The Yakovlev Yak-17 (Russian: Як-17 NATO reporting name "Feather", was an early Soviet jet fighter based of the construction plans of Messerschmitt's project 1106. It was developed from the Yak-15, the main difference being tricycle landing gear. The trainer version, known as the Yak-17UTI, was the Soviet's most numerous and important early jet trainer.
Yak-17 was first publicly displayed at the Soviet Aviation Day of 1949, at Tushino.
In operation, the Yak-17 had most of the same faults as its
predecessor, including relatively low speed and range, and an unreliable
engine (still based upon the German Junkers Jumo 004)
with a complicated starting procedure. On the other hand, its handling
was very simple, and similar to popular propeller fighters such as the Yak-3 and Yak-9.
This made it an excellent transitional machine to jet fighters. As a
result, the trainer version Yak-17UTI accounted for the majority of
production, and almost all series-built Yak-17s were of this tandem,
dual-control trainer version, which filled an important need in all
Soviet air arms.
Surviving Yak-17 can be viewed at the Central Air Force Museum at Monino. outside of Moscow and the Prague Aviation Museum at Kbely Airport, near Prague, Czech Republic. Surviving Yak-17UTI include one example at the Polish Aviation Museum near Krakow and the Chinese Aviation Museum, near Beijing.
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