The Yakovlev Yak-40 is an airliner designed in the Soviet Union to serve poorly equipped airports with short runways in bad weather. Powered by three Ivchenko AI-25 turbofan engines, it carries up to 32 passengers on routes up to 1,800 kilometres in length.
First flight took place on 21 October 1966, and the aircraft entered service with Aeroflot on 30 September 1968. It is the first Soviet jet built to western airworthiness requirements and proved to be quite popular.
Yakovlev Yak-40 Video
Following on from the last video about the gigantic Saunders-Roe Princess flying boat, this week we move behind the Iron Curtain to look at the Yak-40. The video below runs for just over two minutes and covers the jet and a little about it’s less popular successor, the Yak-42.
There is some excellent footage in this, with the rugged design of the plane featured. Seeing it taking off from a runway made of sand and one of grass is pretty interesting.
Other elements exposed in the video that I had no idea about include the fact the aircraft could fly on just one of its three engines. Perhaps a good thing if you’re flying out of remote places with little chance of servicing.
The standard interior layout is for a three abreast cabin seating 24 or 27 passengers. Switching to a tighter four abreast layout increases that to the 32 maximum.
A total of 1,011 aircraft were produced between 1967 and 1981, which is an excellent run. Export orders accounted for 130 of these, which is also quite a success, considering the times.
Today there are around 20 aircraft still flying, some as VIP or cargo transports and the odd one in passenger service. You’ll have to go to Kazakhstan or Russia though to get on one.
Have you flown on board a Yak-40 before? What was it like and did you enjoy the video? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Lars Söderström on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.