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Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger" / First Russian VTOL jet operational

Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger"   

65 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you support this idea of the Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger" being added after the Ilyushin Il-28 SH?

    • Yes, Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger" should be added shortly after the IL-28 SH
    • no, another line should be added
  2. 2. Do you support this idea of the Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger" being added after the Tupolev Tu-14?

    • Yes, Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger" should be added soon after the Tupolev Tu-14?
    • No, another line should be added
  3. 3. what battle rating should it be?



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                           URSS

 

Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger"

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The Yakovlev OKB (Department of Experimental Projects) was only getting started on the VTOL fighter concept, with bureau engineers deciding that a combination of the R27V-300 vectored-thrust engine with afterburning and Kolesov RD36-35FV liftjets had potential over the short run. The Red Navy was very interested and approved construction of prototype machines in late 1967, to be operated as strike aircraft off the KIEV-class half-deck aircraft-carrier / missile cruiser vessels then under consideration. The aircraft would also be tasked with secondary reconnaissance and interceptor roles. The prototypes were originally to be desig nated "Yak-36M", though in fact they were much different aircraft from the original Yak-36. The development program was actually conducted by the Red Air Force bureaucracy on behalf of the Red Navy.

Five Yak-36M prototypes were ordered, with one to be a two-seater, discussed below. Two Tu-16 "Badger" bombers were used in the test program, carrying a mockup of the Yak-36M's fuselage with engines; the fuselage was hauled below the bombbay on a rig that allowed it to be extended into the airstream below the bomber. The first hover test flight of a single-seat Yak-36M prototype was on 22 September 1970, followed by the first conventional-takeoff flight on 2 December 1970. Development was troublesome, and the first full vertical takeoff / horizontal flight / vertical landing flight wasn't until 25 February 1972, with Mikhail S. Deksbah at the controls. Deksbah also performed the first landing on a naval vessel, the helicopter cruiser MOSKVA, on 18 November 1972.

After working out the worst bugs, the type was ordered into manufacture, the first production item being rolled out in early 1975, with formal acceptance into Red Navy service as the "Yak-38" in October 1976. It was given the NATO reporting name of "Forger A".

The Yak-38 was a fairly sleek aircraft, arguably more so than its contemporary, the Harrier. In service, it was generally painted an overall dark sea blue. It featured:

 

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A Yak-38 on the deck of a Soviet aircraft carrier

 

Short swept mid-mounted wings, featuring vertically folding wingtips and double slotted flaps. The wing had a anhedral droop of 10 degrees, and a zero angle of incidence relative to the aircraft centerline.
 
A conventional tail arrangement, with the tailplanes featuring a strong anhedral droop.
 
The two RD36-35FV liftjets mounted vertically in tandem behind the cockpit under a louvered door that hinged up at the rear.
 
The R27V-300 main engine in the rear half of the fuselage, with the inlets alongside the cockpit.
 
Conventional tricycle landing gear, with differential braking used for steering. All gear had single wheels, with the nose wheel retracting backward and the main gear tucking neatly into the fuselage.

 

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Yak-38 Forger A in VTOL mode where you can clearly see the downward thrust VTOL engine nozzle

 

A side-hinged canopy, opening to the right. The pilot sat on a K-36VM ejection seat, with the ejection performed automatically in takeoff or landing excursions using an "SK-EM" system. The SK-EM system was automatically engaged after the aircraft rose a few meters from the deck; it could be turned off manually, or would turn itself off if the vectored-thrust nozzles were more than 67 degrees to the vertical. The seat ejected toward the left to avoid hitting the carrier above-deck superstructure to the right. If the lift engine door was closed, the canopy would be popped off before ejection, but if the door was open, the seat would punch through the canopy top using rams on the top of the seat.
 
A relatively simple avionics suite with radios; identification friend or foe (IFF) gear; a navigation suite; and a flight data recorder. There was no radar and no built-in targeting systems, other than a gunsight for gun and missile aiming.

 

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Yakovlev Yak-38 fighter aircraft on the Soviet Kiev Class aircraft carrier Novorossiysk of the Pacific Fleet (RIA Novosti archive, image #477421 / Vladimir Rodionov)

 

The Tumanskiy R27V-300 main engine featured twin hydraulically-actuated vectored thrust nozzles at the rear. Max dry takeoff thrust was 57.81 kN (5,895 kgp / 13,000 lbf), while afterburning thrust was 64.71 kN (6,600 kgp / 14,550 lbf). The nozzles could be moved from horizontal to vertical for landings in a single sequence that took six seconds; moving the nozzles from vertical to horizontal was done in stages, with intermediate positions at 25 and 45 degrees.

 

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The Kolesov RD36V-35FV liftjet was a compact, lightweight unit that could provide a maximum thrust of 28.46 kN (2,900 kgp / 6,400 lbf) for a short time. The exhaust was fixed but was "bent" to deliver thrust off the engine axis. Although both of the liftjets were installed at an angle of ten degrees to the vertical -- tilted forward so their exhaust went towards the rear -- the exhausts of the engines were at different angles so their output flow would meet under the center of gravity of the aircraft. There were ventral strakes alongside the exhausts to help maximize vertical lift.

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Soviet-Russian design philosophy has its own style. Traditionally, at its best, Soviet-Russian gear is straightforward, effective, inexpensive, reliable, and extraordinarily rugged; at its worst, it's pathetic junk. The Yak-38 fell into the second category. Its operational radius was only about 100 kilometers (60 miles), in large part due to excessive fuel consumption in vertical flight. During cruises in tropical waters and hot weather, endurance was no more than about 15 minutes at best. As with the Harrier, Yak-38 pilots learned to prefer the short "rolling takeoff" and "rolling landing" to conserve fuel, though rolling landings on carrier decks required the introduction of a safety barrier net. Apparently the multi-engine configuration made short takeoffs and landings tricky and hazardous. The limits on range-payload capability meant that the Yak-38 was usually only fitted with two stores pylons, not the full four, since it couldn't realistically carry four external stores.

Reliability was very poor. The lift engines were the worst problem, with a useful lifetime of only about 22 hours. Since the lift engines were only used in takeoffs and landings that was better than it sounded, but it still wasn't good, and there were plenty of other things to go wrong. When the KIEV went on its first cruise in the Mediterranean in 1976, it carried six Yak-38s. Only three were working at the outset of the cruise, and only one was flying at the end. The unreliability was a benefit in a way, since if the aircraft didn't work, nobody had to fly them. It was tricky to pilot, and about a third of the machines would be lost in accidents through its service life.

A brief operational evaluation was performed in Afghanistan in 1980 and confirmed the limitations of the type: poor range and load, too complicated and unreliable, too hard to maintain, too hard to fly. The Afghanistan evaluation also showed that the Yak-36 kicked up tremendous clouds of dirt and dust on takeoffs and landings, which could create hazards, and overall the evaluation showed that helicopter gunships were much more practical weapons, hands down.

A charitable judgement of the Yak-38 was that it was effectively an operational demonstrator machine that had been hastily pressed into service for political reasons. Although trying to second-guess bureaucratic logic is a dodgy game, certainly the Yakovlev OKB was doing everything they could to promote their VTOL technology, even if it wasn't ready for "prime time"; but it seems more likely that the Red Navy wanted aircraft carriers and could only obtain the KIEV-class vessels over the short run. To justify obtaining them, the service had to have a combat aircraft that could fly off them. It is worth noting that the KIEV-class vessels were the first warships ever operated by the Red Navy that resembled a real aircraft carrier. At least it gave the service some experience in operating carrier combat aircraft. Not all the experience was good -- but that's the way experience works.

Pilots despised the Yak-38, and were with good reason even afraid of it. Many tried to transfer to other duties, and it was not unusual for pilots to go on the sicklist rather than fly it. A handful of pilots went so far as to send a letter of complaint against the type to the Soviet Central Committee. Of course, as is often the case with bureaucracies everywhere that encounter messengers with bad news, the result was that disciplinary actions were ordered against those who had pressed the complaints.

Such actions might have reduced the complaints, but they didn't eliminate the problems. With the fall of the USSR, the Yak-38 was withdrawn from service after a crash in June 1991, with few expressing regrets over its grounding. It provides an interesting suggestion of what might have happened if some of the dodgier experimental Western VTOL combat jets developed in the 1960s had actually been put into production.

 

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Yakovlev Yak-38 U Forger-B preparing to take off
 
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Yakovlev Yak-38 cockpit
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Yakovlev Yak-38 armament configuration:

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(Specifications of the Yakovlev Yak-38 "Forger")

Spoiler

Crew: one
Length: 16.37 m (50 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 7.32 m (24 ft 0 in)
Height: 4.25 m (14 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 18.5 m² (199 ft²)
Empty weight: 7,385 kg (16,281 lb)
Loaded weight: kg (lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 11,300 kg (28,700 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Tumansky R-28 V-300 turbojet, 66.7 kN (15,000 lbf)
Powerplant: 2 × Rybinsk RD-38 turbojets, 31.9 kN (7,870 lbf) each

Performance:

Maximum speed: 1280 km/h (795 mph)
Range: 1,300 km[5] (807 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,089 ft) Rate of climb: 4,500 m/min (14,760 ft/min)
Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 1+

Armament:

Guns: GSh-23L 23mm gun pod (GP-9). Carried in one or two UPK-23-250 pods fixed under the external pylons of wings. Hardpoints: 4 with a capacity of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) and provisions to carry combinations of: Rockets: various types of rockets (up to 240 mm). Missiles: 2 anti-ship or air-to-surface Kh-23 (AS-7 Kerry). The Kh-23 required a guidance pod on one of the pylons. R-60 or R-60M (AA-8 Aphid) air-to-air missiles could be carried under the external pylons.
Bombs: two FAB-500 or four FAB-250 general purpose bombs under pylons, two incendiary ZB-500, or two nuclear RN-28 bombs.Other: external tanks. 

 

 

source:

 

Edited by pieve
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Open for discussion. :salute:

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i think the Yak-38 should be in the yak line, the Tupolev line can be reserved for bombers, ilyushin line for attackers, lavochkin line for sukhoi aircraft, mig line for migs, and yaks for yaks.

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I could only vote for the last one because the questions don't make sense. Why put the a Yakovlev in the IL line or create a new one when... Yakovlev, already HAS a line?

 

Also, you didn't have a "no" option. I'm not sure i want the Yak-38. It's extremely limited, and there's not strategic benefit of having VTOL in War Thunder anyways. There's also better aircraft that would be more competitive to choose from. Yak-141 is a better option, but still limited. However, still old enough to be balanced.

Edited by DarkSideSix
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On 22/01/2019 at 00:47, DarkSideSix said:

I could only vote for the last one because the questions don't make sense. Why put the a Yakovlev in the IL line or create a new one when... Yakovlev, already HAS a line?

 

Also, you didn't have a "no" option. I'm not sure i want the Yak-38. It's extremely limited, and there's not strategic benefit of having VTOL in War Thunder anyways. There's also better aircraft that would be more competitive to choose from. Yak-141 is a better option, but still limited. However, still old enough to be balanced.

 

You wouldn't be forced to use the VTOL ability of it. It would make a good early tier 6. 

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My stance on this plane is the same as for the harriers:  

 

I think that this plane would be a great tier 6 addition, but the VTOL capabilities do present something of a problem. I still think it should be added, but maybe not for another update or two. +1.

 

Still, I would love to see this plane!  The harrier takes all the glory and nobody enjoys this poor aircraft.

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I'm a bit iffy on this one.  On the one hand, the fact that this has separate lift jets which would just be dead weight in normal flight means this won't have the kind of crazy capabilities that the Harrier would, but on the other hand I'd like to say rank 6 be a little more fleshed out before we start looking at throwing jump jets into the mix.

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On 21/01/2019 at 14:06, Graxum said:

i think the Yak-38 should be in the yak line, the Tupolev line can be reserved for bombers, ilyushin line for attackers, lavochkin line for sukhoi aircraft, mig line for migs, and yaks for yaks.

I was going to give my own opinion, but this is pretty much it.  I agree this should what happen.

 

 

Yakolev line should just be continued.

 

Mikoyan-Gurevich line can just be continued.

 

Lavochkin line is pretty much done, the Sukhoi line could be after it unconnected.

 

Ilyushin line can continue, and be an attacker line (CAS jets like the SU-25 and the MiG-27 could go here too).

 

Tulopev line continues with bombers.

 

 

This what you mean?

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On 28/03/2019 at 18:30, kamikazi21358 said:

 Lavochkin line is pretty much done, the Sukhoi line could be after it unconnected.

 

 

Not quite, though not many, the La-190 and La-250 could go there. 

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45 minutes ago, EpicBlitzkrieg87 said:

 

Not quite, though not many, the La-190 and La-250 could go there. 

 

And even those would be at best minor improvements to what's already present.  After that you could have Sukhoi aircraft like the Su-15.

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42 minutes ago, Z3r0_ said:

And even those would be at best minor improvements to what's already present.  After that you could have Sukhoi aircraft like the Su-15.

 

See, tier 6 aside, Lavochkin has a lot of potential for tier 5 jets. That's why I want Sukhoi and Lavochkin to be separate.

 

 

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Also I don't understand why you would put a VTOL jet fighter that belongs to Yakovlev, not Tupolev or Ilyushin, after the Tu-4 or IL-28Sh, also which happen to be bombers, not fighters. Weird poll. 

Edited by EpicBlitzkrieg87
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On 29/03/2019 at 13:33, EpicBlitzkrieg87 said:

 

See, tier 6 aside, Lavochkin has a lot of potential for tier 5 jets. That's why I want Sukhoi and Lavochkin to be separate.

 

 

I am aware of the La-250 and stuff, as well as this.  What I meant by “The line is pretty much done” is most of the jets, only a few exceptions, are not much stronger than the current top jet.  The jets in this “full fledged Lavochkin line” is the standard 7.0-9.0 range.  Meanwhile, the La-190 and La-250 are stronger, but not insane compared to the Sukhoi series overall, and as they’re prototypes they might not even be in the main line.

 

 

The Lavochkin line could end around where it does, ~8.0-9.0.  Possibly even like 9.3 with the La-190, as early Rank 6, and the La-250 could either be in an expandable subfolder or a future Rank 6 or Rank 7 premium.

 

I believe there is one Sukhoi that is a Me 262 equivalent, a prototype.  A great Rank V premium option.

 

The Sukhoi line otherwise can start Rank 6 right after the Lavochkin line (unconnected) with the SU-7.  It is about equal or better strength than the La-190.

 

It fits almost perfectly, only 2 outliers say otherwise (La 250 and Su-7 (1946)), and a jet/prop hybrid I think that probably could be a Rank 4 premium, otherwise the strength of the Lavochkin line overall ends where the main production Sukhoi line begins.

 

Edited by kamikazi21358
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On 29/03/2019 at 11:53, EpicBlitzkrieg87 said:

Also I don't understand why you would put a VTOL jet fighter that belongs to Yakovlev, not Tupolev or Ilyushin, after the Tu-4 or IL-28Sh, also which happen to be bombers, not fighters. Weird poll. 

 

Probably because the Yak-38 could only be called a 'fighter' in the most generous of terms.  The only time you'd want to use it in that role is if you had literally no other options available, said options including MANPADS and point-defense guns.

Edited by Z3r0_
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On 02/04/2019 at 02:51, Z3r0_ said:

 

Probably because the Yak-38 could only be called a 'fighter' in the most generous of terms.  The only time you'd want to use it in that role is if you had literally no other options available, said options including MANPADS and point-defense guns.

This is true, though to be fair, the Yak-9B fighter-bomber variant with the internal storage bomb bay is a vehicle in the Yakovlev line.

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On 09/04/2019 at 19:43, kamikazi21358 said:

This is true, though to be fair, the Yak-9B fighter-bomber variant with the internal storage bomb bay is a vehicle in the Yakovlev line.

 

The Yak-9B is still a fighter first and foremost and a bomber second, whereas the Yak-38 is more like an anti-ship/anti-submarine plane that could theoretically be used as a fighter in a pinch (though in practice would be slaughtered if sent up against something that can actually fight back).

Edited by Z3r0_
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+1 but in the Yakovlev Line since it's ultimately a Yakovlev design and we have a line dedicated to Yakovlev aircraft and there is more appropriate aircraft should be fitted in the Bomber line (Su-24) and the Attacker line (L-39Z, Su-7/22, Su-25, Il-40 & 102)

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