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Yakovlev AIR-10 / UT-2

The Yakovlev UT-2, a low-wing monoplane with a single engine and tandem two-seat configuration, served as the primary training aircraft for the Soviet Air Force throughout the Great Patriotic War.

Its operational tenure spanned from 1937 until the 1950s, when it was eventually succeeded by the Yakovlev Yak-18.

The previous U-2 (Po-2) biplane was deemed inadequate as a trainer for the more advanced and faster modern aircraft that were being introduced.

In order to address this need, the UT-2 was developed as a suitable replacement.

The design of this new aircraft was undertaken by Alexander Sergeevich Yakovlev’s team at OKB-115.

Initially known as the AIR-10, it was based on the AIR-9 but featured a simpler configuration, including tandem open cockpits and the omission of slats and flaps.

On 11 July 1935, the AIR-10 successfully completed its maiden flight.

Following its victory in the 1935 competition and some minor modifications, it was officially adopted as the standard trainer for the Soviet Air Force.

Due to the downfall of Alexey Ivanovich Rykov, who had been Yakovlev’s superior, the designation AIR was replaced with Ya, resulting in the aircraft that would have been known as the AIR-20 being renamed as the Ya-20.

To simplify production, the AIR-10’s mixed wood-and-metal construction was replaced with only wood.

The prototype’s 120 hp Renault inline engine was also replaced with the 112 kW (150 hp) Shvetsov M-11E radial, while early production aircraft used the 82 kW (110 hp) M-11Gs.

Serial production began in September 1937, and the Soviet VVS (Air Force) designated the aircraft as UT-2 for training purposes.

However, the UT-2 was not an easy aircraft to fly and was prone to entering into spins.

In an attempt to address this issue, the UT-2 model 1940 featured a lengthened forward fuselage and a switch to the 93 kW (125 hp) M-11D radial engine.

Despite these improvements, the handling and flight characteristics of the UT-2 remained challenging.

In 1941, the new UT-2M (modernized) variant was introduced as a means to enhance its handling and stability.

This variant effectively replaced the original UT-2 in terms of production.

Notable modifications were made to the wing planform, which now featured a swept leading edge and a straight trailing edge.

Additionally, the vertical stabilizer was enlarged to further improve the aircraft’s performance.

Over the course of nine years, from 1937 to 1946, a total of 7,243 UT-2 aircraft of various types were manufactured across five different factories.

However, as the 1950s approached, the UT-2 was gradually phased out and replaced by the Yak-18 primary trainer and the Yak-11 advanced trainer.

It is worth mentioning that both before and after World War II, the UT-2 found utility within civilian organizations.

Furthermore, following the war, the Polish and Hungarian Air Forces also operated UT-2 aircraft.
Initial production variant
UT-2 (1940 standard)
Improved spin characteristics.
UT-2 (1944 standard)
UT-2 with MV-4
Inline engine for tests.
Improved 1940 standard with canopy and engine cowling, fuselage similar to early Yak-18 but had fixed undercarriage.
Production from 1941, new wings and empennage
Interim light bomber
Air cushion landing gear testbed
Bomber trainer
Floatplane variant of basic UT-2
Single-seat fighter-trainer development of UT-2L
UT-2, 1940 standard
7.15 m (23 ft 5 in)
10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
2.99 m (9 ft 10 in)
Wing area
17.12 m2 (184.3 sq ft)
Göttingen 387
Empty weight
628 kg (1,385 lb)
Gross weight
940 kg (2,072 lb)
1 × Shvetsov M-11D 5-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,
93.2 kW (125.0 hp)
2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller
Maximum speed
210 km/h (130 mph, 110 kn)
Cruise speed
99 km/h (62 mph, 53 kn)
1,130 km (700 mi, 610 nmi)
Service ceiling
5,000 m (16,000 ft)
Rate of climb
3.3 m/s (650 ft/min)
8 x RS-82 rockets (UT-2MV)
2-4 x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs (UT-2MV)
Yakovlev Aircraft Since 1924 – Bill Gunston & Yefim Gordon.
OKB Yakovlev, A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft-Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov & Sergey Komissarov.
Soviet Aircrafts Illustrated-A.S.Yakovlev.
The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918-Vaclav Nemecek.
Soviet AF Fighter Colours 1941-45-Erik Pilaeskii.
Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Vol 1, Single Engined Fighters-Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Khazanov.
Early Soviet Jet Fighters, The1940s and early 50s-Yefim Gordon.
Soviet Secret Projects, Fighters Since 1945-Tony Buttler & Yefim Gordon.
Soviet Secret Projects, Bombers Since 1945-Tony Buttler & Yefim Gordon.
Soviet Aircraft of Today-Nico Sgariato.
Modern Soviet Fighters-Mike Spick.

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