Thursday 17 December 2015

Aerobatic Monoplanes of New Zealand (6) - Yak 55s

The all metal Yakovlev 55 was designed in the late 1970s by a team led by Sergei Yakovlev as a replacement for the Yak 50.  It was smaller than the Yak 50 and was designed to meet the challenges of the Western aerobatic aircraft of the time which could fly tighter routines.  It had a cantilevered mid wing of symmetrical section to aid inverted flight, a fixed sprung titanium undercarriage and it was powered by the Vedeneyev MP14 radial engine of 360 HP.  In the late 1980s a redesigned version, the Yak 55M was produced with a shorter wing to increase the roll rate.  Yak 55s were flown to victory by the Russian team in the 1984 World Teams Aerobatic Championships.

The specifications for the Yak 55 and Yak 55M are: length for both 7.29 metres (23 feet 11 inches), wingspan Yak 55 9.00 metres(29 feet 6 inches),  Yak 55M 8.10 metres (26 feet 7 inches) and the wing area is 159 square feet for the Yak 55 and 138 square feet for the Yak 55M.  Empty weight is around 640 Kg (1,411 pounds) and the restricted all up weight for aerobatics is 855 Kg (1,885 pounds).

Yak 55 ZK-JPO (c/n 880609) was imported into New Zealand by Claus Petrie and Alister Yeoman and was first registered to the CJ Petrie and AG Yeoman Partnership of Nelson on 6/5/06.  From the c/n it was manufactured in 1988 but I do not have any previous history for it.  The above photo was taken at Rangiora on 27/3/06..

It was quickly transferred to Alister Yeoman and Kevin Langford as the AG Yeoman and KW Langford partnership of Darfield on 9/8/06.  Then on 19/10/07 ownership transferred solely to Kevin Langford, with whom it is still current.  It is photo'd above in a hangar at Ashburton on 7/2/09.

Yak 55M ZK-YKV (c/n 920402) also has a previous history that is unknown to me but I assume it was constructed in 1992.  Probably the 27 is a legacy of its earlier history.  On 13/9/05 it was registered as N5288N and it had a couple of American owners before being shipped to New Zealand in 2007.  It was uncrated at Rangiora on 11/1/08 and was registered to Nicholas T Pilbrow of Dunsandel on 11/3/08.  On 14/6/08 ownership transferred to 55M NZ Ltd of Paeroa (a syndicate of Nic Pilbrow, Jolyon Reeves and Steven Geard)

It is photo'd above at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton on 7/2/09.

On 1/4 14 ownership transferred solely to Steven S Geard of Paeroa, with whom it is stll current.  It is based at Tauranga, where the Hairy Mole Rat took this neat photo of it climbing out.

1 comment:

  1. Yak55 c/n880609 is ex DOSAAF 52 Blue and
    Yak55M c/n920402 is ex DOSAAF 27 Blue -

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