Less than a year after the MiG-15 had been sanctioned for production (1948), this design bureau initiated work on a follow-on fighter that would approach the speed of sound mainly through refinement of the basic airframe configuration. The first prototype received the designation I-330, and flew for the first time in January 1950. Claims that the I-330 managed to better M1.0 during test flights are believed to be unsubstantiated, but the overall improvements in performance were important.
Following the loss of the first prototype, a second and further improved prototype took over, allowing testing to be completed in 1951, and production of the MiG-17 was given the go-ahead. Compared to the MiG-15, the MiG-17 had a lengthened fuselage with softer taper, larger area tail surfaces to benefit handling characteristics, and thinner section wings with rounded tips. Indeed, the wings were designed from scratch, with the inner leading-edges extended forward; this resulted in greater root chord and varying leading-edge sweepback (45° along inner portions, 42° on outer panels). A mark of identification was the MiG-17’s three boundary layer fences on each wing.
Production began with a day fighter model (NATO `Fresco-A’), which retained the VK-1 engine. The later MiG-17PF introduced all-weather capability, housing Izumrud S-band radar in a `bullet’ radome at the centre of the nose air intake and in an extension on the upper lip of the intake. Subsequently, this S-band radar was superseded by an E/F-band version of `Scan Fix’, which still gave neither a large antenna nor a wide angle of scan and is now thought obsolescent.
In addition to the specialised two-seat trainer derivative of the MiG-17, known as the JJ-5 and exclusive to Chinese production, the MiG-17 was also built (apart from in the former USSR) in China, Czechoslovakia and Poland, with whom it was known as the J-5, S-104 and LiM-5 respectively. A total of 11,015 was built (including licence production). The last one was built in 1958.
Depends highly on the speed and altitude. If a MiG-17 meets a Phantom at M0.9 and 30000ft, the MiG-17 is pretty much on the edge of its envelope and will make curves like a supertanker, as while the Phantom is quite sporty. Different thing at M0.6 and 5000-10000ft (where Vietnam era dogfights often took place). Here the Phantom (and the MiG-21) is scratching heavily on its maximum lift limit, while the MiG-17 can fly quite unrestricted.
The success of the MiG-17 is based largely on the inability of the USN/USAF fighters to use their advantages to best profit (due to restrictions and shortcomings in training and in equipment), and the Vietnamese ability to pick their engagements with care (most time the North Vietnamese airspace was empty, MiG encounters were rare). In other theatres, where the MiG-17 needed to fight to different rules, it quickly turned out to be inferior to most supersonic jets. http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=69974&highlight=mig+17