Russian Air Force Yak-152s will have a German powerplant. Prototype’s first flight is expected shortly.

United Aircraft Corporation (Booth J39) is revealing in Singapore for the first time details of the production version of Yakovlev Yak-152, which has been selected as the new primary trainer of the Russian Air Force. Perhaps surprisingly, it eschews the venerable VOKBM M14 radial engine, which was expected to be carried forward from the current Yak-52 of the DOSAAF military flying schools, opting instead for a German diesel.

Little-known Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments GmbH (RED) is based in Adenau (Nürburgring), near Cologne. Established by Vladimir Raikhlin in 2008, based on a previous venture founded in 1995, it offers V6 and V12 aero-engines, the larger of which has been test-flying in a civilian Yak-52 since 2010. Rated at 500 hp, it is this, designated A03, which has been selected for the new trainer, married to a German propeller, the variable-pitch, three-blade MTV-9.

First mooted over a decade ago, the Yak-152 initially made little progress, even in spite of an agreement with China that was to have seen it enter military service there as the Hongdu L-7/CJ-7. One M14-powered example conducted a brief evaluation in that country in 2010, but nothing further has been revealed.

The aircraft’s fortunes changed in 2014, when Yakovlev design bureau won a Russian Ministry of Defense tender for development under the project designation “Ptichka-VVS.” Valued at 300 million rubles (US$3.8 million), it stipulated that the Yak-152 should be available for trials before November 25, 2016.

To meet this tight timetable, Irkutsk Aviation Plant will fly the prototype before mid-year and a second example a few months later. Two more will be employed on static tests. Subject to satisfactory evaluation at the Gromov Flight Research Institute, Zhukovsky, near Moscow, 150 aircraft will be obtained for flying schools as a lead-in to the Yak-130 jet.

The Yak-152 is a low-wing design suitable for aerobatic training, but incapable of entering an uncontrollable spin. Student and instructor sit in tandem, beneath a single-piece, side-hinged canopy-cum-windscreen, each with an SKS-94M2 emergency extraction system from NPP Zvezda. Service life is specified as 10,000 hours or 30.000 cycles.

In its Diesel version, the Yak-152 offers “single lever” engine control via a FADEC, but it can be supplied with the 360 hp M14 radial engine, if the customer so desires, with minimal modification. Maximum takeoff weight is 3,285 lb. (1,490 kg) and maneuvering limits are +8/–6 g with two aboard. Maximum level speed is 270 kt. (500 km/h) and range, 810 nm (1,500 km).