MiG vs. Sabre Anatomy

  • By Rima Chaddha
  • Posted 11.01.07
  • NOVA

The Soviet MiG-15bis and the American F-86 Sabre pushed aviation technology to its limits during the Korean War. When they met in dogfights over the Yalu River, in an area nicknamed MiG Alley, both fighters overshadowed their predecessors through sharp climbs, steep dives, tight turns, and nearly supersonic speeds. They were closely matched in myriad ways, but the planes' designers made different structural and aerodynamic trade-offs while developing their rival jets. Along with pilot skill and luck, these technological differences helped determine which side prevailed in any given dogfight. In this interactive, take a close look at these two pioneering planes and see how they differed.

Launch Interactive

Compare the two fighters—one Russian, one American—whose pilots dueled to the death over "MiG Alley."



(Joseph McConnell)
Courtesy U.S. Air Force
(Nikolai Sutyagin)
Courtesy Yuriy Nikolayevich Sutyagin
(all other images)
© Windfall Films

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