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  • Yakovlev Yak-15 (Feather) Jet-Powered Fighter

    The Yakovlev Yak-15 mated the German Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet engine with a highly-modified airframe of the Yak-3 piston-powered fighter.

     Updated: 5/5/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    After the fall of Germany in May of 1945, the Soviet Union (as well as the Allies) was privy to pieces of captured data regarding turbojet engine technology. The age of the jet would soon be upon the world with all of the victorious world powers benefitting from the work that had been done by the German engineers in the months and years leading up to the end of World War 2. Not only was valuable data captured by the victors but, as in the case of the Soviet Air Force, large stores of engines were netted in abandoned or conquered German-run production facilities. Such technology could then be thoroughly tested and, ultimately, reverse-engineered to garner new insight into the evolving technology of the time. The German Junkers Jumo 004B series turbojet engine became one such spoil of war for the Soviet Union and it was quickly collected in quantity and delivered for review to various Soviet firms.

    The Soviet Union, along with the British and the Americans, had persevered to bring about their own indigenous jet engine programs during the war with the British proving ahead of the curve by war's end (next to Germany). As such, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin encouraged the use of the captured German engines to facilitate introduction of new Soviet jet-powered fighters until proven homegrown technology could become available in quantity.

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    Yakovlev Yak-15 (Feather) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1947
    Type: Jet-Powered Fighter
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Yakovlev - Soviet Union
    Production Total: 280

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 28.81 feet (8.78 meters)
    Width: 30.18 feet (9.20 meters)
    Height: 7.22 feet (2.20 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 4,228 lb (1,918 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 13,327 lb (6,045 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Tumansky RD-10 turbojet engine of 2,000lbs thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 500 mph (805 kph; 435 knots)
    Maximum Range: 317 miles (510 km)
    Service Ceiling: 43,799 feet (13,350 meters; 8.30 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 3,416 feet-per-minute (1,041 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons

    Global Operators / Customers

    Soviet Union

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Yak-15 - Base Series Designation; definitive production version.

    Yak-21 - Two-seat trainer variant with second cockpit; lengthened fuselage.

    Yak-15U - Proposed tricycle undercarriage.

    Yak-21T - Proposed two-seat trainer version of the Yak-15U model.