This is a tricycled-gear, tandem two seater military trainer.  It was produced in quite large quantities and sold widely.  It offer a very high level of performance; a military-type character; fantastic ruggedness and high agility and aerobatic capabilities, all in a two-seater aircraft with relatively low operating costs. 

Background and history

  • The Yak-52 was originally designated the Yak-50U – a dual control trainer version of the Yak-50. Work began in 1973 and the prototype began flying in 1974, although under a Comecon agreement, the Aerostar factory of Bacau in Romania was given licence for production and some 1,700 aircraft were made until 1991. Since then production has been continuing but on a much smaller basis.
  • The aircraft is a typical military trainer, built to the highest possible standards, being very robust and a real ‘pilots aircraft’. It gives a far better performance than Western aircraft, which is coupled with the very attractive ‘military’ ambience and feel.

Qualities of the aircraft

The qualities of the Yak-52 have resulted in some 300 or so being sold to private Western buyers – almost certainly more than sales of any other kind of light aircraft in the same time!  Its attractions are obvious, but include:

  • Fantastic value for money – an equivalent aircraft in the West would cost dramatically more. For example the Siai Marchetti SF260 costs today approaching US$ 500,000 and even well used versions command US$ 200,000 and this for an aircraft that is in many ways not the equal of the –52.
  • Delightful handling characteristics.
  • Very charismatic with a military feel.
  • Excellent power and performance.
  • Tough and robust.
  • Relatively cheap to run.
  • Fully aerobatic.

Inevitably, the aircraft has some disadvantages, but these are largely a function of its intended role. However now that the Yak-52 is in widespread use with Western private pilots, there are ways of overcoming most of these:

  • Lack of fuel range – but see below.
  • Lack of space for additional avionics. We have considerable experience in this field and have no problem fitting normal requirements – ie a GPS plus transponder and even a second radio is good (but see below). It is not a problem to do more than this but this involves a fairly expensive re-design of the panel.
  • Lack of luggage space – again a consequence of the aircraft design, although we have modifications to make luggage space behind the rear seat. If an owner is prepared to sacrifice much of the Russian equipment, which is normally housed there, quite a lot of space can be made.
  • Aesthetics – in our view the –52 is let down by the fact that the undercarriage does not retract fully when in flight. This is however a very worthwhile safety feature. Should the aircraft be landed with the undercarriage up, the damage to the aircraft would be minimal.


  • Empty weight 1015kgs (2238lbs)
  • Maximum take-off weight 1305kgs (2877lbs)
  • Maximum speed 285kph (178mph)
  • VNE 360kph (230mph)
  • Take off run 170m
  • Landing run 300m
  • Rate of climb 1400ft per minute
  • Range (standard fuel) 500kms; 300 miles (but extra fuel capacity is available).