Czech Yak-11

The Yak-11 was the trainer aircraft for all pilots of the Warsaw Pact states from the 1950s up to the 1970s. To free up production capacity for other aircraft Russia decided to outsource the manufacturing to Czechoslovakia. During the 1950s 707 Yak-11 left the Let aircraft factory in Kunovice. Czech aircraft were designated C-11 (civicny: exercise).

Yak 11

Yak-11 OK-JZE

Yak 11The origins of the Yak-11 lie in the famous Yak-3 fighter that was converted to twin seater combined with the enforcement of the structure and adding a Schwetzow Asch-21 700hp radial engine. As all the other Soviet trainers the aircraft was subsequently called Yak-3UTI. In October 1946 it was already renamed to Yak-11 and the series production for the Soviet Air Force began. The Czechoslovakian Airt Force aircraft served well into the 1960s when they were sold to Egypt with the exception of three aircraft. These were kept airworthy by the Aeroclub Mladá Boleslav until 1976, when all of them were flown for a last time at an airshow in Kunovice and subsequently preserved at the well-known museum in Prague-Kbely.

777119This particular C-11 OK-JZE (serial nr.: 171511) was one of the last aircraft produced in 1955 and chosen in the 1980s to be brought to flying condition. 14 years after the Yak’s last flight the restoration work began at the Letecké Opravny Kbely (LOK, aircraft repair works Kbely) and the aircraft participated from 1991 to 1998 at several airshows. Unfortunately the engine reached its maximum operating hours and flying the aircraft became too expensive. By chance an un-used engine from the 1970s was discovered in the deposit of the Kbely museum. This was a license produced M-21, the same type that also powered the C-11s at the beginning.


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With the help of this engine the Yak-11 was able to fly again and was civil registered and the company BMZ was assigned to operate the aircraft. They also brought the Yak back to its original condition by an extremely authentically restoration. The color scheme is based on the one used on the Lavotschkin La-7 that were used by Czechoslovakian pilots at the end of the Second World War at the Eastern front. After the war national markings were applied and flying continued. The aircraft, which is still property of the Kbely museum, is thus also a means to remember the pilots that died to defend their country.

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I have to thank Jindrich Zimák, Jan Janský and the Yak-11 pilot, Jozef Tóth, for their most excellent support during the arrangements for and the realization of this photo flight.
A more extensive article about this aircraft and its history and flight characteristics was published in Flugzeug Classic 01/2005.

 

Yak-11 Air-Air


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Yak-11 OK-JZE on the Ground


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