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OKB Yakovlev

OKB Yakovlev

A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft

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Code article: 7553

OKB Yakovlev

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OKB Yakovlev - A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft
384 pages
b&w and some color photos
Hard cover with dust jacket
29 x 22 cm
1,754 kg

The Yakovlev design bureau started life in 1927 when Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev (1894-1977) brought out his first aircraft, the two-seat AIR-1. The first nine designs created by Yakovlev remained in prototype form, being developed largely at his own initiative; in 1935, however, his fortune changed when the UT-2 primary trainer entered large-scale production. In the immediate pre-war years and during World War Two the Yakovlev OKB proved quite versatile, developing such varied aircraft as the Yak-4 light bomber of 1939, the Yak-6 light transport and the Yak-1 fighter of 1940. The latter was the progenitor of a highly successful series of fighters including the Yak-7, Yak-9 and Yak-3. After the war, diversity continued. For a while, fighters were still strongly on the agenda; the Yak-15 first flew on 24th April 1946, the same day as the MiG-9, and evolved into the Yak-17 and Yak-23 featuring the same 'pod-and-boom' layout. The twinengined Yak-25 interceptor was brought out in 1952, again becoming the first in a line of twinjet tactical aircraft - mostly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Civil aircraft development also continued on a large scale, the OKB developing such successful aircraft as the Yak-18 trainer/aerobatic aircraft family, the Yak-40 feederliner (1966) and the Yak-42 short/medium-haul airliner (1974). The company even tried its hand at helicopters: the tandem-rotor Yak-24 was brought out in 1952, entering small-scale production in 1955. Though overshadowed as a 'fighter maker' by Mikoyan and Sukhoi, the Yakovlev OKB did not give up. The Yak-38 VTOL attack aircraft first flew in 1970, entering service with the Soviet Navy in 1976. A major success was achieved in 2002 when the Yak-130, the company's latest trainer, was selected by the Russian Air Force.