​​​​​Wild Blue Aviation

YAK-52’s
 
You know, I love CJ's (see my CJ-6 page).  Yessir, I really do.  But Yak-52's--now there's an airplane!  Some folks think they're ugly, the standard model doesn't have enough fuel, no lights or baggage etc.  But there just ain't nothin' like 'em nowhere--not at twice the price!  -52W's and TW's overcome nearly all of the objections--fuel, lights, baggage--and will perform like the REAL aerobatic airplanes all -52's are.  Unfortunately, they are very hard to come by--only about a dozen W's and a few more TW's in the US--and they hardly ever come up for sale.  But even at a bit over $100K (for a nearly NEW airplane) nothing comes close.  Yes, they're a little slower than CJ's, the cockpits are a little smaller, but howzabout that POWER!  And, you can buy a nice standard model -52 for a bit less than a CJ.  Yes, I love CJ's, but these -52's, they're the real deal at bargain basement prices.  I've owned several CJ's, standard model -52's, a W and a TW--and loved every one of 'em.  In fact, they're making me schizophrenic, 'cause I just can't say I like one better than the other.  But two things are crystal clear:  Extremely LOW TIME -52's are available at stone-dead giveaway prices and they are SERIOUS aerobatic airplanes.  So, if aerobatics is your thing and you're looking for a real steal, nothing comes close to a Yak-52.  Guess I need one of each!


Like all airplanes, prices took a hit in the Great Recession. European prices are still relatively high, but are coming down as the dollar appreciates against the euro. The USA has pretty well recovered (Seattle is booming), though it varies around the country. Europe has finally stabilized and is showing some slow growth, but the euro is has taken a pretty big drop, so European airplanes are parts prices have been coming down.
 
A little info:
 
The Yak-52 was designed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau of Moscow, Russia, in the old USSR.  All Yak-52’s--more than 2000--have been built by Aerostar of Bacau, Romania.  In the old Communist system, aircraft were designed by “design bureaus,” like Yakovlev, Sukhoi and MiG, but were built elsewhere.  Kind of like a Boeing (design bureau) 747 built by Lockheed.  Aerostar is the only factory to ever produce Yak-52’s.
 
Different models:  There are four different models of the Yak-52 and many modifications available to add fuel etc.  Yak-52W (“westernized” version) and –52TW (TailWheel, get it?) are relatively new airplanes, not old airplanes spruced up by a “factory.” Production stopped when the appreciating euro (several years ago) drove the prices out of reach. The Yak-52TD (“TailDragger”) is a standard model -52 modified by Termikas of Lithuania to tailwheel configuration with the landing gear retracting flush (the landing gear on the -52TW protrudes a bit below the wing), span-wise into the wing. The tailwheel used on the -52TD is a variation on the Yak-50 unit, while the -52TW uses a Cessna 185 spring and Scott 3200 tailwheel. The famous Vedenyev (another design bureau) M-14P (360hp) and M-14PF-DK (400hp) engines were built in Romania by Aerostar and may still be available.  Other factories have also built the M14P.  Aerostar calls its engine factory “Aeromotors.”  New old stock parts are available for both airframes and engines from Aerostar.  –52W’s and TW’s are generally equipped with MT or Whirlwind 3-blade constant-speed propellers.  Standard model –52’s generally have a 2-blade constant-speed “paddle” prop.  Other props are available.

Both the Yak-52 and M14P were designed for rough use in pretty primitive field conditions.  The old system prided itself on being tough, macho, able to take anything, while getting by on nothing.  –52’s are built to take it--they are extremely rugged and reliable.  Usually, the airports had dirt or sod runways.  Some were pretty rough--tall grass and potholes.  No problem.

Most Yak-52’s went to “DOSAAF,” a sort of combination Russian ROTC flight school and military flying club.  Others went directly to the militaries of eastern bloc countries for use as trainers.  They are capable of most “unlimited” category aerobatic maneuvers, like lomcevaks, as well as garden-variety loops and rolls and are equipped with inverted fuel and oil systems.  Visibility from the greenhouse canopy is excellent and 360hp from the M14P-DK (400hp from the M14PFX-DK used in the Yak-52TW) provides plenty of power.  Although -52’s aren’t competitive with today’s unlimited class aerobatic aircraft, their predecessors were World Champions.  The –52 is derived from the Yak-18 series and Yak-50, World Aerobatic Champion aircraft of the 1960's and 70’s.  In fact, the –52 was developed as a two-place Yak-50, so you know the –52 is no slouch.

Not only are Yak-52’s great for aerobatics, they are smooth, stable, enjoyable cross-country airplanes, too.  My wife hates to ride in Cessnas--no offense--but loves to fly in Yaks.  Great fun for those $100 burgers or just boring holes in the sky.  At cruise you can figure about 12-15 gph fuel consumption, depending on power setting.  The standard (old) model –52 carries about 32 gallons of fuel, plenty for stretching your aerobatic legs, but not a lot of range for x-c (potential defectors take note).  Auxiliary tanks are available.  The new -52W and –52TW (tailwheel) carry 74 gallons, enough for a very comfortable 500-600nm range with plenty of reserve.  Down low you’ll indicate about 155 mph and at cruise altitude you’ll see true airspeeds of about 165 mph.  The –52TW, with fully enclosed, span-wise retracting gear, is a little faster, and with 400hp, more capable.  Maximum climb rates are over 2000fpm, or you can cruise-climb at a leisurely 1200fpm and 140 mph with excellent visibility.

The terminology for maintenance in the old system (and they still go by the old system in many European countries today) is a bit confusing for US pilots.  The M14P-DK (360hp) engines have a TBO of 1200 hours and the M-14PFX-DK (400hp), 1000 hrs.  The airframes are designed for 2000 hours at a continuous 7G’s.  Try that in your T-6 or T-34!  The old maintenance system doesn’t have “annual inspections,” they use the “five-year plan.”  Every five years they do what we would call a very thorough “Annual.” They call it an “overhaul.”  They send the airplanes to the factory or a military maintenance depot where they are disassembled, inspected and repaired.  Some parts are routinely replaced; others are replaced only if worn.  They lube and adjust things, then, back to the field.  Repeat: they do this once every five years or 1000 hrs.  In between “overhauls,” they just add fuel and oil and change the tires.  If something breaks, they fix it, otherwise, NO MAINTENANCE. Obviously, in our annual inspection environment, these airplanes are trouble-free and will last a long, long time.

How about parts?  Since these airplanes were in production until fairly recently, parts are available from new old stock production.  

Systems:  High-pressure air is provided by an engine-driven compressor to the main air tank and is used for the engine starter, landing gear retraction, flaps, and, on the “standard” Yak-52, brakes.  There is an “emergency” air tank for blowing the gear down if you lose main air in flight.  The engines start easily, but are easy to “prop” if you run out of air.  Both the -52W and TW use good ol’ Cleveland wheels and double-puck hydraulic toe brakes (both cockpits).  Plenty of stopping power.  The old pneumatic brakes were perfectly fine, but for the sake of easy maintenance in the west, the -52W and 52-TW have switched to American systems wherever practical.  This includes American electrics, instruments and avionics.  They also have controls for the engine cowling inlet vanes (very effective for controlling temperatures) and oil cooler in both cockpits, and have removed some of the instructor overrides from the rear cockpit.  Both the -52W and TW have baggage compartments aft of the rear cockpit, accessible from both the outside and from inside, and have moved the batteries from the wing to a bay aft of the baggage compartment.  “Standard” model –52’s have fabric covered control surfaces; -52W’s and TW’s are all metal.

What does “Experimental Exhibition” mean?  That’s the category the FAA throws almost all foreign and military airplanes into (unless they’ve spent a few megabucks on US certification), including –52’s.  The primary effect is no "commercial" use.  NEW NEW NEW!! The FAA has just eliminated the "Proficiency Area" limitations on Experimental Exhibition aircraft--no more restrictions on where you can go or when!

Flight training:

Type specific training is important and recognized by all insurance companies.  Yes, they will give you a discount if you can show type specific training by experienced instructors.  Although Yaks are simple and easy to fly, to insurance companies they are strange and exotic, especially if you have limited experience in “complex” airplanes.  No problem.  We include “checkout” training free of charge with purchase of a Yak.  If you want training in formation flying, aerobatics or tailwheels, we can provide whatever you need.  If you don’t know how to fly, we can handle that, too.  Yes, people sometimes buy Yaks with no piloting experience.  Just give us a call or email to talk about what you need.

Got any questions?  Give me a call, I love to talk Yaks!

Yak-52TW Specifications:

wing span:  32 ft. 5-3/4 in./9.9m
wing area:  163 sq. ft./15.3 sq. m
length:  25 ft. 3 in./7.7m
height:  8 ft. 2 in./2.5m
wheel track:  8 ft. 7 in./2.7m
empty weight:  2090 lbs./950kg
max. takeoff weight w/32 gal. fuel:  2761 lbs./1255kg
max. takeoff weight w/74 gal. fuel:  2992 lbs./1360kg
range (32 gal. fuel):  350nm/583km (no reserve)
range (74 gal. fuel):  787nm/1312km (no reserve)
Vne: 280 mph
Vcruise: 165 mph (75% power at 7000 ft.)
Vso: 65 mph
Ceiling:  13,000 ft./4000m
Max climb rate:  2000+ fpm
Cruise climb rate:  1200 fpm
G limits:  +7/-5.5
takeoff distance w/32 gal. fuel:  660 ft./200m
takeoff distance w/74 gal. fuel:  990 ft./300m
landing distance:  855 ft./260m

Standard Equipment

400hp M-14PFX-DK engine 1000 hrs.TBO
US instruments
King KY-96A flip-flop com
Garmin digital transponder
NAT intercom
Ameriking Mode C encoder
Ameriking ELT
Hooker 5-point harnesses
Baggage compartment
B&C 50 amp alternator
Cleveland wheels and hydraulic toe brakes in both cockpits
Cowl flap and oil cooler controls in both cockpits
MT 3-blade constant-speed aerobatic propeller

There are numerous equipment variations including GPS, “glass panels” etc.

Yak-52W Specifications:


wing span:  32 ft. 5-3/4 in./9.9m
wing area:  163 sq. ft./15.3 sq. m
length:  25 ft. 3 in./7.7m
height:  8 ft. 2 in./2.5m
wheel track:  8 ft. 7 in./2.7m
empty weight:  2290 lbs./1040kg
max. takeoff weight w/32 gal. fuel:  2761 lbs./1255kg
max. takeoff weight w/74 gal. fuel:  2992 lbs./1360kg
range (32 gal. fuel):  290nm/460km (no reserve)
range (74 gal. fuel):  660nm/1312km (no reserve)
Vne: 280 mph
Vcruise:  160 mph (75% power at 7000 ft.)
Vso:  65 mph
Ceiling:  13,000 ft./4000m
Max climb rate:  2000 fpm
Cruise climb rate:  1200 fpm
G limits:  +7/-5.5
takeoff distance w/32 gal. fuel:  660 ft./200m
takeoff distance w/74 gal. fuel:  990 ft./300m
landing distance:  855 ft./260m

Standard Equipment

360hp M-14P-DK engine 1200 hrs. TBO
US instruments
Icom A-200 flip-flop com
Garmin transponder
NAT intercom
Ameriking Mode C encoder
Ameriking ELT
Hooker 5-point harnesses
Baggage compartment
B&C alternator
Cleveland wheels and hydraulic toe brakes in both cockpits
Cowling inlet vane and oil cooler controls in both cockpits
MT 3-blade constant-speed aerobatic propeller

Yak-52 Specifications (standard model)

wing span:  32 ft. 5-3/4 in./9.9m
wing area:  163 sq. ft./15.3 sq. m
length:  25 ft. 3 in./7.7m
height:  8 ft. 2 in./2.5m
wheel track:  8 ft. 7 in./2.7m
empty weight:  2290 lbs./1040kg
max. takeoff weight w/32 gal. fuel: 2992 lbs./1360kg
range (32 gal. fuel):  290nm/460km (no reserve)
Vne: 280 mph
Vcruise: 160 mph (75% power at 7000 ft.)
Vso: 65 mph
Ceiling:  13,000 ft./4000m
Max climb rate:  2000 fpm
Cruise climb rate:  1200 fpm
G limits:  +7/-5.5 at gross weight (1986 and later, earlier models are +5/-3 unless applicable bulletins have been complied with)
takeoff distance at gross weight:  990 ft./300m
landing distance:  855 ft./260m

Standard Equipment
360hp M-14P engine 1200 hrs. TBO
2-blade constant-speed propeller
Russian instruments, including electric gyros in both cockpits
Flight recorder
ADF w/RMI
Russian 760 channel VHF com (excellent military quality)
Russian intercom—also excellent
Instructor override controls in rear cockpit

Options:  avionics, baggage compartment, add’l fuel etc.

Wild Blue Aviation
Hangar 28
18228 59th Dr. NE, Arlington, WA, 98223 USA
Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO)
phone 425-876-0865
email FlyWBA@gmail.com

Ain't nothin' like 'em at twice the price!!

Yak-52TW--also imported new by WBA

Yak-52 FAQ's

standard model Yak-52--still the biggest bargain in aviation


Bargain Basement Steals--No better Value nowhere!!

Factory new Yak-52W with a Whirlwind 3-blade propeller imported by WBA