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Yakovlev Yak-23

Single-Seat Jet-Powered Day Fighter

The Soviet Yak-23 was the ultimate development of the Yak-15 and Yak-17 series of turobojet-powered post-war aircraft.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 3/16/2019
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Year: 1947
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Yakovlev - USSR
Production: 310
Capabilities: Fighter;
Crew: 1
Length: 26.64 ft (8.12 m)
Width: 28.64 ft (8.73 m)
Height: 10.86 ft (3.31 m)
Weight (Empty): 4,409 lb (2,000 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 6,693 lb (3,036 kg)
Power: 1 x Klimov RD-500 turbojet engine developing 3,505 lb of thrust.
Speed: 606 mph (975 kph; 526 kts)
Ceiling: 48,556 feet (14,800 m; 9.2 miles)
Range: 746 miles (1,200 km; 648 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 6,693 ft/min (2,040 m/min)
Operators: Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; Poland; Romania; Soviet Union
The Yakovlev Yak-23 was the final iteration of the post-war turbojet designs beginning with the Yak-15 and continuing in the Yak-17 aircraft series. The Yak-23 was similar to the Yak-17 but differed in the utilization of higher-mounted horizontal tail surfacing. Another key difference in the design lay in the larger tail rudder design assembly.

The Yak-23 was a single-engine, single-crew jet-powered aircraft designed on a rudimentary fuselage. A straight-winged design - popular with jet designs of the time - adorned either site of the mid-to-rear mounted cockpit. The cockpit area sunk into the rearward part of the fuselage, adding to the aerodynamic element. The front of the fuselage was dominated by a cone-less intake opening with the turbojet exhaust located at mid-fuselage, just under the pilots seating arrangement. A powered tricycle-type landing gear rounded out the key technological engineering features.

Termed a "light-weight day fighter", the Yak-23 was armed with two 23mm cannons mounted in the nose - this being the now popular alternative to the machine gun-laced fighter designs of the Second World War. A single 132lb conventional bomb could be carrier under-fuselage as well, adding a hint of multirole capabilities.

Flying for the first time in June of 1947, the capable and agile Yak-23 actually used a licensed and imported version of the British Rolls-Royce Derwent engine in the form of the Klimov RD-500 powerplant mentioned above in the specifications. No fewer than 310 were produced and shipped out to Soviet-supported states in Eastern Europe. Yak-23's would eventually be superceded by the more capable delta wing MiG-15 jet-powered aircraft, calling an end to the Soviet barrel-type aircraft designs of the post-war USSR.


2 x 23mm cannon (nose-mounted).

1 x 132lb conventional drop bomb.

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models

• Yak-23 - Series Model Designation
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