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Yakovlev Yak-40

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Title: Yakovlev Yak-40  
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Yakovlev Yak-40

Volga-Dnepr Yak-40
Role Regional jet/ VIP transport
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Yakovlev
Designer Yakovlev
First flight October 21, 1966
Introduction September 1968 (Aeroflot)
Status In service
Primary user Aeroflot (Former)
Produced 1967–1981
Number built 1,011 (according to some sources, 1013)
A lineup of Yak-40s at Kiev International Airport.
Yak-40 in livery of Rossiya Airlines.

The Yakovlev Yak-40 (NATO reporting name: Codling) is a small, three-engined airliner. It is the world's first commuter trijet. Maiden flight was made in 1966, and production took place from 1967 to 1981. Introduced in September 1968, the Yak-40 was exported since 1970.


  • Development 1
  • Design 2
  • Operational history 3
  • Variants 4
  • Operators 5
    • Civilian operators 5.1
    • Military operators 5.2
  • Notable accidents and incidents 6
  • Specifications (Yak-40) 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • External links 11


By the early 1960s, the Soviet state airline Aeroflot's international and internal trunk routes were flown by jet or turboprop powered airliners but their local services, many of which operated from grass airfields, were operated by obsolete piston engined aircraft such as the Ilyushin Il-12, Il-14 and Lisunov Li-2.[1] Aeroflot wanted to replace these elderly airliners with a turbine-powered aircraft, with the Yakovlev design bureau being assigned to design the new airliner. High speed was not required, but it would have to operate safely and reliably out of poorly equipped airports with short (less than 700 m, (2,300 ft)) unpaved runways in poor weather.[2]

Yakovlev studied both turboprop and jet-powered designs to meet the requirement, including Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) designs with lift jets in the fuselage or in wing-mounted pods, but eventually they settled on a straight-winged tri-jet carrying 20 to 25 passengers. Engines were to be the new AI-25 turbofan being developed by Ivchenko at Zaporozhye in Ukraine.[3]


The Yak-40 is a low-winged cantilever monoplane with unswept wings, a large T-tail and a retractable tricycle landing gear. The passenger cabin is ahead of the wing, with the short rear fuselage carrying the three turbofan engines, with two engines mounted on short pylons on the side of the fuselage and a third engine in the rear fuselage, with air fed from a dorsal air-intake by an "S-duct", as is an auxiliary power unit, fitted to allow engine start-up without ground support on primitive airfields.[4][5] The three AI-25 engines are two-shaft engines rated at 14.7 kN (3,300 lbf). The engines have no jetpipes, and initially no thrust reversers.[6][7]

The pressurized fuselage has a diameter of 2.4 metres (94 in). Pilot and co-pilot sit side-by-side in the aircraft's flight deck, while the passenger cabin has a standard layout seating 24 to 27 passengers three-abreast, although 32 passengers can be carried by switching to four-abreast seating. Passengers enter the aircraft via a set of ventral airstairs in the rear fuselage.[7][8]

The wing is fitted with large trailing-edge slotted flaps, but has no other high-lift devices, relying on the aircraft's low wing loading to give the required short-field take-off and landing performance. The wings join at the aircraft centerline, with the main spar running from wingtip to wingtip The wings house integral fuel tanks with a capacity of 3,800 litres (1,000 US gal; 840 imp gal). The aircraft has a large fin, which is swept back at an angle of 50 degrees to move the tailplane rearwards to compensate for the short rear fuselage. The horizontal tailplane itself is unswept.[5][9]

Operational history

The first of five prototypes made its maiden flight on 21 October 1966,[7] with production being launched at the Saratov Aviation Plant in 1967 and Soviet type certification granted in 1968.[5] The type carried out its first passenger service for Aeroflot on 30 September 1968.[9] In the 1972 version, a tailspin was removed. In 1974, new version was introduced, with non-stop flight distance increased. Also, the forward door on the right side of the fuselage changed its place – it was located together with the sixth window.

In 1975, the last upgrade of Yak-40 took place – the number of cabin windows on the right side changed from nine to eight.

By the time production ended in November 1981, the factory at Saratov had produced 1,011 or 1,013 aircraft. By 1993 Yak-40s operated by Aeroflot had carried 354 million passengers.[10] As well as being the backbone of Aeroflot's local operations, flying to 276 domestic destinations in 1980, the Yak-40 was also an export success. More than this, Yak-40 became the first Russian/Soviet aircraft getting flying certificates of Italy and West Germany. It was demonstrated in 75 countries of the world, including the USA, where orders on Yak-40 were made.

A total of 130 were exported to Afghanistan, Angola, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Laos, Madagascar, Philippines, Poland, Syria, Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Zambia.[5][10]


General Air Yak-40EC seen at Groningen Airport in the early 1970s
  • Yak-40 – The first production model.
  • Yak-40-25 Military conversion with the nose of a MiG-25R and SRS-4A Elint installation.
  • Yak-40 Akva (Aqua) – Military conversion with nose probe, pylon-mounted sensors, a fuselage dispenser and underwing active jammer pods.
  • Yak-40D (Dal'niy – long-distance) – with non-stop flight distance enlarged.
  • Yak-40EC – Export version.
  • Yak-40 Fobos (Phobos) – Military conversion with two dorsal viewing domes and a removable window on each side.
  • Yak-40K – cargo / convertible / combi version with a large freight door. Produced in 1975–81.
  • Yak-40 Kalibrovshchik – Military Elint conversion with a "farm" of blade, dipole and planar antennas.
  • Yak-40L – Proposed version with two Lycoming LF507-1N turbofans, a joint program between Skorost and Textron (now Allied-Signal) Lycoming. The original design would have had a slightly swept wing.
  • Yak-40 Liros – Military conversion with nose probe carrying air-data sensors.
  • Yak-40M – Proposed 40-seat stretched passenger version.
  • Yak-40 M-602 – Flying testbed with a Czechoslovak M 602 turboprop installed in the nose.
  • Yak-40 Meteo – Military conversion with multipole dipole antennas and fuselage dispenser.
  • Yak-40P – Yak-40L with large nacelles projecting ahead of the wings.
  • Yak-40REO – Military conversion with large ventral canoe for IR linescan. Lateral observation blister on right side.
  • Yak-40 Shtorm – Military conversion with multiple probes and sensors on the forward sidewalls.
  • Yak-40TL – Proposed upgraded version, to be powered by three Lycoming LF 507 turbofan engines.
  • Yak-40V – Export version powered by three AI-25T turbofan engines.


Yak-40 operators (exclusively civil operators in blue)
Serbian Air Force Yak-40
Czech Air Force Yak-40 landing
Polet Airlines Yak-40 take-off
Tajik Air Yak-40

Civilian operators

As of August 2013 a total of 45 out of 1011 Yakovlev Yak-40 aircraft remain in service. The airworthiness of several Yak-40 of smaller Russian and Central Asian charter airlines is uncertain, as is the whereabouts of one Air Libya Tibesti aircraft after the civil war. Most aircraft in service today have been reconfigured for VIP-charter services, with fewer than ten remaining in scheduled passenger service. Known operators are:[11]

 Czech Republic
  • Government of the Czech Republic
 West Germany
  • General Air – former operator
  • Rollins Air – former operator
  • Air Kokshetau – former operator
  • Bek Air – former operator (last 3 retired in 2013)[12]
  • East Kazakhstan Region Air Enterprise – 2 in cargo configuration
  • Euro-Asia Air – 2: 1 for charter only and one in cargo configuration
  • Semeyavia – 2 for charter only, in cargo configuration, being phased out
  • Tulpar Air Service – former operator
  • Zhetysu Aviakompania – 2: one for charter and one in cargo configuration
  • Zhezkazgan Air – 1 in scheduled service
  • Government of Slovakia
 Soviet Union
  • Oriental de Aviación

Military operators

Now retired Yak-40 of Polish Air Force at the Brussels airport in 2005.

As of November 2012 no more than 17 Yak-40 remain in military service (possibly fewer, with the unclear situation in Syria). Known operators are:

Angolan Air Force – former operator
Bulgarian Air Force – former operator
Cuban Air Force – 3 in service
Czechoslovakian Air Force – former operator
 Czech Republic
Czech Air Force – 2 in service
 East Germany
East German Air Force – former operator
Ethiopian Air Force – 1 in service
 Equatorial Guinea
Military of Equatorial Guinea – presidential aircraft
Military of Guinea-Bissau – former operator
Hungarian Air Force – former operator
Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan – 1 in service
Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force – former operator
Lithuanian Air Force – former operator
Military of Madagascar – 2 in service
Polish Air Force – former operator
Russian Air Force – 1 in service
Serbian Air Force – former operator
Syrian Air Force – up to 6 in service, airworthiness unclear
 Soviet Union
Soviet Air Force – former operator
Vietnam People's Air Force – former operator
Yemen Air Force – 2 in service
Yugoslav Air Force – former operator
Zambian Air Force – former operator
Air Force of Zimbabwe – former operator

Notable accidents and incidents

  • On September 3, 1970, Aeroflot Flight W-4, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87690), struck the side of Mount Airy-Tash, 56 mi northeast of Leninabad (now Khujand), Tajik SSR at 2,100 m (6,890 ft) due to pilot error, killing all 21 on board.[15][16]
  • On May 4, 1972, Aeroflot Flight 608, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87778), crashed while on approach to Bratsk Airport after a loss of control caused by windshear, killing all 18 on board.[17]
  • On February 28, 1973, Aeroflot Flight X-167, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87602), fell back onto the runway at Semipalatinsk Airport during takeoff due to crew error, killing all 32 on board.[18][19]
  • On May 23, 1974, Aeroflot Flight N-166, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87579), crashed near Kiev due to possible crew incapacitation, killing all 29 on board.[20]
  • On July 15, 1975, Aeroflot Flight E-15, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87415) struck Mount Mtirala, Caucasus Mountains, during a go-around at Chorokh Airport in poor weather, killing all 41 on board.[21]
  • On August 15, 1975, Aeroflot Flight A-53, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87323), entered a downdraft and nearly stalled and subsequently crashed on approach to Krasnovodsk Airport due to pilot error and unfavourable weather conditions, killing 23 of 28 on board in Turkmenistan's worst-ever accident.[22][23]
  • On September 9, 1976, Aeroflot Flight 31, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87772) from Rostov Airport to Kerch Airport, collided in mid-air with Aeroflot Flight 7957, an Antonov An-24 (CCCP-46518), over the Black Sea 37 km (23 mi) off Anapa due to violation of separation rules, the error of both aircraft crews and probably ground ATC. All 18 occupants of the Yak-40 and 46 people on board the An-24 died.[24]
  • On October 7, 1978, Aeroflot Flight 1080, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87437), crashed on climbout from Koltsovo Airport following engine failure caused by icing, killing all 38 on board.[25][26]
  • On June 8, 1980, a TAAG Angola Airlines Yak-40K (D2-TYC) crashed near Matala, Angola, killing all 19 on board; the aircraft may have been shot down by a Zambian Shenyang J-6.[27]
  • On June 12, 1980, Aeroflot Flight W-88, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87689), struck the slope of a mountain 44 km (27 mi) northwest of Dushanbe Airport due to navigational errors by the crew while attempting to avoid bad weather, killing all 29 on board.[28][29]
  • On September 18, 1981, Aeroflot Flight B-652, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87455) from Irkutsk Airport to Ilimskiy Airport, collided in mid-air with a Mi-8 helicopter (CCCP-22268) on a training flight while approaching its destination airport. The supposed site of the collision occurred in the clouds. All 33 on board the Yak-40 and seven occupants of the Mi-8 were killed, making it the third deadliest Yak-40 incident at the time.[30][31]
  • On January 16, 1987, Aeroflot Flight 505, a Yak-40, crashed on takeoff from Yuzhny Airport after encountering a wake vortex from an Ilyushin Il-76 that had taken off a minute before, killing all nine on board.
  • On January 24, 1988, Aeroflot Flight 29674, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87549), experienced failure of number 1 and 3 engines during take-off from Nizhnevartovsk Airport. Engine number 2 also experienced some problems, but recovered while engines one and three eventually failed. The plane stalled, crashed and broke up, killing 27 of 31 on board. Cause was possible crew error.[32][33]
  • On August 2, 1988, at Sofia Airport, a Hemus Air Yak-40 LZ-DOK crashed on take-off. All civil traffic had been halted minutes before because of the departure of the Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov's Tupolev Tu-154. After the delay, air traffic control cleared LZ-DOK for take-off to Varna, asking the crew to expedite their departure. Trying to leave in a hurry, the crew did not set the trim correctly and began their take-off run from the middle of the 3000 m runaway. The aircraft failed to become airborne, overran the runway into a ravine and caught fire, killing 29 of 37 on board.
  • On August 1, 1990, Aeroflot Flight E-35D, a Yak-40 (CCCP-87453) traveling from Zvartnots Airport, Armenian SSR to Stepanakert Airport struck a mountain 22 km (14 mi) away from its destination killing all 46 on board. The cause was probably pilot error (premature descent).[34][35]
  • On November 14, 1992, Vietnam Airlines Flight 474 with 31 passengers and crew flying from Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the previously civilian Nha Trang Airport impacted obstacles on approach killing all but one passenger. Adverse weather conditions might have been involved (unclear at investigation).
  • On August 28, 1993, a Tajik Air Yak-40 (87995) operating a non-scheduled flight that was grossly overloaded with 81 passengers and five crew members overran the runway on takeoff at Khorog Airport and crashed into the Panj River. The crew were killed and only four passengers survived. The crew may have been forced to overload the aircraft. This is the worst accident involving a Yak-40 as well as the worst-ever accident in Tajikistan.
  • On February 25, 1994, an Expresso Aéreo plane (OB-1559), piloted by two Russians and one Peruvian,[36] struck Mount Carpish six minutes after leaving Lima. The 31 occupants were killed.[37]
  • On September 26, 1994, a Cheremshanka Airlines flight from Krasnoyarsk Airport, Russia to Tura was unable to land at Tura because of bad weather so was divereted to Vanavara. It ran out of fuel due to crew and ATC errors and crashed while attempting an emergency landing on a river, 41 km (25 mi) from Vanavara. All 28 passengers and crew were killed.[38]
  • On November 5, 1994, another Peruvian aircraft (OB-1569) belonging to the Amazonic regional airline Servicios Aéreos Amazónicos, that was serving the Trujillo-Saposoa-Juanjuí-Tocache-Lima schedule, crashed into the Saposoa River after overrunning the airstrip from the town of the same name. The aircraft either crashed due to heavy rain reported at the time, due to a pedestrian accidentally crossing into the runway or due to both. From the 31 occupants, 26 passengers and 5 crew, 5 passengers and 1 crewmen died.[39][40][41]
  • On 19 February 1997, a Semeyavia Yakovlev Yak-40 overshot the runway on landing at Semey Airport, Kazakhstan following a scheduled domestic passenger flight. There were no fatalities among the 14 passengers and four crew members on board, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.[42]
  • On May 17, 2001, a Iran carrying 30 people, including the Iranian Transport Minister Rahman Dadman, two deputy ministers and seven more members of parliament was forced to divert due to bad weather conditions and was later discovered crashed into the Elburz mountains, Iran. All on board perished.[43]
  • On January 13, 2004, Uzbekistan Airways Flight 1154, a Yak-40 (UK-87985) from Termez Airport, Uzbekistan to Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan, carrying 37 passengers and crew, crashed; the crew failed to descend for approach on time. Finding the runway too short to land, a go-around was attempted but failed. The plane touched down beyond the end of the runway and the left wing struck a concrete building, with the subsequent crash and fire killing all on board.[44]

Specifications (Yak-40)

Proposed VTOL and four-engined Yak-40 variants

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77.[7]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 3 (two pilots, one flight engineer)
  • Capacity: 32 passengers
  • Length: 20.36 m (66 ft 9½ in)
  • Wingspan: 25.00 m (82 ft 0¼ in)
  • Height: 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 70.00 m² (753.5 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 9,400 kg (20,725 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 15,500 kg (34,170 lb)
  • Powerplant: 3 × Ivchenko AI-25 turbofans, 14.7 kN (3,300 lbf) each


See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ Stroud 1968, p. 269–270.
  2. ^ Gunston and Gordon 1997, p. 185.
  3. ^ Gunston and Gordon 1997, pp. 185–186.
  4. ^ Stroud 1968, p. 270–272.
  5. ^ a b c d Gordon Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 303
  6. ^ Gunston and Gordon 1997, p. 187.
  7. ^ a b c d Taylor 1976, pp. 448–449.
  8. ^ Stroud 1968, pp. 272–273.
  9. ^ a b Gunston and Gordon 1997, pp. 186–187.
  10. ^ a b Gunston and Gordon 1997, p. 189.
  11. ^ World Airlines Census 2013:
  12. ^ Beek Air, current fleet:
  13. ^ a b Ottenhof, 1996, p. 418
  14. ^ Ottenhof, 1996, p.419
  15. ^ Accident description for CCCP-87690 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2015-08-13.
  16. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Таджикского УГА в районе Ленинабада" [Accident Yak-40 Leninabad] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  17. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87778 Bratsk Airport (BTK)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  18. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87602 Semipalatinsk Airport (PLX)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  19. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Казахского УГА близ аэропорта Семипалатинска" [Accident Yak-40 Semipalatinsk Airport] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  20. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Украинского УГА близ Киева" [Accident Yak-40 Kiev] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  21. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87475 Batumi-Chorokh Airport (BUS)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  22. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87323 Krasnovodsk Airport (KRW)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  23. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Азербайджанского УГА близ Красноводска" [Accident Yak-40 near Krasnovodsk] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  24. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87772 Anapa (Black Sea)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  25. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87437 Sverdlovsk-Koltsovo (SVX)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  26. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Казахского УГА близ а/п Кольцово" [Accident Yak-40 near Koltsovo] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  27. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40K DT-TYC Matala". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  28. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP87689 Dushanbe". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  29. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Таджикского РПО ГА близ Душанбе" [Accident Yak-40 near Dushanbe] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  30. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87455 Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskiy". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  31. ^ "Столкновение Як-40 и Ми-8 ВС УГА в районе г.Железногорск-Илимский" [Mid-air collision of Yak-40 and Mi-8 near Zeleznogorsk-Ilimskiy] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  32. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87549 Nizhnevartovsk Airport (NJC)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  33. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Приволжского УГА в районе Нижневартовска" [Accident Yak-40 near Nizhnevartovsk] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  34. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 CCCP-87433 Stepanakert". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  35. ^ "Катастрофа Як-40 Армянского УГА близ Степанакерта" [Accident Yak-40 near Stepanakert] (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-08-13. 
  36. ^ "Peru Tragedia Aérea". El 1994-02-27. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  37. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev OB-1559 Tingo Maria". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  38. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 RA-87468 Vanavara". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 UN-87233 Semipalatinsk Airport (PLX)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  43. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 EP-TQP Sari". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  44. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Yakovlev 40 UK-87985 Tashkent Airport (TAS)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  45. ^ Gunston 1995, p. 492.


  • Gordon, Yefim, Dmitry Komissarov and Sergey Komissarov. OKB Yakovlev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-203-9.
  • Gunston, Bill. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995. London:Osprey, 1995. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
  • Gunston, Bill and Yefim Gordon. Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924. London, UK: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1997. ISBN 1-55750-978-6.
  • Ottenhof, Guus; Hillman, Peter and Jessup, Stuart. Soviet Transports. Aviation Hobby World. 1996. ISBN 0-907178-60-X.
  • Stroud, John. Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945. London:Putnam, 1968. ISBN 0-370-00126-5.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77. London:Jane's Yearbooks, 1976. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.

External links

  • List of all Yak-40 aircraft used by Polish Air Force
  • Watch a video of the plane in action
  • Walkaround Yak-40 (Kiev's Aviation Museum, Ukraine)
  • "The Yak-40" a 1967 Flight article
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