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  • Yakovlev Yak-18 (Max) Trainer Aircraft / Light Bomber Aircraft

    The Soviet-era Yakovlev Yak-18 lived a long and storied operational life with fewer than 50 reportedly flying today.

     Updated: 6/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    During World War 2 (1939-1945), the Yakovlev UT-2 served as the standardized, primary aircraft trainer/fighter-trainer of Soviet airmen. The UT-2 was first flown in July of 1937 and ended production with 7,243 units with operators in Europe and Asia. From this, in May of 1945 with the war in Europe winding down, Alexander Yakovlev began design of a successor under the designation of Yak-18. First flight was quickly achieved and the aircraft was accepted into service in 1946, beginning a stellar production run that reached into 1956 and a service run that went much further than that. Operators proved plenty and ranged from Asia, Europe and Africa - mostly with Soviet-aligned nations and satellite states. Its simplicity allowed local licensed Chinese production under the designation CJ-5 by Nanchang.

    The Yak-18 utilized a conventional configuration with a front-mounted engine (driving a two-bladed propeller assembly), single-finned tail unit and low-set monoplane wings. The main wings were fitted ahead of midships. The two crew sat in tandem under a long-running canopy. The undercarriage of early forms was partially retractable, the main legs semi-recessed under the wings and the tail wheel fixed in place.

    Yakovlev Yak-18 (Max) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1946
    Type: Trainer Aircraft / Light Bomber Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Yakovlev - Soviet Union
    Production Total: 1,200

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 27.40 feet (8.35 meters)
    Width: 34.78 feet (10.60 meters)
    Height: 10.99 feet (3.35 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 2,260 lb (1,025 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 2,910 lb (1,320 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Ivchenko AI-14RF radial piston engine developing 300 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 186 mph (300 kph; 162 knots)
    Maximum Range: 435 miles (700 km)
    Service Ceiling: 16,601 feet (5,060 meters; 3.14 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x bombs

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Austria; Bangladesh; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Guinea; Hungary; Iraq; Laos; Mali; Mongolia; North Korea; Poland; Romania; Somalia; Soviet Union; Syria; Turkmenistan; Vietnam; Yemen; Zambia

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Yak-18 - Initial Production Models

    Yak-18A - Definitive Production Model; fitted with Ivchenco AI-14 FR engine of 260 horsepower.

    Yak-18U - Limited-production model with retractable tricycle undercarriage.

    Yak-18P ("Mouse") - Single-seat acrobatic mount

    Yak-18PM - Single-seat acrobatic mount with retractable tricycle undercarriage.

    Yak-18PS - Acrobatic variant with retractable tailwheel.

    Nanchang CJ-5 - Chinese designation for license-produced versions; 379 examples produced.