Close this search box.

Yakovlev Yak 11

From 1947 to 1962, the Soviet Air Force and other air forces under Soviet influence utilized the Yakovlev Yak-11 as a trainer aircraft.

In the midst of 1944, the Yakovlev design bureau embarked on the development of an advanced trainer aircraft, drawing inspiration from the Yak-3 fighter.

However, due to the prevailing circumstances of the ongoing Second World War, the trainer project was considered of lesser importance.

The inaugural prototype of this novel trainer, designated as Yak-UTI or Yak-3UTI, took to the skies in late 1945.

While it retained the essence of the radial-powered Yak-3U, notable modifications were introduced, such as the replacement of the ASh-82 engine with the new Shvetsov ASh-21 seven-cylinder radial engine.

The Yak-UTI featured the same all-metal wings as its predecessor, the Yak-3U, while its fuselage was a combination of metal and wood construction.

The cockpit accommodated the pilot and observer in a tandem configuration, sheltered beneath an elongated canopy equipped with separate sliding hoods.

As for armament, the aircraft boasted a single synchronised UBS 12.7 mm machine gun and wing racks capable of carrying two 100 kg (220 lb) bombs.

In 1946, an improved prototype of the Yak-11 aircraft was developed, featuring modified engine installation and revised cockpits with shock absorbing mounts.

The state testing of this aircraft was successfully completed in October 1946, following which production began at factories in Saratov and Leningrad in 1947.

The production version of the Yak-11 was heavier than the prototypes and had non-retractable tailwheels and revised propellers.

Some of these aircraft were fitted with a 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun instead of the UBS, while others had rear-view periscopes above the windscreen.

The Soviet Union produced a total of 3,859 Yak-11 aircraft between 1947 and 1955, and an additional 707 were built under license by Let in Czechoslovakia, known as the C-11.
Yak 11U
Yakovlev made modifications to the Yak-11 design in 1951, incorporating a retractable tricycle landing gear.

Two versions were suggested, namely the Yak-11U basic trainer and Yak-11T proficiency trainer, both of which were equipped with similar features as modern-day jet fighters.

However, the revised aircraft had a lower fuel capacity and was not suitable for use on uneven or snow-covered runways, leading to its rejection for Soviet service.

Despite this, a small number of Yak-11s were produced in Czechoslovakia as the C-11U.

The Yak-11, which was introduced in 1947, served as a primary advanced trainer for the Soviet Air Forces and DOSAAF.

It was not only utilized by the Soviet Union, but also by all the countries within the Warsaw Pact.

Additionally, it was exported to a total of eighteen nations, including various African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries.

During the Yemeni Civil War, the Egyptians extensively employed this aircraft.

They made modifications to the Egyptian planes by equipping them with Sakr 78mm unguided rockets and two .303in guns mounted on the wings.

These modified aircraft were primarily utilized for ground attack missions.

In the Korean War, North Korean Yak-11s were actively involved in combat.

Notably, one Yak-11 became the first North Korean aircraft to be shot down by US forces.

This incident occurred on 27 June 1950 when a North American F-82 Twin Mustang destroyed the Yak-11 over Kimpo Airfield.

Furthermore, East Germany employed the Yak-11 for intercepting American reconnaissance balloons.
8.20 m (26 ft 10.5 in)
9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
3.28 m (10 ft 5 in)
Wing area
15.40 m2 (166 sq ft)
Empty weight
1,900 kg (4,189 lb)
Max take-off weight
2,440 kg (5,379 lb)
1 × Shvetsov ASh-21 air-cooled radial piston engine,
521 kW (700 hp)
Maximum speed
460 km/h (289 mph, 248 kn)
Cruise speed
370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
1,250 km (795 mi, 691 nmi)
Service ceiling
7,100 m (23,295 ft)
Rate of climb
8.1 m/s (1,600 ft/min)
Wing loading
161 kg/m2 (32.9 lb/sq ft)
0.17 kW/kg (0.10 hp/lb)
1 x nose-mounted machine gun, either 12.7 mm UBS or 7.62 mm ShKAS
Up to 200 kg (440 lb) of bombs on two underwing racks
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.

Share on facebook