on May 18, 1955. in a plane crash. He started as a pair with por pil. Bolesław Turbański. Atmospheric conditions were very difficult. The causes of the catastrophe have not been established.
- second lieutenant pil. Henryk Tokarski. He died on May 30, 1956. while performing tasks in the air in a plane crash. The causes of the catastrophe have not been established.
- second lieutenant pil. Tadeusz Golon and second lieutenant pil. Jerzy Piotrow. They died on March 21, 1960. at. 1100 death of airmen. The disaster occurred during the shooting of the sleeve, the planes collided in the air, completely destroyed.
- second lieutenant pil. Mieczysław Leloch. He died on May 12, 1960. during daytime flights in difficult weather conditions in unexplained circumstances.


Written by Karol Placha Hetman