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Yak-36 Freehand

The Yak-36 Freehand was a twin-engined VTOL fighter. Vertical thrust was exhausted through nozzles in the tail, each wing and from the front of the long probe on the nose. The Yak-36 was a technology demonstrator that eventually led to the operational Yak-38 Forger.

Development of VSTOL aircraft for the first time began in the 1950s when the appropriate technical level of the turbojet and turboprop engine has been made, which caused widespread interest in this type of aircraft, both among potential users and design offices. Over the decades since then, the world created dozens of experimental VSTOL aircraft of different systems. Most designs were developed in 1-2 copies, which, as a rule, suffered an accident during early testing, and further studies on them were not conducted. Great expectations, which were associated with such aircraft, ran into serious practical difficulties, and only two projects were brought to serial production and operation: the English "Harrier" (currently the only mass-produced subsonic aircraft, attack GDP "Harrier" R.1127 British company " Hawker - Siddeley) and the Russian Yak-38 (withdrawn from service in 1991).

The Freehand was powered by two non-afterburning Soyuz Tumanskiy/Khatchaturov R-27-300 turbojet engines (11,000 lb thrust each) mounted forward of and below the cockpit. They were fitted with louvered nozzles, which were vectorable through about 90 and exhausted at the center of gravity (c.g.), similar to the Bell X-14 (#18). Engine bleed air was used for reaction control nozzles at the tip of each wingtip fairing, on the tailcone, and at the tip of a ten foot long nose "probe." The overall length was 57.5 ft long (including the nose probe), with a wingspan of 27 ft. Empty weight was 12,346 lb, maximum take-off weight was 20,723 lb.

The Yak-36 made its first untethered hover on 9 January 1963. From there, the flight envelope was slowly expanded, with a double transition from vertical take-off to forward flight and back to vertical landing performed on 16 September 1963. A number of retractable doors (including a large "apron" under the nose) were fitted to reduce hot gas reingestion. It was only capable of vertical take-offs and landings.

In 1961, the Soviet Union was preparing for the laying of the first helicopter - anti-submarine ship of the far zone project 1123 "Moscow". However, the Commander of the Navy S.G.Gorshkov at a meeting of the Presidium of SMEs Science and Technology Council in 1961 proposed to modify the (developed) Proekt 143 for the Yak-36 and Ka-25 helicopters, with joint deployment of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. In 1962, the Black Sea plant started construction of the ship - the heavy ASW aircraft carrier.

The decision to mass production of the Yak-36 was adopted in 1962, and in 1963 the first three series of the sample was collected. In accordance with the approved in January 1963 (in Ingushetia - 1969), the joint decision of the Air Force Commander and the Navy's tactical and technical requirements for VTOL land and ship-based Yak-36 was designed for air support of ground forces in close behind enemy lines while basing on mobile platforms / trailer-trailer in the vicinity of the front line, while basing on the aircraft carrier - to destroy the moving and stationary land and marine facilities under direct enemy of visibility, as well as to conduct visual reconnaissance. In addition, the aircraft was supposed to have the capacity to destroy air targets such as helicopters, transport aircraft, subsonic attack aircraft and AEW aircraft and ASW in the operating areas of deployment of nuclear submarines.

By 1964, the command of the ground forces (as well as the Air Force) lost interest in the Yak-36 due to its low combat capabilities against the saturated air defense and air force of the enemy front line. The Su-7 fighter-bomber, recently put into service, was seen as superior in all respects. However, in the "Dnepr" exercise, the Yak-36 was the most effective ground-attack aircraft. But for the Navy, where the main task was to destroy enemy planes and helicopters att ranges of up to 150 km, the armament of the Yak-36 consisting of outboard cannon containers, guided missiles, bombs FAB-100, was enough.

On May 18, 1965 Yak-36 piloted by V. Mukhin sat on the deck TAPLKR "Moscow" (in Ingushetia - "Kiev"). The first public display was at the Soviet National Aviation day on 7 July 1967 at the Domodedovo Air Show.

In 1966, the Yak-36's first modernization of the (largely copied from the MiG-21PFM). First of all there wsa strengthening the wings. Two missiles (NAR 2 blocks, 2 bombs) were negligible, and subsequent modifications (Yak-36PM) had 4 suspension units instead of two. In addition, the aircraft carried under the fuselage the 23-mm cannon GS-23L On the wingtips it was now placed additional weapons. But full load significantly affected the flight characteristics.

In 1972, the Yak-36 had yet another modification (Yak-36SMT). a more powerful engine, as well as increase the overall fuel capacity due to the withers was established. new radar was installed. Th avionics corresponded to the MiG-23.

Since the Yak-36 could not long meet the fleet, the new version of the aircraft was not slow to appear. The Yak-38 had more robust scheme of the power plant, which led to a reduction in accidents at the VTOL. In 1969 VG Mukhin fulfilled in the Yak-38 first free hovering a foot off the ground. After the appearance in 1977 of the Yak-38M, the Yak-36 was completely outdated and was supplanted by the new aircraft.




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Page last modified: 03-10-2016 17:21:53 ZULU