Yakovlev Yak-17

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Yakovlev Yak-17.jpg
Yak-17 in the Central Air Force Museum
Role Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing
Designer Yakovlev
First flight June 1947
Introduction 1948
Retired early 1960s
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Polish Air Force
Romanian Air Force
PLA Air Force
Produced 1948-1949
Number built 430
Developed from Yakovlev Yak-15
Variants Yakovlev Yak-23

The Yakovlev Yak-17 (Russian: Як-17 NATO reporting name "Feather",[1] was an early Soviet jet fighter. It was developed from the Yak-15, the main difference being tricycle landing gear. The trainer version, known as the Yak-17UTI, was the Soviet's most numerous and important early jet trainer.

Design and development[edit]

Following testing of the Yak-15U, Yakolev ordered a major redesign, incorporating a nosewheel, while putting aside commonality with the Yak-3.[2] In addition, the main gear had to be redesigned to place the wheels behind the aircraft's center of gravity. The main gear was moved behind the front spar, and when retracted filled most of the space between the spars. This caused a major redesign of the fuel tanks and reduced their capacity to just 680 liters (150 gallons). This necessitated the addition of two 200 liter (44 gallon) jettisonable tanks, which hung under the tip of each wing. The addition of the tip tanks required a redesign of the structure of the wing so that the aircraft could still maintain a load bearing of 12g. The vertical stabilizer was enlarged and a periscope was also added above the windscreen on most series aircraft. Armament, systems, and equipment were virtually unchanged.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Yak-17 was first publicly displayed at the Soviet Aviation Day of 1949, at Tushino.

In operation, the Yak-17 had most of the same faults as its predecessor, including relatively low speed and range, and an unreliable engine (still based upon the German Junkers Jumo 004) with a complicated starting procedure. On the other hand, its handling was very simple, and similar to popular propeller fighters such as the Yak-3 and Yak-9. This made it an excellent transitional machine to jet fighters. As a result, the trainer version Yak-17UTI accounted for the majority of production, and almost all series-built Yak-17s were of this tandem, dual-control trainer version, which filled an important need in all Soviet air arms.[2]

Surviving Yak-17s can be viewed at the Central Air Force Museum at Monino, outside of Moscow and the Prague Aviation Museum at Kbely Airport, near Prague, Czech Republic. Surviving Yak-17UTIs include one example at the Polish Aviation Museum near Kraków and the Chinese Aviation Museum, near Beijing.


The most-produced variant of the Yak-17, the Yak-17UTI (NATO reporting name "Magnet"[1]) was a tandem-seat, dual-control trainer.[2]

Fuel capacity was greatly reduced, owing to the elimination of the wingtip tanks. Initially it was planned to include a single UBS machine gun, but this was omitted on series-produced aircraft. In the U.S., this aircraft was known as the "Type 26", and given the ASCC reporting name "Magnet".[2]

Production began in 1948. Total production of all Yak-15 and Yak-17 variants was 717, with the Yak-17UTI the most numerous of all variants of this early Soviet jet.[2]


Yak-15U (Yak-15U-RD-10)
Improved Yak-15 with tricycle undercarriage and drop tanks, became the prototype of the Yak-17 proper.
UTI Yak-17-RD10 (Yak-21T)
(No relation to the earlier Yak-17-RD10) Two-seat trainer version of the Yak-15U with long greenhouse canopy over tandem cockpits and tricycle undercarriage.
Production two-seat Yak-17 trainers.
Production fighters with tricycle undercarriage.
(T - Tryokhkolyosnoye shassee - tricycle undercarriage) Alternative designation of the UTI Yak-17-RD10, no relation to earlier Yak-21


Yak-17UTI in the Datanshan Aviation Museum, Beijing
Yak-17UTI in the Polish Aviation Museum
Yak-17 in Prague Aviation Museum, Kbely, Prague, Czech Republic
 Burkina Faso
  • Burkina Faso Air Force Escadrille de la République de Haute-Volta operated few aircraft both fighters & trainers from 1964-1970 (Remains unknown how they were acquired)
 People's Republic of China
  • Polish Air Force operated three Yak-17 (transcribed as Jak-17) and 11 Yak-17UTI (known as Jak-17UTI or Jak-17W), from 1950 and were withdrawn by 1955.
  • Instytut Lotnictwa received one Jak-17 from Polish Air Force and used it with civilian markings SP-GLM for tests between 1957 and 1960.
  • Romanian Air Force operated nine Yak-17UTIs as trainers for the Yak-23s from 1951 until 1958
 Soviet Union

Specifications (Yak-17)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 8.70 m (28 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.20 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 2.30 m (7 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 14.9 m² (160 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,081 kg (4,578 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,890 kg (6,358 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,240 kg (7,128 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Klimov RD-10A turbojet, 8.9 kN (2,000 lbf)



See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ a b Parsch, Andreas and Aleksey V. Martynov. "Designations of Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft and Missiles." Designation-Systems.net, 2008. Retrieved: 13 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gunston, 1997


External links[edit]