|AEROBATIC TRAINER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Yakovlev|
Despite its earlier number, the Yak-54 was actually developed from the Yak-55M, to replace the Yak-56. It is the OKB's latest aerobatic trainer, with the airframe of the Yak-55M modified with an instructor cockpit added at the rear, and with redesigned undercarriage main legs raked further forward, a taller fin, redesigned rudder and elevators, three-blade propeller and minor changes to the engine installation (for example, additional coolingair exit louvres). The cockpits are covered by a single canopy hinged to the right, behind a smaller fixed windscreen. Remarkably, the structure is stressed to the even higher negative load factor of -7.
Project manager is D K Drach, chief engineer V M Popkov and the OKB test pilots are A S Vyatkin and A A Sinitsyn (chief Yak-141 test pilot). Painted in a new scheme of white, green and red, the unflown prototype was shown at the 1993 Paris airshow, bearing no marking but the airshow number 310. Later it was given the cryptic registration 01001 and first flown on 24 December 1993, the pilot not being one of those assigned to the programme but Sh Z Khamidulin. Production will be at Saratov.
Bill Gunston & Yefim Gordon "Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924", 1997