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Yakovlev Yak-23

Yakovlev Yak-23 Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review November 2008 Title Yakovlev Yak-23
Author Marian Mikotajczuk Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2008 ISBN 978-83-89450-54-8
Format 152 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £13.99

Review

Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in Redbourn, Herts, UK. They are in cooperation with Stratus Publications in Sandomierz, Poland. Their books are printed in Poland, but in the English language.

This new book is in MMP’s usual 9” x 6 ¾” soft-cover format, that they use for their series of aircraft books and a few armor ones. This book is 152 pages in length.

The book describes the design, development and operational use of the first jet fighters from the Yakovlev Design Bureau in the USSR. It features the Yak-15, -17 and –23. I think the title should have mentioned the Yak-15 and 17, instead of just the –23.

Starting from the very successful wartime Yak-3, the Yakovlev team adapted the airframe to take a captured German Jumo 004 jet engine. This proved an ideal introduction to jet powered flight, as the Yak-15 retained all the excellent (and well known) flight characteristics of the Yak-3. Further development produced the Yak-17 with nosewheel undercarriage, and eventually a wholly new design using the same basic layout was produced, the Yak-23 powered by a license-built Rolls-Royce Derwent engine (RD-500). This was a fine light-weight fighter with excellent climb performance (it established several world records). However, the MiG-15 was in production by this time, so the Yak saw little service in the USSR. It did prove a useful introduction to modern jets for many Warsaw Packt air forces though.

The design, development and use of all these aircraft are described in detail, profusely illustrated with 73 black and white photos, 18 side profile line drawings and three 5-views. The cover of the book has a color photo and there are 37 color walk-around shots of a Yak-15 in an un-named museum, 23 color walk-around shots of a Yak-17 in Letecke Museum, Kbely, 13 color shots of a Yak-17UTI shown outdoors at an un-named location, 41 color walk-around shots of Yak-23’s displayed outdoors as a monument in Zakopane and another un-named location, Yak-23 in color shown indoors at MLP, Krakow in 13 walk around shots.

I want to thank Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) and Casemate for this review sample.

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