I called Cliff Coy at Motorstar NA about converting the M14P to electric start. The conversion adds 15 pounds to the aircraft, all at the nose. The reduction gear case is modified to mount a starter, and a ring gear is mounted to the propeller shaft, similar to a Lycoming.
He discouraged me from making the modification because I'm using the Yak for aerobatics. Cliff imported some Yak55 & Yak55M aircraft about 1996. He also did compete with one. He said they were not originally equipped with start air compressors or receivers, the Russian aerobatic team consisted of several ground support crew who walked the plane thru the staging line to the start area, where the start air bottle was connected to the plane via a hose to start the engine.
My Yak55M is a 1991, Cliff does not think it was one he imported. Mine 'looks like' the compressor and receiver are factory installed, but how would I know?
I asked about the difference between the 55 and the 55M, Cliff said the Yak55 has longer wings and is very good for airshow work, being able to perform over a 3000 foot runway. The Yak55M is better for aerobatic competition because it has a higher roll rate.
Other M-14P starts I've seen on Youtube seem to spin the engine faster than mine, I guess I had better spend some time optimizing the air compressor and air start distributor...also inspect the lines and check valves at each cylinder.
I had called B&C Specialty Products, asking about electric start for M-14P engines. They reffered me to Cliff, and said that they do supply the actual Lycoming style starter for the Motorstar NA conversion.
I really like this quote from wiki.. "The resulting design, the Yakovlev Yak-55, was a single-engined all-metal cantilever monoplane. The aircraft's wing is mounted midway up the fuselage and is of thick, symmetrical section to aid inverted flight"