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Yakovlev Yak 15

The Yakovlev Yak-15, an initial Soviet turbojet fighter, was developed by the Yakovlev design bureau (OKB) immediately following the conclusion of World War II.

This aircraft utilized the main fuselage of the Yakovlev Yak-3 piston-engine fighter, which was modified to accommodate a reverse-engineered German Junkers Jumo 004 engine.

Notably, the Yak-15, along with the Swedish Saab 21R, were the sole examples of successful conversions from piston-powered aircraft to jets that entered production.

A total of 280 Yak-15 aircraft were manufactured in 1947.

Despite its classification as a fighter, its primary purpose was to train pilots with experience in piston-engine aircraft to operate jet-powered planes.

In 1945, the Council of People’s Commissars ordered the Yakovlev OKB to develop a single-seat jet fighter equipped with a German Jumo 004 engine.

The Yak-3-Jumo was based on the latest version of Yakovlev Yak-3 piston-engined fighter and had a total of 590 kilograms of fuel.

Taxi tests began in October 1945, but the heatshield proved too short and the heat from engine exhaust melted the duralumin skin of the rear fuselage and the rubber tire of the tailwheel.

Modifications took until late December, and a second prototype was completed with a solid steel tailwheel and an enlarged tailplane.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB was developing the MiG-9 at the same time.

The Yak-15, Yak-15RD10, or Yak-RD was ordered to be available for flight testing on 1 September 1946.

Yakovlev was able to adapt the two existing prototypes to the RD-10 with little trouble and participated in the August 1946 Tushino flypast.

Joseph Stalin summoned Artem Mikoyan and Aleksandr Yakovlev to his office and ordered each OKB build 15 aircraft to participate in the 7 November parade in Red Square commemorating the anniversary of the October Revolution.

Factory No. 31 in Tbilisi was chosen to build the new aircraft, which were built before the deadline, despite lacked armour, enlarged fuel tanks, and incomplete avionics outfit.

Even before the State acceptance trials were completed, the Council of Ministers ordered the aircraft into production in December 1946.

50 aircraft were built between January and April 1947, equally split between single-seat aircraft and two-seat trainers.

A total of 280 Yak-15s were produced through the end of the year, distributed in small numbers to fighter aviation regiments based in the USSR, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Manchuria for use as conversion trainers.

Yak-Jumo (Yak-3-Jumo)
The first prototypes of the Yak-15 series, powered by captured Jumo 004 engines.
(Yak-RD) Initial designation of prototypes and early production aircraft powered by Soviet-built RD-10 engines (copies of the Jumo 004), with no or reduced armament.
Production aircraft with full armament
Two-seat training version of Yak-15.
One built, but not proceeded with because of the success of the trainer version of the Yak-17.
(V – Vyvozny – familiarisation trainer)

Alternative designation for the Yak-21.
(U – Uchebnotrenirovochnyy – training)

Alternative designation for the Yak-21.

(Yakovlev Yak-15U-RD10)
(U – uloochshenny – improved)

Improved Yak-15 with tricycle undercarriage and drop tanks, became the prototype of the Yak-17.
Similar but unrelated aircraft
An experimental aircraft, similar in appearance to the Yak-Jumo aircraft, but actually largely new, incorporating improved aerodynamics, an ejection seat and protection for the pilot.
The sole prototype remained unflown after further development was cancelled on 26 September 1946, as taxi tests were being carried out.
8.7 m (28 ft 7 in)
9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
Wing area
14.85 m2 (159.8 sq ft)
Empty weight
1,852 kg (4,083 lb)
Gross weight
2,638 kg (5,816 lb)
Fuel capacity
590 kg (1,300 lb)
1 × Klimov RD-10 turbojet, 8.8 kN (2,000 lbf) thrust
Maximum speed
786 km/h (489 mph, 425 kn)
Combat range
510 km (320 mi, 280 nmi)
Service ceiling
12,000 m (39,000 ft)
Rate of climb
21.6 m/s (4,250 ft/min)
Wing loading
197 kg/m2 (40 lb/sq ft)
2 × 23 mm (0.91 in) Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannon with 60 rounds each.
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.

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