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My first Yak

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"
SHIPCHIEF
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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:01 pm

I sent in the SCUBA tanks for hydro test and filling. While waiting for that, a rented tank from a dive shop was used to start the Yak. I taxied around, got fuel and managed a restart from the air charge accumulated during taxiing. This sounds silly, but the air start reservoir is quite small, only provides enough air for about 2 start tries. Eventually one learns a reliable technique, then fears of being stranded are reduced.
The weather was horrible so I could only do a few 'lessons' of a couple seconds of full power to get the feel of acceleration - deceleration and required rudder inputs.
The first decent day, I picked up our serviced & filled SCUBA tanks and only needed one shot of re-charge to get the Yak started. Maybe I'm 'starting to get the hang of it'.
The seller was on hand to call my height above the ground for landing, and give advice on all manner of Aerobatic and Russian aircraft ops.
The large M-14P does block the forward view and the symmetric wing profile set at "0" degree incidence means the airplane flies nose high in level flight.
That means my first flight in the pattern was a long continuous descent after a high initial climb-out. The landing was a flat low approach to a 6000' runway, airspeed about 170 Kph with a 3' high stabilized flair to the 3 point configuration (called by the seller) then a final power reduction and smooth landing. It took most of 4000' and a roll out to the end. That was enough for me. The ceiling was down and rain starting, plus I had enough sensory overload.
Sunday was finally a VFR day, so I decided to ferry the Yak to our community airfield. John Coffee (owns and competes a Yak-55M also) happened by on the way to his plane and helped me get started and provided some different starting tips. After a dismal winter of snow and rain, the airport was getting too busy for additional landing practice, so I Taxied out, warmed up and launched for home, 100 miles away. The take off is very exhilarating with rumbling roar, press you into the seat acceleration and a 3-4 second ground run followed by lift off from the 3 point configuration and continued acceleration. Soon I was looking down on the traffic pattern. Gently handled, the controls seemed docile and well mannered.
Once I was clear of the traffic area I did a few clearing turns and some 45 degree aileron rolls back and forth to get a feel for my new mount. The response is shockingly fast & abrupt. Also very predicable and kind of mild when just flying around. Always taking a moment to move the nose to look ahead, and climbing back to the cruise altitude because the pitch angle seems 'off' and there is no elevator trim, one must always hold the stick back to fly level.
Finally out from under Class Bravo, I could climb and try some stalls, and later when over our practice area departure & arrival stalls, a few steep turns and descents, then into our 2500' grass strip.
Circle to land, carrier style, a little slow @ 150 Kph, over the trees, a push (shouldn't have done that!) and a pull and the tail wheel was on the ground, the Mains next, then a 200' roll to the "threshold", I had landed short in the over-run! Continued to roll out normally, Yes Yak-55 has good ground handling and tracks like a champ, just like they say. Boy does it come down like a brick when it's a little slow. Fortunately it didn't fall in and the Titanium gear absorbed the energy, there was no bounce. That big engine blocks the forward view but the tall bubble canopy gives a good view over the mid wing and the peripheral is good as well.
More later...

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Re: My first Yak

Post by One Winged Junkie » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:20 am

Great review! Honestly I did not know much about the Yak until reading the post here. It sounds like a very unique, fun airplane. I do have one question, I attached a pic and would like to know if these are the rudder pedals, just look at the black arrow.
SHIPCHIEF wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:01 pm
I sent in the SCUBA tanks for hydro test and filling. While waiting for that, a rented tank from a dive shop was used to start the Yak. I taxied around, got fuel and managed a restart from the air charge accumulated during taxiing. This sounds silly, but the air start reservoir is quite small, only provides enough air for about 2 start tries. Eventually one learns a reliable technique, then fears of being stranded are reduced.
The weather was horrible so I could only do a few 'lessons' of a couple seconds of full power to get the feel of acceleration - deceleration and required rudder inputs.
The first decent day, I picked up our serviced & filled SCUBA tanks and only needed one shot of re-charge to get the Yak started. Maybe I'm 'starting to get the hang of it'.
The seller was on hand to call my height above the ground for landing, and give advice on all manner of Aerobatic and Russian aircraft ops.
The large M-14P does block the forward view and the symmetric wing profile set at "0" degree incidence means the airplane flies nose high in level flight.
That means my first flight in the pattern was a long continuous descent after a high initial climb-out. The landing was a flat low approach to a 6000' runway, airspeed about 170 Kph with a 3' high stabilized flair to the 3 point configuration (called by the seller) then a final power reduction and smooth landing. It took most of 4000' and a roll out to the end. That was enough for me. The ceiling was down and rain starting, plus I had enough sensory overload.
Sunday was finally a VFR day, so I decided to ferry the Yak to our community airfield. John Coffee (owns and competes a Yak-55M also) happened by on the way to his plane and helped me get started and provided some different starting tips. After a dismal winter of snow and rain, the airport was getting too busy for additional landing practice, so I Taxied out, warmed up and launched for home, 100 miles away. The take off is very exhilarating with rumbling roar, press you into the seat acceleration and a 3-4 second ground run followed by lift off from the 3 point configuration and continued acceleration. Soon I was looking down on the traffic pattern. Gently handled, the controls seemed docile and well mannered.
Once I was clear of the traffic area I did a few clearing turns and some 45 degree aileron rolls back and forth to get a feel for my new mount. The response is shockingly fast & abrupt. Also very predicable and kind of mild when just flying around. Always taking a moment to move the nose to look ahead, and climbing back to the cruise altitude because the pitch angle seems 'off' and there is no elevator trim, one must always hold the stick back to fly level.
Finally out from under Class Bravo, I could climb and try some stalls, and later when over our practice area departure & arrival stalls, a few steep turns and descents, then into our 2500' grass strip.
Circle to land, carrier style, a little slow @ 150 Kph, over the trees, a push (shouldn't have done that!) and a pull and the tail wheel was on the ground, the Mains next, then a 200' roll to the "threshold", I had landed short in the over-run! Continued to roll out normally, Yes Yak-55 has good ground handling and tracks like a champ, just like they say. Boy does it come down like a brick when it's a little slow. Fortunately it didn't fall in and the Titanium gear absorbed the energy, there was no bounce. That big engine blocks the forward view but the tall bubble canopy gives a good view over the mid wing and the peripheral is good as well.
More later...
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MONOPLANEFORUM.jpg
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SHIPCHIEF
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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:12 pm

"Yes and No"
The Yak-55 rudder pedals work on a rudder bar like that, but they have Toe Brakes with attached Master Cylinders, and also leather belts with adjustable buckles to keep your feet in when you are upside down or doing negative "G" maneuvers.
Is that the rear cockpit of a Yak-52?

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Re: My first Yak

Post by One Winged Junkie » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:13 am

I am not sure if this is the rear pit, I think so. This is a picture of one of the Yak's for sale. By any chance do you have a picture of the rudder pedals with straps, I am really curious.

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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:31 pm

I have 2 more Yak flights under me now. The first was with a strong 10-12 Kts wind down the runway. I could get high enough to do some looping maneuvers, so I started with this year's IAC Sportsman Known beginning, A Cuban 8. Also an Immelmann, Competition turns and climbing 45. Also some rolls.
I didn't have enough altitude for first spins. Anyway, that was enough for me so I went in for a landing 10 Kph faster than last time, which got me 300' farther, and about 200' short of my preferred touchdown point. I'll try 170 Kph on final, or a shot of power just before I settle in...
Today the rain let up long enough to get in one brief flight, which I used for rolls and turns, plus general handling and climbs/descents. The light wind reversed during the flight and I landed accordingly. This time over a long field and a low fence to the "numbers" instead of over tall trees and a 500' over run to the "numbers". I came in about 180+ Kph and also added a blast of power for extra to clear the fence (not needed). The Yak floated A bit and landed on the front edge of the rolling humps at the East end, so we were gently & breifly ejected back into space. Maintaining the 3 point attitude was easy, and the ground run was too. I wandered a bit, with the non-visibility over the bow, but corrections were easily made and the Yak obeyed them smoothly. There was plenty of runway remaining, I had to add some power to make it the rest of the way to my house.
I'm getting over the fear and tension of the first flights, this plane is turning into adrenaline pumping FUN!
I've also been doing work on it. There is one leaking exhaust joint at the top cylinder on the left side. I took down the joint & pipe, and used the spring steel seal ring with some valve grinding paste to hand lap the joint. I think it did the trick, but I've been warned that the exhaust header is unique to Yak-55 and should be checked every few hours to make sure it stays tight.
I also have a dead tachometer, so I removed the Tach generator and made a cover plate for the crank case and tied back the wires & connector. Then I removed the Gauge panel and took the Tachometer out. After that I opened the Magneto control switch and added a shielded wire for an electronic tachometer pickup and ran it to the panel location. Today a VDO 0-4000 RPM 24V programmable tachometer arrived, so I'll be putting that in soon, I hope it is programmable enough to accommodate a 9 cylinder engine running to 2950 RPM. That removed a couple of pounds...Now I need to remove a few from me!

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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:31 pm

2 pics in one: the Rudder pedals for one wing junkie and the new tachometer.
Sorry it's twisted. It's an Iphone thing... mod edit: fixed photo orientation
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Re: My first Yak

Post by One Winged Junkie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:03 pm

Great review, and thanks for the photo..

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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Mon May 01, 2017 4:20 pm

It's been raining a lot this winter, so I haven't been flying as much as I should.
Here is a pic showing the installation of wheel pants. They are going to be a snug fit around the 6.00 x 6 wheels & tires. The gear extensions add to the problem.
Marilyn & I attended IAC Judges School this weekend and I passed the written test. Now to complete the practical and oral requirements.
Image
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Yak55 w/ carbon fiber wheel pants
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Re: My first Yak

Post by One Winged Junkie » Mon May 01, 2017 4:26 pm

Nice!

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Re: My first Yak

Post by SHIPCHIEF » Mon May 01, 2017 9:44 pm

Thanks. If the Yak55 is known as "The Laser Yak" then I think it should have wheel pants like a Laser!
Plus, I want to know if these pants will increase top speed by 10 mph like they do on a Thorp or an RV? Yak55 is not particularly fast, so +10 would be most welcome for cross country flight to a contest.
Being black Carbon Fiber on a black plane is all the better!

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