The L.O.O.T.M. Archive

Lust Object of the Month

May/June 2009

A good comparison between the Yak-52 (foreground) and the Yak-52TD (background).  Yes, the Yak-52 gear IS retracted.  More here:

This underside view provides a close look at the flush main gear and the small tailwheel (much like the Yak-50.  Read the magazine article here:

Prize Winner at Sun n' Fun

Award winner at Sun 'N Fun (2008?).  Just so happens that this gorgeous airplane is for sale.  Love the spinner.

Removable tip tanks 22g a side

The same airplane with wing tip ferry tanks installed.  If you have to have this, check: .

The Yak-52 is a capable aircraft and, with the "heavy" spar, is very aerobatic.  However, I was never able to get past the "arthritic chicken" look of the exposed landing gear.  (The design has advantages--it can save the aircraft if you forget to extend the gear.  The brakes are supposed to still work gear up.  The props have lines painted on them indicating where to cut the damaged blades.  Extend the gear and fly the aircraft to the repair shop.  I know all that, but it just looks odd to me.)

Aerostar in Romania will happily build you a Yak-52TW (TW for Tail Wheel).  But the gear legs are below the bottom of the wings and the tailwheel is on a long stalk of a spring.

However, YakUK has another option.  The Yak-52TD (TD for Tail Dragger) has a different wing set up that completely encloses the main gear legs for a much more streamline look.  The tailwheel is small and tucked under the tail for a subtle, unobtrusive appearance.

This modification sprang from necessity.  While Aerostar has shipped several TWs to the US, they had not chosen to certify the TW in Europe.  So YakUK took the Yak by the horns and redesigned the wing.  In fact, the standard wing from a -52 comes off, the YakUK wing comes off, and the bulk of the modification is done.  Or you can have YakUK build one for you.  And while the front seat is usually the solo seat, YakUK can set up the primary flying position as the rear seat.  That ought to make you Pitts drivers feel right at home.  (One other advantage in the UK--the aircraft maintains its registration as a Yak-52 rather than some experimental modification.)

The LOOTM for June, the Yak-52TD.  Fast, sleek, powerful and aerobatic, with that great radial engine rumble, what's not to like?