Yakovlev Yak-40

The Yak-40 is a three-engine passenger jet aircraft for regional and local flights, developed in the USSR in the 1960s. The first Soviet civilian aircraft, certified and operated in Europe.

In the early 1960s, Aeroflot airline actively operated modern and efficient at that time airliners of various types on regional and international routes. However, in most of the local transportation, carried out mainly from unpaved airfields, obsolete piston aircraft Il-12, Il-14, and Li-2 were used. Aeroflot needed new and modern aircraft.

It was decided to start developing a new aircraft and the work was entrusted to the Yakovlev Design Bureau. Given the specifics of the tasks of the future aircraft, it required ease of operation and maintenance, the ability to work with unpaved airfields, and any weather. At the same time, the short flight distance of local lines did not require high flight speeds from the aircraft. Many options were proposed: a turboprop aircraft, a turbojet, there was even a variant of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft, however, it turned out to be too complicated. We settled on the classic jet version.

In 1966, the aircraft created at the Yakovlev Design Bureau made its first flight. A year later, mass production at the Saratov aircraft plant began. The Yak-40 became the world’s first jet aircraft of local airlines.

In 1981, mass production was discontinued and at the same time decommissioning of a part of the fleet of these aircraft began. However, during the crisis of the 1990s, the inability to purchase new aircraft and the low fuel price forced regional airlines to resume operation of these aircraft. Soon there was a modernized version of the Yak-40D with an increased volume of fuel tanks and range. Later, administrative and VIP versions appeared. But, despite this, in the 2000s, the aircraft nevertheless began to be squeezed out of the Russian market by more economical foreign business jets and regional aircraft.

The aircraft has been used since 1970 in 19 countries. 1011 units were produced. At the time the main fleet was completed (2011), 117 aircraft were lost as a result of disasters and military operations.

Since 1967, the aircraft was regularly exhibited at foreign air shows and attracted the attention of foreign airlines. A package of orders was formed from Germany, Italy, France, and Sweden, which was a unique case for a Soviet aircraft at the height of the Cold War. However, due to the protracted certification process, some orders were lost. European certificates of airworthiness were received only in 1972, and thus the Yak-40 became the first domestic aircraft to be operated by companies in capitalist countries. For some time the aircraft was operated in Germany and Italy.

Aircraft for some time operated by airlines in Italy and Germany.

The aircraft is designed according to the design of a low-bearing low-wing with a T-tail, equipped with three turbojet engines. The wing is straight, of great elongation. Each wing console is equipped with retractable flaps and two-section ailerons. The tricycle landing gear is equipped with soft cushioning and large-diameter wheels, which makes it possible to fly even from unpaved airfields.

The power plant of the aircraft is represented by three AI-25 turbofan engines developed by ZMKB Progress. The engines are located in the rear of the aircraft: two on the pylons, the third inside the fuselage with an S-shaped air intake. The reversing device on the middle engine is part of the design of the aircraft. This solution allowed for the interchangeability of engines.

The aircraft of the first releases had 24 passenger seats. Later they started to produce an improved version with a take-off mass of 16.1 tons and 32 seats. The Yak-40D could take a maximum of 40 people.

The Yak-40 was produced in more than 20 versions, representing both modernizations of commercial airliners and special versions.


  • Type passenger plane local airlines
  • Power plant 3 double-circuit turbojet AI-25 engines of 1 120 kg each
  • Maximum number of passengers 27-40 people depending on layout
  • Practical ceiling 6,000 m (with passengers), 8,000 m (ferry)
  • Flight range 800 km (with load), 2,500 km (ferry)
  • Maximum take-off weight 17.2 t
  • Cruising speed 510 km / h
  • Wing span 25 m
  • The wing area is 70 square meters. m
  • Length 20.36 m
  • Height 6.50 m
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.