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.
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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.