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Yakovlev Yak-44 Aircraft Information

Yakovlev Yak-44

Yak-44

Manufacturer: Yakovlev
Status: Cancelled; mock-up only
Primary user: Soviet Navy

The Yakovlev Yak-44 was a proposed twin turboprop Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, resembling the United States Navy's E-2 Hawkeye, and intended for use with the Soviet Navy's Ulyanovsk class supercarriers. Along with the aircraft carrier it would have flown from, the Yak-44 was cancelled after the demise of the Soviet Union. A full-scale mock-up with foldable wings was built.

Development

In 1980 the construction of four large aircraft carriers by the VMF made it necessary to develop a series of support aircraft for them. Among the designs required was an AWAC (airborne warning and control system) to co-ordinate operations between friendly aircraft, ground forces and surface ships, as well as a COD (carrier on-board delivery) transport.

Yakovlev concentrated on development of the Yak-44E AWAC version, believing that a COD version could later be produced from the design. The design was similar to the Grumman E-2C, but with far greater fuel capacity, making it weight almost twice as much, and with engines 2 1/2 times as powerful.

The engines were to be twin Zaporozhye D-227 turboprops rated at 13,000 hp, each driving twin 8+6 blade contra-rotating propellers. The wings were to be unswept. The fuselage was to be pressurized, with a crew of five and stressed for catapult launching and arrested landings. The main door was located behind the wing. The landing gear was a very sturdy tricycle arrangement. The twin finned tail had four elevators, and double-hinged rudders to keep the overall height with the radome extended to only 5.7 m (18ft 8 1/2in). The wings were designed to fold inward and slightly forward for storage in the carrier's hangar.

NPO Vega was given the contract to design the powerful pulse-doppler radar, which was cooled by a large radiator located behind a ram air duct directly above the cockpit. The radome was 7.3m (23ft 11in) in diameter, and mounted on a retractable pylon above the rear fuselage.

Mock-up

A detailed full-size mock-up was completed in 1991, and approved with minor changes by the A-VMF. Unfortunately for the Yak-44, the collapse of the Soviet Union made construction of its aircraft carriers impossible, and with them the need for the Yak-44.

Specifications (Yak-44E)

General characteristics

Crew: 5 (2 pilots, 3 naval flight officers - combat information center officer, air control officer, radar operator)
Length: 66 ft 10 1/4 in (20.39 m)
Wingspan: 84 ft 3 1/4 in (25.70 m)
Height: (7 m)
Loaded weight: 88,183 lb (40,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2x Zaporozhye D-227 turboprop, 13,000 shp (30,865 lbf (137.29 kN) thrust) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 460 mph (740 km/h)
Range: 2,486 mi (4,000 km)
Service ceiling: 42,650 ft (13,000 m)

Comparable aircraft

E-2 Hawkeye
C-2 Greyhound

Bibliography

Gunston, Bill. Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924. London, UK: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1997. ISBN 1-55750-978-6.

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Source: WikiPedia

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