The Yakolev Yak-50 is a single-seater aerobatic low wing monoplane with retractable landing gear with tail wheel. Development of the Yakolev Yak-50 started in 1972 based on the single-seat Yak-18PS. With a new wing planform and more power, the Yakolev Yak-50 provides more performance than its predecessor.
The center spar box appeared to have been removed and the wing panels, with squared tips, now join the fuselage directly, with very little dihedral. Both the -18PM and -18PC had 300-hp Ivchenko AI14RF engines, whereas the -50 uses a 360-hp M-14P radial that looks quite similar as it is installed; it drives two large, constant-speed, paddle-like propeller blades that are geared down.
Gross weight of 900 kg or 1,980 pounds and the span is down, from 10.6 meters to 9.5, which means they've clipped between a foot and a half and two feet from each wing, and the wing area is correspondingly reduced nearly 12 percent. The airplane is also shorter than the - 18s by a bit less than a meter. Its gear is fully retractable. The pilot sits near the trailing edge of the wing, which affords a fairly good view of the ground in vertical maneuvers, when such views are most needed.
The first of two prototypes built was flown first in 1972. After a series of modifications and a considerable amount of testing the Yak-50 was put into production at Arsenyiev in the Russian Federation as a duraluminium skinned semi monocoque airframe and deliveries started early 1975.
The Yak-50 proved its aerobatic versatility and worth at the 8th World Aerobatic Championships in 1976. Yak-50's ended first, second and third in the men’s championships, took the top five places in the women’s competition and the overall men’s and women’s team prizes. The Yak-50 airplane is equipped with a 360 hp Ivchenko Vedeneyev M-14P nine cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine.
When production ended in 1985 a total of 312 were built, of which the vast majority were for the Russian DOSAAF Clubs. With the introduction of the Yak-55, Moscow instructed all DOSAAF Clubs to scrap the Yak–50s and return the logbooks to Moscow, with the result that there are less than sixty Yak-50s left in the world.
Engine: Vedeneyev Ivchyenko M-14P radial, 360hp / 265kW
Max take-off weight: 900 kg / 1984 lb
Empty weight: 765 kg / 1687 lb
Wingspan: 9.5 m / 31 ft 2 in
Length: 7.8 m / 26 ft 7 in
Height: 3.2 m / 11 ft 6 in
Wing area: 15.0 sq.m / 161.46 sq ft
Max. speed: 320 km/h / 199 mph
Cruise speed: 240 km/h / 149 mph
Ceiling: 6000 m / 19700 ft
Range: 550 km / 342 miles