As a long-time fan of Russian airplanes, the products of the Yakovlev Design Bureau have always held a certain fascination. The Yak 50 is a wonderful aircraft, but with a recent listing on Barnstormers.com the Yak 18PS popped up on my Radar screen.
The precursor to the Yak 50, the Yak 18PS is a lower-powered version with fabric-covered wings. But it still possesses the pleasing lines and (for its time) the potent performance of a World-Class aerobatic machine. In fact, the example listed for sale not only flew in the 1972 World Aerobatic Contest, but was flown by a woman Cosmonaut.
The Yak 50 is a more modern aircraft (metal wings, 360 HP Vedenyev in place of the 300 HP Ivchenko), but after covering the ailerons/wings on the Pitts, I can appreciate the simplicity and light weight. Besides, the Yak 18PS is quite rare and that fact gives it a certain appeal all its own.
The May LOOTM is Yakovlev's Yak 18PS. Enjoy!