Assessment of Russian VSTOL technology evaluating the YAK-38 'FORGER' and YAK-141 'FREESTYLE'The dissolution of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) created new relationships between the world superpowers. Overnight, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), formed from the remnants of the FSU, began the difficult transformation to a free market society. Military hardware that had once been highly classified and the basis for our own defense planning was now openly marketed at airshows around the world. 'Test' flights were available for potential customers and cooperative partnerships were explored between former adversaries. This environment permitted a visit to the Yakovlev Design Bureau, (YAK) for a vertical/short takeoff and landing (VSTOL) technology assessment. Yakovlev is the FSU's sole Design Bureau with experience in VSTOL aircraft and has developed two flying examples, the YAK-38 'FORGER' and YAK-141 'FREESTYLE'. This article reviews the performance of the YAK-38 'FORGER' and the YAK-141 'FREESTYLE'.
Nalls, Art (USMC US, United States)
Stortz, Michael (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, US, United States)