1/48 Czech Model Yakovlev Yak-15

Gallery Article by Ulysses Almeida on Dec 19 2019



This is my first experience with this brand.  The kit is very simple and for that reason it took a lot of work to make it look good. Scribing and scratch building are a must. I chose the all red Soviet Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team colour scheme as seen at the Tushino Air Display in 1948. The red paint is Revell and the grey is of my own making with some acrylic paint. Fun fact: the Yak15 was the second jet plane to fly in the Soviet Union because representatives from Yakovlev and the Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB tossed a coin on 24 April 1946 to determine which aircraft would be the first Soviet jet to fly. 

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Some history on the plane: On 9 April 1945, the Council of People's Commissars ordered the Yakovlev OKB to develop a single-seat jet fighter to be equipped with a single German Jumo 004 engine. To save time, Yakovlev based the new design (known as the Yak-3-Jumo or Yak-Jumo) on the latest version of his successful Yakovlev Yak-3 piston-engined fighter. The piston engine was removed and the jet engine was mounted underneath the forward fuselage so that its exhaust exited underneath the middle of the fuselage.

The tests revealed a number of problems in that the thick wing inherited from the Yak-3 limited the top speed of the aircraft, the engine exhaust damaged the surface of the airfield, the cockpit often filled with smoke from kerosene and oil that had dripped onto the engine, and the aircraft was very short-ranged. Despite these problems, the Yak-15 proved to be very easy to fly, even for pilots accustomed to piston-engined fighters, and caused the VVS to accept he fighter as a conversion trainer. The aircraft were distributed in small numbers to fighter aviation regiments based in the USSR, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Manchuria for use as conversion trainers. The aircraft's manoeuvrability led it to be used by a number of informal acrobatic display teams throughout the late 1940s.

Ulysses Almeida

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Photos and text by Ulysses Almeida