YAKOVLEV YAK 18T
We are the undoubted world
leaders in Yak-18T aircraft, having now sold 31 of these aircraft to
many countries, including most European countries; Australia; South Africa; USA. In particular we have developed a wide range of
modifications, which genuinely transform an already extremely versatile and
capable aircraft into one of quite extraordinary performance.
The Yak 18T was designed as a
multi-role light aircraft, and while a primary use was training Aeroflot pilots,
it was widely used for more generalised flight training and light transport.
Under the Soviet system,
all training aircraft have to be aerobatic, and the Yak 18T does possess an
extraordinary range of abilities – it is sensitive enough to be a really good
aerobatic aircraft, while being stable enough to be an efficient instrument
Although designed by
Yakovlev, all production has been at the Smolensk factory in western Russia.
first series of aircraft was from 1974-1982 when some 700 aircraft were
produced. By some extraordinary Soviet logic, the Aeroflot training
role was then allocated to the twin turbine Let 410, and a number of Yak 18Ts
were scrapped. However the
absurdity of this was realised, and the type was reprieved!
Kondratiev, who had been one of the original Yak designers, then put the
aircraft back into production in 1992 and a second series of some 50 aircraft
were built up to 2002.
Kondratiev has continued with his development of the basic aeroplane, and in 2004 announced the SM2000 and the SM2000P. Both are significantly different aircraft, really only using the central fuselage of the Yak 18T, but with different wings and tail section. The “P” is a piston engined version, and is effectively a new Yak 18T, while the SM2000 is powered by the 740-hp Walter turbine. The aircraft has now obtained Full International Certification in Hungary, which is now a member of JAR and EASA. This means that the aircraft can be used without any restrictions throughout the world.
More recently, a further batch of
60 have been built for the Russian Ministry of Transport and a great
advantage of this continuing production, and indeed the fact that the Smolensk
factory is operating efficiently, means that new Yak 18T spares are available
and will be available into the foreseeable future.
Qualities of the Aircraft
It is difficult to be totally objective about such issues but we feel the
positive qualities are:
value for money.
good short field performance.
economical for the power (360 hp).
spacious with good load carrying (we have seen one in Russia with four adults
and three children in it!)
responsive with lovely controls - far more so than any other 'cabin' aircraft.
cheap to maintain, particularly so for quite a sophisticated aircraft (prices
for spares are still well behind those in the West).
are certainly the largest seller of Yak 18Ts in the world, and have sold 31 aircraft to a variety of countries, but mainly within Europe.
The aircraft that we offer fall principally into three categories:
In these, we obtain aircraft in Russia (typically up to 2,500-hours TTSN), which we send to be Lithuania to be totally overhauled. This includes zero-timed engine and prop; all other mechanical components renewed such as tyres, brakes, engine mounts, control bearings, undercarriage etc. New Ceconite fabric is used together with paintwork to the customer’s choice. The price for such a totally restored aircraft is Euro 66,000 dependent on hours on the original airframe and engine. This again is to full Russian specification, but any of the options listed below can be installed at the time of remanufacture. This includes a variety of really worthwhile modifications such as making a luggage box underneath the rear seat; putting on a proper door handle; using proper door-seals (two per door) for much better sound-sealing; pneumatic door-struts; deleting the entire wiper mechanism (unless the aircraft is going to fly in snow!); seat-adjusters for the front seats; our latest type of windows – more streamlined and quieter etc etc. Doing it in this way represents a very significant price saving on doing this work later, principally because we have the work done in Lithuania, where it is done to the highest Western standards, including superb paintwork and cosmetics, but at Eastern labour rates.
“Second Series” Aircraft
Because most of these aircraft were originally delivered at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union, many were delivered to flying clubs and other owners who could not afford to run them, and were consequently inhibited and moth-balled. This has meant that we have been able to buy several of these aircraft, all with very low TTSN. With these aircraft, we give them a thorough check; replace all ‘lifed’ items such as flexible hoses; put on new Ceconite; repaint the aircraft to a new customer’s requirements. The total price of such an aircraft depends on the numbers of hours flown, but most aircraft are low-time (under 250 hours), and prices again, for a Russian specification aircraft, but delivered Western Europe (less taxes) begin at Euro 89,000. Again, any of the modifications listed below can be incorporated into these aircraft during this check and repainting etc.
Previously Owned Aircraft
On occasions we have Yak 18Ts for sale that we have previously sold and taken back in part exchange or outright purchase.
weight of a standard aeroplane is 1,217 kilos and maximum take-off weight is
1,650 kilos – so load is 433 kilos – (953lbs).
historical background was that the Yak 18T was designed as an aerobatic trainer
for airline pilots (i.e. Aeroflot) and also for good short field performance.
For this reason there was no reason to increase maximum gross weight more
than required by its intended use.
however conducted extensive tests at a gross weight of 2,000 kilos (i.e. 350
kilos (770lbs) over max gross) no less – the aircraft still took off in
700 metres and handling was fine.
We can save
over 100 kilos by virtue of our lightweight conversions on the aircraft, which
have proved very successful.
For owners either intending to use the aircraft from extremely short strips (even in standard specification, short field performance is particularly good) or who want to cruise fast and therefore high, it is worth considering the M14PF engine. Although principally designed for high-performance aerobatics, it achieves its greater power through a different supercharger which not only gives more power for take off but also holds the manifold pressure up to higher altitudes therefore enabling much faster cruising (about 12 knots faster). The Yak 18T with the “PF” engine and MTV-9 propeller is an extremely impressive performer, being able to land and take off in 350m; cruise at up to 164 knots, as well as climbing (with medium load) at up to 2,000ft per minute.
aircraft have a factory zero-timed engine, but we can also offer the following:
Factory-new M14P engine (360hp)
Factory zero-timed M14PF engine (400hp)
Factory-new M14PF engine (400hp)
The standard propeller is the Russian 2-blade V-530 propeller but significantly better performance is obtained with the German MT 3-blade propeller. A factory-new MTV-9 250 3-blade propeller is a supplement of Euro 9,000. There are two different spinners (standard and large) for the MTV-9 propeller. The larger gives slightly better cooling, but we expect most choose it for its looks. The price is an additional Euro 900. A spinner for the Russian 2-blade propeller is Euro 1800 when available.
We have conducted a full set of German noise measurements in conjunction with MT Propeller, and we are delighted that with the MTV-9 3-blade propeller and 400-hp engine, the Yak 18T is actually even lower than the strictest German noise level for light aircraft.
For owners needing noise
certificates for their aircraft, we can arrange this through MT Propeller
The Yak 18T has the standard Yakovlev system of individual vanes controlling air into the engine. In hot climates and protracted climbs, these can be slightly restrictive, and some owners opt to have the Sukhoi ‘Iris’ type gills, which allow more air into the engine. They also look rather good!
In terms of the fuel arrangement, the standard aircraft has 180 litres in the wings and at economical cruise (say 120 knots), can
down to 45 litres an hour. However,
this is not enough range for serious use and there are three long-range fuel
An additional 130 litre tank in the rear fuselage, which is fully automatic with no changeover valves etc. and costs Euro 5,000.
second option is a modification to the wings, which enables the aircraft to
carry a total of 340 litres in the wings, giving up to six hours endurance.
This is a complicated modification since it involves significant
re-engineering inside the wings, and costs Euro 10,000.
It is also fully automatic on the basis that each of the four tanks has
its own filling point, and if all four are filled the engine will drain out of
the inner (normal) tanks which are kept full as fuel feeds from the outer
(long-range) tanks. During this
time the fuel gauges will read full, until the outer tanks are empty, and then
they will start going down as they read the contents of the inner tanks. This
modification can be retrofitted, but it makes more sense to do it during
offered tip-tanks, which work quite efficiently, but have found in practise that
the handling of the aircraft becomes rather sluggish when the tanks are full,
and they also have the disadvantage of being reliant on transfer pumps. For these reasons we feel that the relatively small amount
extra for the integral wing-tanks is a better solution.
The Yak 18T was manufactured as an IFR aircraft but to Russian norms. This means a single altimeter; the only navigational instrument being an ADF (albeit very high quality), and combined DI and a gyrocompass. These instruments are military quality, but are extremely heavy since they are reliant on an AC inverter and have remote gyros, so the instrument is merely a display. In addition, the standard layout on the panel leaves no room for a conventional avionics stack. We therefore recommend discarding the Russian equipment, which gives another 40 kgs (90 lbs) directly onto payload; moving the instruments to give room for an ‘avionics stack’ and fitting a Western horizon, direction-indicator, turn and slip and two altimeters. The cost of this is Euro 8,500.
so much of the aircraft, the electrical system is built to military
specifications and is exceedingly over-specified for the aircraft - it has a
three kilowatt generator, no less! Working
with the factory, we have developed a modification using a light weight
alternator (but still 1,200 watts); light-weight but high capacity, sealed
batteries; deletion of the electro-mechanical charging control and replacement
with light- weight solid-state equipment and, finally, deleting the
alternating-current circuits. This
does have the small advantage of losing the stall warner, but the stall is very
benign, and this is not considered an issue.
The combination of all these, saves about 60 kgs (130 lbs), thereby
making a very significant difference to the performance.
The total cost of this conversion, installed, is Euro 4,300.
The Yak 18T has a large panel, and sufficient room for almost any avionics installation. We have considerable experience, having developed a number of installations for customers, and can either install a customer’s own avionics, or agree the specification that is wanted and install this.
Yak 18T is an exceedingly tough aircraft and is fully aerobatic (+6.4G and
–3.2G). A number of the aircraft we have sold have specified fully inverted
fuel and oil - this costs Euro 4,000 but this is only necessary
for sustained inverted flight.
Two Piece Windscreen
The factory has developed a new two-piece windscreen rather than the standard multitude of small panes. This adds about 8 km per hour. On the positive side it increases visibility (as well as speed) and on the negative side, doesn't have quite so much 'character'. The extra price, fitted, is Euro 5,000, when we can get them.
The standard interior is utilitarian but robust. However we can trim the entire inside of the aircraft including headlining in high quality Connolly leather, together with Wilton carpets. It is extraordinary what a difference this makes and is well worth the Euor 5000 it costs both in appearance and also because of the extra sound deadening, which we install at the same time.
Oil Drain System
The M14P series of engines are of course radials, with the possibility of oil seeping into the lower cylinders causing “hydraulic-lock” on starting. To a very large extent this can be eliminated by the manifold oil drain system we have developed, which costs Euro 450 fitted.
The Yak 18T has pneumatic starting; brakes and flaps. The system is an excellent one, being light and simple, as well as giving a good start in very cold weather. Newcomers to the system are inevitably concerned in case air pressure goes down. In practice this is about as common as a conventional battery going “flat,” but in case, we offer a lightweight air-charging hose (Euro 150), which includes a range of three international air fittings so that the system can be charged at almost any airfield.
The standard aircraft has a Russian harness which is strong and robust, but somewhat difficult to buckle. We offer US Hooker harnesses (five-point at the front and two-point at the rear) for a total of Euro 1400. We can also offer German Schroth harnesses.
Waterproof Cockpit Cover
Waterproof cockpit covers available in a wide choice of colours.
We can supply factory tool roll, to include all specialist tools but not standard spanners etc @ Euro 1,200.
The 18T now has a Restricted EASA Type Certificate, which allows it to fly freely throughout Europe.
JAR regulations, the Yak 18T can be maintained at any JAR 145 organisation that
is approved for the 18T. For today,
this either means our own maintenance organisation at White Waltham airfield, or
at the base of Hungarian “operator” in north-west Hungary.
However, given the numbers of Yak-18Ts in European service, we are sure
that other maintenance organisations will follow.
We offer a
six month/100 hour warranty on new Yak 18T and a 3 month/100 hour warranty on
overhauled or second-hand aircraft. For
UK based customers, we are very happy to offer a fixed-price maintenance
terms of maintenance, we can honestly say that they are extremely reliable and
are designed to be treated very toughly. By
virtue of this, in Western hands, we find that very little goes wrong.
Conversely, the maintenance schedules are quite detailed and, by way of
indication, a 50 hour check takes 18 hours and a 100 hour check 46 hours, these
figures being the time required to perform the checks required by Yakovlev.
It doesn’t take into account any snags or problems.
addition, we would point out that the spares are considerably less than in
Western aircraft. For example, we
are today selling zero-timed engines for Euro 18,500, which is the complete
engine and all ancillaries. A
comparable US engine would probably be twice as much.
Click here to read flight test by 'Pilot' in December 2001
Click here for Yak-18T Normal Check List
Click here for Yak-18T Emergency Check List