The L.O.O.T.M. Archive
Lust Object of the Month
The Chinese built Yak-18s in the 50s under license from the Russians, but eventually developed a successor on their own. That airplane was the Nanchang CJ-6. Through a redesign of the gear, wings, cockpits and tail, and with a more powerful engine, this sturdy trainer serve the Chinese well.
Later, the engine horspower was increased and the new model dubbed the CJ-6A. With a 285 HP Housoi, it was roughly the equivalent of the Beechcraft T-34B model used in the US.
When the aircraft began retiring, they found a niche market as warbirds. They certainly have the look, feel and sound. And as more of the aircraft found their way to our shores some owners did what we Americans do--hot rodded them!
The Vedenyev engines (360 - 400+ HP) were practically a bolt-on conversion, and can be spotted by larger two-bladed or three-bladed props on the ground, or by serious climb angles in flight. The CJs are quite aerobatic, and can be had for quite reasonable prices (as aircraft go in general, and warbirds in particular).
The CJ-6/6A turns 50 next year and the Red Star Pilots Association is planning a celebration at Oshkosh 2008. There's still time to get yourself one of these, learn to fly it and get a formation sign-off, and still make the party!
Enjoy the LOOTM for April.