Yakovlev Yak-50 (1975)

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Yak-50, Radom Air Show 2007.jpg
Role Trainer/aerobatic aircraft
Manufacturer Yakovlev
First flight 25 June 1975
Produced 1975-1986
Number built 314
Developed from Yakovlev Yak-18
Variants Yakovlev Yak-52
One of the survivors
VH-DZY's cockpit

The Yakovlev Yak-50 (Russian: Яковлев Як-50) aerobatic aircraft is a single-seat all-metal low-wing monoplane with retractable main wheels and exposed tail wheel. The control surfaces are fabric-covered to save weight. The aircraft is not equipped with flaps.

The supercharged engine may be the Vedeneyev M14P (standard production line version), M14PF or M14R, producing between 360 and 450 hp and driving the propeller via a reduction gearbox. The landing gear, brakes and engine starter are operated by compressed air. Replenished by an engine-driven compressor, the main and emergency air bottles are contained within the forward fuselage between the firewall and fuel tanks.

The Yak-50 has exceptionally fine handling characteristics enhanced by a relatively high power-to-weight ratio. It has a tough and agile airframe - the type was twice World Aerobatic Champion. It has been used as a military trainer by several countries.

Aircraft serving with the Soviet National Aerobatic team were typically scrapped after about 50 flight hours, due to the intense stresses imposed on the airframe during unlimited aerobatics. There were numerous cases of main spar failure; among its victims were the 1976 World Aerobatic Champion Viktor Letsko and many others.

Two modifications (Service Bulletin 61DA for S/N 0102-2007 and Service Bulletin 79 for S/N 1201-2806) were made to strengthen the wings spars for the extreme loads experienced during unlimited aerobatics, and no further failures occurred.

Other aircraft serving with DOSAAF were "officially" scrapped or placed into storage after they were superseded by the Yak-55 and Su-26.

It is these aircraft that form the bulk of airworthy "survivors" today.[1] Only a few (approx. 90+) are airworthy and remain in private hands in Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.


  • DOSAAF Russia
  • DOSAAF Ukraine
 Soviet Union


Data from Yak-50 Flight Manual & Technical Description handbook

General characteristics


  • Never exceed speed: 450 km/h VNE (243 knots, 280 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 400 km/h VA (216 knots, 249 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 270 km/h VNO (146 knots, 168 mph)
  • Stall speed: 100 km/h (54 knots, 62 mph)
  • Range: 500 km (270 nmi, 308 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 11.3 m/s @ max T/O weight, 16.0 m/s @ max T/O power (2,224 ft/min @ max T/O weight, 3,145 ft/min @ max T/O power)
  • Wing loading: 60.7 kg/m² (12.43 lb/(sq ft))
  • Power/mass: 0.295 kW/kg (0.179 hp/lb)
  • G-loads: +9; -6 G dependent on tankage and smoke oil installation
  • Take-off roll: 100 m (328 ft)
  • Landing roll: 250 m (820 ft)
  • Take-off speed: 130 km/h (81 mph, 70 kn)
  • Landing speed: 110 km/h (68 mph, 59 kn)


  1. ^ "Yak-50s The Survivors". p. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-09.