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 Yak-23's would eventually be superceded by the more capable delta wing MiG-15 jet-powered aircraft, calling an end to the Soviet barrel-type aircraft designs of the post-war USSR.
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