|UTILITY TRANSPORT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Yakovlev|
Collapse of the Soviet Union and the urgent need for Konversiya projects resulted in Yakovlev producing this multi-role utility transport and business aircraft. Project directors are Yu I Yankevich and D K Drach; chief engineer is V I Baranov and the assigned test pilots A A Sinitsyn and Yu I Mitikov. A model was exhibited in mid-1990, and a full-scale mock-up in 1991. The wing was then enlarged from 14sq m to 20sq m, leaving the rest little changed, and a prototype was then built.
The Yak-58 programme is based at Tbilisi. Here the first prototype made its first flight on 26 December 1993 (though a recent article states that the first flight was made on 17 April 1994, the pilot being A S Vyatkin, who is not one of the assigned test pilots). This first aircraft was written off in an accident on 27 May 1994, but the second prototype began flight testing on 10 October 1994, and at the beginning of 1996 there were four prototypes on test, plus two static and fatigue test airframes. Production is now in hand at Tbilisi against letters of intent to purchase said to number 250.
Bill Gunston & Yefim Gordon "Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924", 1997