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LOOP Features

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YAK 11

So far as external appearances go, there isn't much of a family resemblance between the Yak-11 and Yak-52. With its flush-riveted skin, thin, highly tapered wing and remarkably small tail surfaces, the Yak-11 looks a bit of a beast parked on the ramp.

G-OYAK is an ex-Egyptian air force example, built under licence in Czechoslovakia about 1955, restored in the UK in 1991, and now owned and operated by Angie Soper.

The cockpit is large, and even sitting on a parachute in the bucket seat it's comfortable too. There's also plenty of panel space, and G-OYAK is fitted with some modern avionics and Western pressure instruments, in addition to the Russian engine instrumentation.

There are two hefty, spoked metal wheels on either side of the cockpit that wouldn't look out of place in the engine room of a steam liner! The wheel on the left is the elevator trim, and that on the right controls the cooling gills.
The 700hp Shvetsov ASh-21 7-cylinder radial produces an impressive cloud of smoke as it starts, and then settles into a rumbling idle that sends a wonderful low frequency vibration through the airframe.

It takes quite a bit of power to get the 2-tonne aeroplane moving, and visibility over the nose is limited, so considerable care is needed while taxiing. Pushing the stick fully forward unlocks the tailwheel for turning, in a similar fashion to a Harvard.

Lined up on Runway 20 at North Weald ready for departure, Angie applies full power, and the rumble up front immediately changes to a tremendous roar. Despite the din, initial acceleration is modest, but builds gradually during the take-off roll.

A positive back pressure is necessary to get airborne at 95 knots. With the gear up and climb power set, the VSI shows a rate of climb of 2000 feet/minute.
The ailerons are surprisingly light, but firm up somewhat above manoeuvring speed. Overall, the controls are very nicely harmonised. The aeroplane can be manoeuvred around the sky effortlessly and with an agility that belies its bulk.

I was under strict instructions to avoid any negative g-loads as this can result in the engine stopping. Consequently, rolls need to be ballistic or slightly barrelled. I was also advised to use a loop entry speed of 250 knots which helps to avoid getting too slow over the top, and resulted in the largest diameter loops I've ever flown - about 2700 feet!

It is possible to cruise at over 200kt, but the price for that is a fuel consumption of 160 litres/hour. However, the fuel burn can be brought under 100 litres/hour and still obtain a nifty 145kt.

For our landing into Duxford Angie took control, joining crosswind at 130kt. The gear can go down below 145kt and the flaps at 124kt. The speed is further reduced to 120kt on base, 100kt on final, aiming to cross the threshold at 90kt. Maximum demonstrated crosswind is 12kt, which is precisely what we had at Duxford but it didn't seem to cause Angie any problems as we touched down gently, slowed, and vacated the runway without drama.

I really enjoyed flying the Yak-11. It has lovely handling, good performance, and provides the warbird experience at a cost that compares favourably with many of the alternatives. - Phil O'Donaghue

SPECS:
Yak-11

Performance
Vne 323kt
Cruise Speed @ 75% 200kt
Stall Speed 73kt
Takeoff distance 575m
Landing roll xxxxx
Rate of Climb 1600ft/min
Ceiling 23,000ft
Fuel consumption @75% 125 litres/hr
Cruise Range 690nm
Aerobatic load factors +8g-0g
Specifications
Power Ashenkov-21 7-cyl radial producing 700hp
Propellers 2-blade constant-speed
Length 8.5m
Height 3.3m
Wingspan 9.4m
Wing aera 15.4m2
Seats 2
Empty weight 1833kg
Maximum takeoff weight 2480kg
Max load 647kg
Maximum useful load 521kg
Fuel capacity 360 litres
Price Approx £100,000 - 170,000
Manufacturer
Strojirny Prvni Petilesky
LET
Kunovice
Czechoslovakia

Uk Distributor
Yak UK Ltd
Little Gransden Airfield
Sandy
Beds
SG19 3BP
T: 01767 651 156
W: www.yakuk.com

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