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First Yak-152s under construction in Irkutsk

_On 7 June 2016, in the run-up to the rollout of the MC-21 advanced passenger airliner's first flying prototype, the first several in-construction prototypes of the new basic trainer, the Yakovlev Yak-152, were unveiled to journalists by the Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

Under the government contract made on 30 May 2014 by the Russian Defence Ministry and Yakovlev design bureau (a subsidiary of the Irkut corporation) for the development of the basic flight training facility on the basis of the Yak-152 trainer aircraft, the company is to devise the design records and manufacture four aircraft: two flying prototypes, one for the static tests and the other for endurance trials as well as a simulator, a computerised class and flight recorders, conduct preliminary flight tests and submit the aircraft for the official trials.


The Yak-152-based training facility is supposed to be used by the Russian Air Force and DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Air Force and Navy) for flight training, including formation flying, aerobatics, spin recovery techniques, instrument flying and basic navigation.

The Yak-152's feature is its powerplant. In the early stages of its designing, the aircraft as supposed to be powered by the M-14X piston radial air-cooled engine (a similar one equips Chinese trainer L-7 - a kind of an analogue of the Yak-152K). Now a decision has been made to furnish it with an advanced avgas-burning diesel engine. The thing is, the Voronezh Mechanical Plant has discontinued the production of the M-14 (M-9) piston engines, while there is no other Russian-made engine in this class. The diesel engine will allow an increase in the aircraft's performance and slash its fuel consumption and, hence, fuel cost.

In 2010, a 12-cylinder 500-hp RED A03 V12 diesel engine was installed into a Yakovlev Yak-52 in Germany on a trial basis, and the flight testing of the plane demonstrated a radical performance improvement. In all probability, the engine will equip the Yak-152 prototypes. One RED A03 V12 has been mounted on the first flying prototype (c/n 0001), and another was spotted in a shop of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant near the static-test prototype (c/n 0003). Yak-152 versions can be outfitted with the diesel's less powerful variant, the 350-hp RED A05 V6.

In early June this year, the assembly of the first flying Yak-152 (c/n 0001) was in full swing at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, the fuselage of the static-test example (c/n 0003) had been almost completed and the manufacture of the structural components of two prototypes - the second flying one (c/n 0002) and endurance-test one (c/n 0004) - was under way. The Yak-152's pool of subcontractors includes the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters holding company) supplying the prime contractor in Irkutsk with Yak-130 empennage and now with the Yak-152's ones. The first prototype's empennage has been delivered to the Irkutsk Aviation Plant and mated with the airframe to date. The empennage for the other three aircraft is slated for delivery this summer. The first Yak-152 is due for the flight tests before year-end.

(Photo: Andrey Fomin)

 
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