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Life and Activity

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Life and Activity

1924 1939.

In 1924 Alexandr Yakovlev, an 18-years motor-mechanic of Zhukovsky Academy flight detachment, had built his first flying vehicle - glider AIF-10 that took to the air on 15 of September of 1924. On May 12 of 1927 the first aircraft AIR-1 designed by A.S.Yakovlev had taken off and already in July 0f 1927 set the world record in range (1420 km) and flight endurance (15 h. 30 min.). Due to these achievements A.S.Yakovlev was taken in Zhukovsky Academy as a student and graduated from it in 1931. While studying in Zhukovsky Academy he hadn't stopped designing the aircraft. During 1927-1931 time interval there were designed eight types of aircraft from AIR-1 up to AIR-8 under his guidance and one of them - AIR-6, was produced serially. After graduation from the Academy A.S.Yakovlev was working as engineer at a plant and continued to design aircraft. The AIR-7 (1932), a two-seater monoplane, was worthy of notice due to its speed of flight of 332 km/h. It should be mentioned that the most speedy fighter of that time - I-5 (biplane) had the speed of 286 km/h with the same motor.

 Aviation club in school   Zhukovsky Academy student     Designer of light aircraft 

The group of 35 enthusiasts that was working under A.S.Yakovlev leadership was generally recognized and on January 15 of 1934 was transferred from the "Osoaviachim" in a state aviation industry ndependent design and production bureau that soon became plant 115. The team got a bed shop building on the Leningradsky prospect as its headquoters. The first aircraft developed at new office, AIR-9, was demonstrated at Paris air show in autumn of 1934. On the basis of this aircraft was designed the UT-2 primary trainer for flying schools and air clubs that was produced for a long time in 1938-1948. In 1935 A.S.Yakovlev was appointed by Chief Designer. In 1936 the UT-1 aircraft was developed for advanced training and also entered serial production. Eleven world records were set on UT-2 and UT-1 aircraft in 1937-1938. The Design Bureau had produced two more aircraft: three-seat AIR-11 and the first in the country aerobatic aircraft with retractable landing gear - AIR-12 that set world record in range of flight - 1444 km.

 At own production base   Visit to future opponents 

In 1939 the Design Bureau had produced its first combat aircraft - two engine bomber BB-22 (Yak-2 and Yak-4) that could fly at speed of 567 km/h. It was more speed that had the best fighters of that time. Yak-2 and Yak-4 were in serial production.

In 1939 A.S.Yakovlev was awarded with his first Lenin order. By that period A.S.Yakovlev was already considered to be one of the best aircraft designers of his time. He was acknowledged by the Government and was supported in his work. Several times A.S.Yakovlev visited with different delegations the leading aviation countries: in 1933 -1940 he was in Italy, France, England, Germany.

 The first award   Tushino airfield  1935    At flight tests  



From January of 1940 and up to July of 1946, including the most hard for the country period of World War II, A.S.Yakovlev being the Head of the Design Bureau also worked as Deputy of Minister of Aviation and was responsible for aircraft production and science (in 1946 - Deputy of Minister of Aviation in general problems). His fruitful activity in this position was awarded by Government for "service in organization of aircraft prototypes production" (1942), for "distinguished service in science and technology development" (1945), election of Academy of Science of the USSR member (1943), USSR Prime Minister's acknowledge for six year top executive activity and conferring the rank of colonel-general (1946).

 The main task - combat planes    At front airfield    Tomorrow in fight   

On 13 January of 1940 I-26 (Yak-1) fighter took off to the air to be one of the best soviet fighters in World War II period. The aircraft was highly appreciated and its Chief Designer got (1940) one of the first in the country Hero of Labor award and became a State Prize laureate (1941).

On the basis of Yak-1 aircraft there were created Yak-7 (1941), Yak-9 (1942), Yak-3 (1943), and more than 30 their modifications in serial production - totally 36.737 aircraft. Yak fighters consisted of two thirds of soviet fleet in the War period and were recognized with State Prizes in 1942, 1943 and 1946. The Design Bureau was awarded with Lenin (1942) and Red Banner (1944) orders and was highly appreciated for its large contribution to the Victory. Many employees of the Design Bureau were highly awarded. Besides the soviet orders A.S.Yakovlev got French awards - Officer of a Legion of Honor and Military crux.

 Such will be a new combat  Yak    New Yak is added to Soviet Air Force   The War is over 



After the World War II the aviation evolved dramatically to jet technique. Yak-15 fighter became the first jet aircraft in serial production in the USSR. It was followed by Yak-17UTI, Yak-23 - totally more than 1000 aircraft.

In post war period the following jet aircraft entered the service: the first all-weather interceptor Yak-25, high-altitude interceptor Yak-25RV, the first supersonic reconnoissance aircraft Yak-27R, the family of supersonic Yak-28 aircraft including the first soviet supersonic front bomber.

These people had created the soviet aviation in WWII: from left to right Lavochkin S.M, Tupolev A.N., Yakovlev A.S., Mikoyan A.I.and Ilushin S.V. at the meeting. New combat Yak is demonstrated
 The war is over the new ideas are  required    Tushino airfield, 1949      The jet aircraft technology is improving 

There was developed the whole generation of light aircraft: trainers Yak-11 and Yak-18 (4166 and 8434 planes correspondingly); the general aviation aircraft Yak-12 (4458 planes), the first in USSR jet trainers Yak-30 and Yak-32. The paratrooper flying vehicles - glider Yak-14 and helicopter Yak-24 (the most carrying capacity in world in 1952-56) entered the service.

  With war veteran pilots of "Normandie-Niemen"" regiment    The second Star of Hero   In museum of Design Bureau  

The jet combat aircraft developed by Design Bureau were marked with Government Prizes. General Designer A.S.Yakovlev was also awarded by International Aviation Federation with a Gold aviation medal for creation of light and other aircraft. In 1957 A.S.Yakovlev got his second Star of Hero of Labor.



In these years Design Bureau under the leadership of A.S.Yakovlev had made a remarkable contribution in the soviet aviation fleet with new combat, civil and light aircraft.

In 1967 the first soviet experimental vertical take-off landing (VTOL) aircraft Yak-36 was demonstrated at aviation parade in Domodedovo and beginning from 1976 the cruisers of "Kiev" class were already armed with combat aircraft Yak-38 - the first world deck STOVL.

 New passenger aircraft is discussed    Italians like  Yak-40    But americans prefer  Yak-42  

The civil jet liner Yak-40 for domestic routes was in regular service since 1968. It was the only soviet civil aircraft certified according to the western airworthiness requirements that was bought by Italy and Germany. The 32-passenger Yak-40 was followed by 132-passenger Yak-42 with high economic parameters.

General Designers Ilushin S.V., Yakovlev A.S. and Mikoyan A.I. at Supreme Soviet session.
 The Yakovlevs A.S and S..   Visit to the soviet aerobatic team   Delegate .S.Yakovlev 

The piston engine trainers Yak-18T and Yak-52 went into production. The sport and aerobatic airplanes were developing with high intensity. The soviet sportsmen had won many first prizes in World and European championships on Yak-18P, Yak-18PS and Yak-50 aircraft beginning from 1960.

In this period "Yak" aircraft were distinguished with Lenin and two Government prizes, the Design Bureau was awarded with Revolution Order. In 1976 A.S.Yakovlev was elected a full member of Academy of Science of the USSR.

 Academicion .S.Yakovlev    Writer .S.Yakovlev   Grandfather .S.Yakovlev 

On August 21 of 1984 General Designer A.S.Yakovlev had retired when he was 78 years old.

A.S.Yakovlev died on 22 August of 1989 and buried at Novodevichie cemetery. Since 1990 the Design Bureau created by A.S.Yakovlev bears his name.


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