The Yak 52, a development of the Yak 50, was first flown in 1976 and used as a Soviet primary trainer by the Soviet DOSAAF training organization to prepare military and civilian pilots for fast jets and aerobatic flying.

It is an all metal, high strength airframe designed to operate from rough airstrips with minimal maintenance. It makes a fantastic warbird and aerobatic aircraft, and has been available to enthusiasts in Western countries such as USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand since the early 1990`s and the fall of the Soviet Union. The Yak 52 is still being produced current day by Aerostar in Romania, and is utilized in airforces such as Vietnam, Russia, Romania, Hungary and Lithuania.

The aircraft uses a differential braking system powered by compressed air. The pneumatic systems are an advantage during the extreme winters that Russia experiences, avoiding hydraulic fluid freezing – an issue for the earlier models. The air also powers engine start, flaps and undercarriage. This makes for some interesting hissing sounds while taxying as the shuttle valves allow various functions to operate!!

You`ll notice that the wheels don`t quite retract either. This is intended so that in the event of an undercarriage failure the YAK can touch down on it`s wheels while retracted without inflicting too much damage to the airframe. It`s also very helpful to slow the aircraft a little in downward manourves, just to add to the fun of aerobatics!!

Overall the Yak is a very versatile aircraft used to train pilots for many different progressions in aviation, a great fun aerobatic aircraft that has a definite military look about it and one which is very smooth and comfortable for straight and level adventures. Guaranteed to put a smile on anybody’s face.

Our Yak was built in 1984, manufactured for training with DOSAAF initially and then used by The Russian Aerobatic Club. After arriving in Australia in 2007 it was stripped back to bare metal and given a lot of mechanical TLC before being painted in the colours you see today. It is one of the tidiest examples you`ll find, and the only YAK 52 currently flying in South Australia.