L-7 Basic Trainer
As the ageing ChuJiao-6 no longer meets the PLAAF’s requirements for pilot training, Nanchang Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group began to develop a second generation basic trainer aircraft in 2006. The development of the new trainer will be carried out jointly by Hongdu and Russian A.S.Yakovlev Design Bureau JSC. Known as Yak-152K in its Russian designation, the new trainer will be based on the design of the Yakovlev Yak-152 basic trainer, but with some modifications specified by the PLAAF. As well as serving as a military trainer, the aircraft could also be used for the training of civil aviation pilots.
The PLAAF began to search for a successor to its forty-year-old CJ-6 basic trainer as early as 1993. However, little progress was made throughout the 1990s as acquisition of fighter and attack aircraft was given higher priority in the allocation of PLAAF’s budgets. The theoretical evaluation of the next generation basic trainer was completed by the PLAAF and Hongdu in 2003. At the same time, Hongdu began to approach Yakovlev Design Bureau, Russian’s main military trainer designer, to explore the opportunity of a joint development and production.
Yakovlev proposed to Hongdu the Yak-152K, an improved variant of its Yak-152 basic trainer originally developed for the Russian Air Force in the late 1990s. Hongdu evaluated the Yak-152K design in March 2004 and concluded that the aircraft could meet all PLAAF requirements. The two companies agreed to form a 50:50 partnership to develop the Yak-152K. The development tasks and costs will be shared equally between the two companies, with Yakovlev mainly responsible for the design, development, and testing of the aircraft, and Hongdu the manufacturer of the prototype. Two assembly lines will be built in China and Russia respectively.
The proposed development programme will take about three years, with the detailed design to be completed by late 2006 and the first prototype finished in 2008. The first flight of the aircraft is scheduled in early 2009. Based on the same fuselage and engine design, the Yak-152Ks in service with the PLAAF and Russian Air Force will have different avionics configurations in accordance to each country’s own unique requirements. It is estimated that a total of 300 units will be required by the Chinese domestic market in military and civil sectors. As well as being certified by the Chinese and Russian aviation authorities, the aircraft will also be certified by FAA and JAA so that it can enter the international market.
Based on the Yak-152, the Yak-152K is a single-engine, two-seater aircraft with low-mounted wings and a retractable tricycle landing gear arrangement consisting of a nose wheel and two main landing gears. The aircraft is powered by a 360hp air-cooled, four-stroke, petrol (gasoline) piston engine. The aircraft has a tandem cockpit for two pilots, with the pupil in the front seat and the instructor in the rear seat. The aircraft can be flown from either seat. Onboard equipments include radio communications and navigation for the pupil pilot to gain the basic skills of flight control and navigation instruments. The aircraft is also fitted with ejection seats to improve the safety. As well as serving as a military training aircraft, the Yak-152K will also be suitable for primary training and aerobatics in flying schools and clubs.
Last update: 27 August 2007