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Yakovlev Yak 30 Fighter

The Yakovlev Yak-30, an experimental Soviet interceptor developed in the late 1940s, was a derivative of the Yak-25.

However, it distinguished itself by featuring wings that were swept back at a 35° angle at quarter chord.

Despite this modification, the Yak-30 maintained the same fuselage, tail surfaces, and undercarriage as its predecessor, the earlier fighter Yak-25.

The Yak-30 was specifically developed to fulfill the Soviet’s demand for a fighter aircraft that could achieve a speed of Mach 0.9 and operate from unpaved airstrips.

In order to meet these requirements, Yakovlev implemented a sweptback wing design.

The foundation of their design was derived from the Yak-25 experimental fighter, but with the integration of a modified wing featuring a 35-degree sweep angle.

The Yak-30 exhibited a striking resemblance to its predecessor, the Yak-25, with only a handful of modifications.

While the fuselage maintained the structure of the Yak-25, it featured a circular cross-section.

Similarly, the tail of the Yak-30 resembled that of the Yak-25, albeit with a one-piece rudder and slightly larger horizontal surfaces.

The cockpit layout remained unchanged, and the three NR-23 cannons were retained as the primary armament.

However, the wingtip tanks had to be redesigned due to their adverse effect on the aircraft’s center of gravity.

Consequently, they were reconfigured to fit seamlessly under the wing, positioned midway from the fuselage.

Powering the Yak-30 was the RD-500 turbojet, generating an impressive thrust of 1,590 kgf (3,505 lbf).

In summary, the Yak-30 underwent minimal alterations compared to its predecessor, the Yak-25.

The circular cross-section of the fuselage, along with the one-piece rudder and slightly enlarged horizontal surfaces in the tail, distinguished the Yak-30 from its predecessor.

Despite these changes, the cockpit layout and the three NR-23 cannons remained unaltered.

The redesign of the wingtip tanks was necessary to address the issue of the aircraft’s centre of gravity, resulting in their placement flush under the wing, midway from the fuselage.

The formidable power of the RD-500 turbojet, generating a thrust of 1,590 kgf (3,505 lbf), propelled the Yak-30 forward.

The initial Yak-30 prototype, designated as “42” and marked with the number “5” on its rudder, underwent a successful test flight on 4 September 1948 under the command of pilot Anokhin.

Anokhin continued to conduct test flights with this aircraft until 16 December 1948.

The second prototype, known as the Yak-30D, became part of the flight test program in early 1949.

It featured several modifications, including the insertion of a 38 cm (15 in) section in the aft fuselage, revised mainwheel doors that formed a significant portion of the fuselage skinning, Fowler-type flaps replacing split flaps, increased fuel and ammunition capacity, and adjustments to the oxygen system and radio equipment.

Additionally, air brakes were installed on the aft fuselage of the Yak-30D.

The normal loaded weight of the aircraft, excluding external fuel, was increased by 110 kg (243 lb).

During testing, the Yak-30D achieved a dive speed of Mach 0.935.

Compared to the Yak-25, it exhibited a 40 km/h (25 mph) increase in top speed and a 1,000 m (3,281 ft) improvement in service ceiling.

However, the swept-wing design proved to have inadequate aileron control.

Despite the modifications made to address the shortcomings of the first prototype, the Yak-30D faced limited practical significance as the superior MiG-15 was already being delivered for production.

By the time the improved version of the Yakovlev fighter entered flight testing, the NII V-VS trials were essentially of academic interest.

Subsequently, the designation Yak-30 was later reused for the Yakovlev Yak-30 (1960).
8.58 m (28 ft 2 in)
8.65 m (28 ft 5 in)
Wing area
15.1 m2 (163 sq ft)
Empty weight
2,415 kg (5,324 lb)
Gross weight
3,305 kg (7,286 lb) clean
Max take-off weight
3,630 kg (8,003 lb) with drop tanks
1 × Klimov RD-500 centrifugal compressor turbojet engine,
15.9 kN (3,600 lbf) thrust
Maximum speed
1,030 km/h (640 mph, 560 kn) at sea level
Landing speed
166 km/h (103 mph; 90 kn)
1,000 km (620 mi, 540 nmi) internals
Ferry range
1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi) with drop tanks
Service ceiling
15,000 m (49,000 ft)
Rate of climb
41.0 m/s (8,070 ft/min)
Time to altitude
5,000 m (16,000 ft) in 2.6 minutes,
5,000 m (16,000 ft) in 6.6 minutes
3 × 23 mm NR-23 cannon (75 rpg)
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.


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