|Function||Passenger, Transport, Aerobatic|
|Crew||1 or 2|
|Power at 0m||360hp|
|Weights and loads|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)||88|
|Power load (kg/hp)||4.58|
|Cruising||210 to 250km/h|
|Cabin size LxWxH||?m3|
It is difficult to understand why the Yak-18T has not been given a fresh designation. Apart from some commonality of parts (including V530-D-35 variable pitch propeller and braced tail unit) it is a completely new design.
Project of four-seat low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear was ready in 1966. Landing gear is similar to one of Yak-18PM. On the project/prototype stage 300hp AI-14RF engine was used, later replaced by more powerful unit in same cowling. Construction is metal (duralumin, riveted and glue-wielded) except skin of outer wing panels and tail surfaces.
The wing center section is increased by 2.71m and is integrated with fuselage. Outer wing panels are attached at 7°20' dihedral angle. A full-span center-section flap is fitted. Trim tabs are fitted only to elevators. Two main fuel tanks are located in the wing (see drawing at this page) and central supply tank. Standard car fuel AI-92 may be used.
Cabin is a car-style with abreast seats for pilot and instructor. Dual controls are fitted. Passenger doors (1250x850mm2) are also of a car-style, and equipped with emergency release mechanism. Baggage compartment (0.48m3) has a port-side hatch (1000x480mm2). Access to both cabin and baggage is quite convenient, despite crew and passengers have to step on the wing to get in and out. Ventilation is provided by air intake scoops. Heating is possible using the air heated by exhaust pipe. No oxygen gear is fitted, so it is not recomended to fly Yak-18T above 4000m. Port windshield has an electrically operated spoiler.
Yak-18T is fully equipped for day/night operation.
Landing gear with dual-action shocks allows to use Yak-18T from rough unprepared fields. Main wheels are fitted with parking brakes, and aircraft may perform "around-the-strut" turns. Brakes and landing flap are pneumatically-operated, as well as an engine starter. Emergency air system performs all functions but engine start. High-pressure system is recharged in-flight from engine-mounted air compressor.
Yak-18T inherited aerobatic ability of its predecessors, making it unique among light passenger aircraft.
For the first time Yak-18T was revealed at the 1967 Paris Air Show. It looks like there were some problems, because scheduled participation in flight display was cancelled. The aircraft exhibited was a prototype, carrying no registration or other identification marks. In 1968 - 1969 450 test flights were completed, and in 1971 Yak-18T passed the State Acceptance Trials.
Initially, Aeroflot anticipated Yak-18T to serve as a multi-role aircraft. It could be good in number of roles:
Forestry and Health departments of the USSR ordered 300 aircraft each, but those orders were not satisfied. By Sovmin decision Yak-18T was adopted as a trainer for Civil Aviation Academies. As a result, all 536 machines built at Smolensk during 1973 - 1983 were assigned to Aktubinsk, Buguruslan, Kirovograd, Krasnokutsk and Sasovsk Civil Aviation Academies. Only 10 machines were acquired by Ivanovo aeroclub, also as a trainers.
One aircraft (factory N°03-05) was built in ambulance configuration (one stretcher and one attendant). No series production followed. Yakovlev OKB was working on ski and floatplane versions, but those never materialized.
During collapse of the USSR many stupid decisions were made. Among them - 1988 order of the MGA to retire and scrap entire Yak-18T fleet, despite there were no replacement on the horizon. Absurdity went so far that freshly overhauled aircraft were send to the 'chop shop' next morning. For me this looks like a direct of sabotage from Communist administration losing power grip... Now all this is blamed on 'democrats'.
Fortunately, DOSAAF and (just created) FLA received a permit to acquire retired aircraft for 'residual' cost. In the era of massive irregularities, 'residual' cost could be as low as 500 roubles (some 50 to 100 USD) or even for free, as a scrap metal. Some 200 Yak-18Ts found their way into private hands, making aircraft the first widely used aircraft of the General Aviation.
World popularity was achieved as a result of long-distance overflights to USA and Australia, organized and widely publicized by the FLA. As a result, Yak-18Ts are now sold to number of countries, from Bulgaria to New Zealand.
In 1993 production of aircraft was re-established (and put on hold again in 1996) on same Smolensk Aircraft Factory. New manufacturing and assembly gear was made. Aircraft is built now without any significant changes (added port footstep and radio-compass ARK-9 replaced by ARK-15M).
Now Yak-18T is back in production (at least assembly and upgrades) at Technoavia. Number of custom variants are available, including with added wingtip and fuselage tanks or new doubled wing tanks for long-range touring/patrol. Those with aim on aerobatics may be interested in modified fuel/oil system allowing continuous inverted flight. Cockpit equipment may vary depending on the aircraft role. For example, Kirovograd pilot school uses 5 Yak-8Ts equipped for blind landing.
|drawing courtesy of Antoine de Saint-Exupery aeroclub used as a background for this page;|
For Sale / To Fly
|Created December 6, 2000||Back to|