Yakovlev Yak-141 "Freestyle"

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This product was added to our catalog on 29 March, 2011
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The Yak-141 is the world"s first supersonic VTOL fighter. It operates with lift engines in the forward fuselage and a vectoring nozzle on the main engine, placed well forward, between twin tail booms. The Yak-141 seems to be more a technology demonstrator than an actual fighter aircraft, and the need to use afterburner for take-off is a distinct problem. Development is continuing, after being halted temporarily.

Yakovlev Yak-41/141 Freestyle Design of the Yak-41 began in 1975; the first prototype flew on 9 March 1987, followed by a second in April 1989. Tests were conducted on the aircraft carrier "Admiral Gorshkov". In April 1991, one of the prototypes set several records for VTOL aircraft; it was displayed at the Paris Air Show shortly afterwards. One prototype was lost in a crash (attributed to pilot error) on the carrier in November 1991, after which development was suspended (due to lack of funds rather than any problems with the aircraft); the surviving aircraft was mothballed.

Yakovlev have recently announced their intention to restart development of the Yak-41, apparently as a result of renewed interest from the Russian Ministry of Defence (a similar revival of the twin-turboprop Yak-44 AEW aircraft is also being considered).

A more advanced version, has also been designed, with the emphasis now on Air Force rather than Navy service. This version has an extensively modified airframe, with a strong emphasis on stealth (there is a distinct resemblance to the F-22), a much more powerful engine, and more fuel and payload.

The "Freestyle" has been referred to as both Yak-41 and Yak-141; it appears that one designation refers to the standard fighter (Yak-41) and one to the single prototype modified for record attempts (Yak-141)

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