Category Archives: Yak

Yak 18 T Project

Yak 18T Project cowling

Yak 18T Project cowling

We have for sale a very interesting project. This was one of five 18Ts we bought from the National Flight Academy of Kazakhstan a few years ago. Two have been totally restored and sold; one sold ‘as-was’ to repair a crashed 18T in Australia, and one is waiting for a customer to undergo a total restoration to their specification.

However the last aircraft is mid-way through a restoration programme, but we have decided that with too many aircraft projects all over the world, we would like to sell it at a very attractive price with most of the important work done.

So this is a 3,000 hour (only) from new aircraft, that has all Service Bulletins embodied and has now been completely dismantled for restoration.     Work done thus far includes:

  • 18 T Under Construction

    18 T Under Construction

    All required stripping and cleaning of metalwork on the fuselage.

  • Wings have been totally restored; long-range wing tanks (almost doubling capacity) have been installed; the wings rebuilt and now re-fabriced with Ceconite
  • The entire tail-section has been overhauled and re-fabriced.
  • All the undercarriages, including oleos/retraction cylinders etc have been overhauled.

Currently, the offer does not include an engine or a propeller, but of course we can provide zero-timed items to any specification.

We are asking Euro 30,000 for the complete plane (less engine and propeller), but including all the work above.

Given that the wings, now converted, overhauled and re-fabriced are probably worth Euro 17,000, this is clearly an excellent deal for somebody wanting to build a perfect 18T to the highest specification.

Yak 7B Project

An extremely exciting ‘warbird’ opportunity that is already well advanced and which will produce one of the most desirable and rarest World War II fighters in the world. Above you can see photographs of the project in progress, in particular the spar and ribs, tail components and fuselage.

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This is a TOTAL restoration being done to the highest possible standards of an original Yak-7B. It is NOT a ‘new production’ aircraft (fine though they might be), but a restoration of a Russian Air Force Yak-7B, which crashed in 1943. The aircraft’s history is known, and although clearly damaged the condition is reasonable. In addition we have a complete second aircraft, and two further Klimov engines.

 

 

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The original aircraft serial no 33153120 was a ‘high-back’ 7B and it is being restored as such. From the point of view of historical accuracy we would prefer that the aircraft continues as a high-back, but clearly a purchaser would have the opportunity to change it to ‘low-back’ 7B if preferred.

 

 

 

 

For information line drawings of both types are shown below:

Low Back

Low Back

High Back

High Back

 

 

 

 

Currently the entire fuselage has been completed and most of the tail-plane. Clearly significant amounts of work remain, but we feel a 5-year programme from the date of purchase is realistic. This obviously includes the total restoration of an M105 Klimov engine and propeller.

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We would require a deposit and then stage payments on a formally agreed basis. We would be delighted to discuss all aspects of this rare and exciting project with all seriously interested parties.

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Running Costs – Sukhoi & Yak

Prospective owners of these aircraft are of course interested to know what genuine running costs for these aircraft are. For their benefit we have prepared the following guide – and we would emphasise it is real-world and not designed to flatter the aircraft.

Having said that there are a lot of variables, particularly in areas such as insurance; fuel consumption, and of course maintenance. However, we hope the following will be a useful guide.

General

Overall the cost of running Sukhoi/Yak aircraft are broadly similar, although you should note the following points:

  • The retractable aircraft will inevitably be more expensive to insure because of a recent spate of wheel-up landings. The more passenger seats you have the more expensive third party insurance will be.
  • Aircraft such as the –52 and –18T, which are somewhat more complex, with retractable undercarriage, flaps etc, will be a bit more expensive in maintenance
  • Pure aerobatic aircraft will have higher insurance costs.

We have based our calculations on approximately 100 hours per year, which seems to be fairly average. Obviously if you do, as some owners, 250 hours, the costs become a great deal less, while a reduction to, say 50 hours, inevitably will bring a significant rise.

Fixed Costs

Capital and Depreciation

Fortunately these Russian aircraft are very well made and seem to suffer relatively very little depreciation. In terms of the capital costs, strict accounting should obviously account for the capital, but few private owners would do this.

Insurance

This is one of the greatest of the variables, but hull insurance will typically be between 2% and 3.5% of the hull value, depending on the pilot’s experience and also, critically, if the aircraft is retractable.

In addition, third party insurance will vary greatly on the amount of third-party cover – some people have as little as a Euro 500,000 which we feel is too low, while others go as high as Euro 15/20million. Inevitably this greatly affects the actual premium but this will range from approximately Euro 2,000 p.a. for a single seater to about Euro 5,000 per annum for a four seater with a good level of cover.

Hangarage

We would emphasise that it is not necessary to hangar any of these Russian aircraft – they are designed to be left out in the open and are very well corrosion-proofed. However hangarage will vary, and can be up to approaching £3000 p.a. in the London area, and as little as £600 p.a. for an aircraft outside at a rural airfield.

Periodic

These aircraft do not have maintenance according to the passage of calendar time in the sense of western ‘Annuals’. They have repetitive 50, 100, 200 and 300-hour checks. It should also be pointed out that they are designed to be used fairly continuously and the operating practice with these aircraft used to be one of a great deal of use and then being left in the back of the hangar for a couple of years. In terms of Western usage, the aircraft are required to have a 100-hour check every year, even if they have not done this many hours. This is really because this is an obvious precaution because of the aircraft’s relative complexity, or in the case of aerobatic aircraft, it is simply prudent.

Our maintenance work is done by Russian Engineering at White Waltham Airfield. They operate on the basis of fixed costs for scheduled maintenance (click here for current rates). Please note however, that these hours, obviously varying for different types of aircraft, are calculated on the basis of an aeroplane that is in perfect condition – i.e. one that has just come from having a check done! Obviously they will make an extra charge for other factors – such as having to clean the aeroplane before we can begin work; inability to undo rusted bolts; plus of course any ‘snags’ that are told to them or that are discovered.

For aircraft registered in Hungary work can be carried out in Gyor, Western Hungary; at White Waltham Airfield, or by any approved engineer elsewhere.

In addition one should budget about an additional £2,000 per year (ie 100 hours) to cover all other wearing items such as tyres, brakes and other exceptional maintenance.

Direct Operating Costs

For a big engine, these aircraft can be surprisingly economical, and at 200 kph (say 120 mph) can be down to 10 gallons an hour (45 litres). However full throttle operation will be well over 20 gallons an hour (90 litres), although such is the power available, that even during aerobatics full power is seldom needed. A good average is about 16 gallons per hour (68 litres).

In terms of oil, the Vedeneyev is designed to use oil, and oil consumption is considerably affected by the type of flying. Inevitably aerobatic flying will throw out oil – i.e. not burnt in the engine, while every start will always use a fair amount of oil. Therefore in aerobatics an aeroplane doing a large number of short flights can easily use over 3 litres an hour. On the other hand a very good engine in the cruise can use as little as ½ litre per hour, and certainly 1 to 1½ litres an hour does not indicate that anything is wrong with the engine.

Reserve

Again few private owners bother to build in a ‘sinking fund’ for future engine replacement etc. This is also complicated by the fact that increasingly, these engines are allowed to operate on a ‘on condition basis’, which dramatically extends their TBOs. Therefore the following figures can be greatly reduced – possibly even halved. However on an hourly basis, based on the strict 750 and 500 TBOs of new and overhauled engines, the hourly cost per engine hour is approximately Euro 40. In addition Euro 5 per hour should be budgeted for the propeller (for an UK overhaul), or Euro 5 per hour for an MT overhaul, although, since this is at 1,000 hour intervals, most owners will run into the 6 year TBO before the 1,000 hour. The only other item is therefore about Euro 2,000 every 8 years to replace all the flexible hoses – this figures is for a Yak-52; it’s down to about Euro 1500 for a Sukhoi with a simpler system.

Lifetime Extensions

Sukhois need a Lifetime Extension every 6 years or 600 hours, which involves disassembly; ultrasonic tests of all composite parts and magniflux testing of all metal parts. The cost in addition to an annual (the obvious time to do it) is approximately £6,000 in the UK or Euro 5,000 in Hungary.

For Yak-52s in the UK , they require a Lifetime Extension every 600 hours or 15 years. Cost is about £4,000, again on top of an annual.

Yak-50s, but again only in the UK , need a similar procedure every 100 hours.

Summary

In cold light, these figures might seem quite high, but the practicality is that they will usually be less per hour than many exceedingly boring aircraft!

Yak – history

Alexander Yakovlev was born in Moscow in 1906. He won a prize of 200 roubles with his first original design when he was only 18. This was a glider, and his next design, a two-seat biplane with a 60hp engine broke an endurance record and won him a job with an aeroplane manufacturer. He started his own company and by 1935 had designed what is now recognised as the first modern Soviet trainer, the UT-2, which came with an aerobatic variant, the UT-2. The UT-2 cruised at 160 mph on 160hp.
In the late Thirties, Yakovlev won a design contest for fighter aircraft with his I-26, later called the Yak-1. His company went on to manufacture an estimated 30,000 aircraft by the end of the war. The Yak-1 could reach 363 mph. The last of the wartime line, the Yak-9 was considered by many to be the finest fighter of the second world war. The name ‘Yak’ conjures similar emotions for Russians as ‘Spitfire’ does for the British – both nations faced the Nazis under very grim circumstances and had excellent aircraft to do it with.

The first postwar design was the Yak-18 of 1946, a two-seat tandem trainer with a 160hp radial engine, variable pitch propeller and retractable undercarriage superficially similar to the earlier UT-2, but a much more advanced aircraft. This was a huge success, adopted by flying clubs and military alike. Yuri Gagarin learned to fly in one, and the type was manufactured in China under licence as well as in the USSR.

Throughout the Sixties, this Yak-18 was gradually developed into something that in the end looked very like the Yak 50, the Yak-18PS. The process involved lightening the airframe; virtually doubling engine power; dispensing with the second seat; the adoption of a new flat-bottomed wing design; and a tailwheel undercarriage in place of a nosewheel. The aeroplane was a world-beater at the time, but was recognised to be demanding to fly, largely because its antecedents as a military trainer meant that it was overbuilt, and heavy on the controls.

The Yak 50 emerged in the mid-Seventies as a complete re-design, but with a similar configuration to the 18. It had more power; a smaller, lighter airframe; a wing section designed to enhance inverted flight; and a semi-monocoque metal-skinned construction. Alexander Yakovlev’s son, Sergei, carrying on in the footsteps of his illustrious father, was one of the two designers.

The new Yak was a brilliant success. In the 1976 world contest, Yaks took the first two places, and five of the ten top positions. Yaks took all five of the top places in the women’s contest! At this stage the Yak 50 was competing with Zlin 50s and Pitts Specials. The Zlin and the newer, lighter and smaller monoplanes were, however, more agile machines and gradually they edged the Yak 50 out of its top position.

Although the Yak 50 is now outclassed at World level competitions, it is one of the most charismatic aircraft of all time, being a delight to fly; having the looks, performance and sound of a Second World War fighter, yet with affordable operating costs.

Meanwhile, Yak had developed a new aerobatic trainer, the Yak 52. This was barely seen in the West until the collapse of Communism because it was designed for training rather than competitions at the international level. The aeroplane was produced in large quantities, and was used by both the military and by the many flying clubs sponsored by a government that, despite its failings in other areas, at least smiled on sports aerobatics. So many 52s have been exported that there are now more Yak 52 aircraft in the West than in Russia. The aeroplane’s lineage as a military trainer is evident. It is widely admired for its predictability and lack of vices in flight and its rugged serviceability. It has the charm and style of a warbird, and you can take a friend along – and it is a fraction of the price of anything remotely comparable. Its nosewheel configuration has endeared it to pilots trained in Pipers and Cessnas.

The Yak 18T, another post-war design, is a four seat retractable aeroplane designed for cross-country work. It has excellent short field performance and is stressed for aerobatics. Modified and updated for Western use, the 18T is an excellent all-round performer, comfortable and spacious inside, with good endurance, load-carrying and cruise performance.

In 1982, a new design emerged from Yak, the 55, designed expressly for unlimited level aerobatics. Various improvements were made to it over the next few years, resulting in a machine that was easy to fly and an impressive performer, although marginally outclassed by the new Sukhoi Su26. The 55 remains highly competitive at Advanced, where, alongside the Zlin 50, it looks set for a long-term future.

The very latest Yak, the SP-55M, has just become available. From early reports, it seems set to challenge the Sukhoi designs for top-level aerobatics.