Exactly eleven months later there was another accident. This time the test pilot NII VVS Khomyakov because of a defect in the wiring system triggered automatic ejection SK-GP. The aircraft, “manned” SAU-36 automatic mode, up to a height of about 10,000 m and after generating fuel fell to the ground. All this was followed by the appropriate revision.
The first aircraft carrier for the Yak-38 was the “Kiev” with a displacement of 41 400 tonnes, transferred to the Navy in 1975, and next year foreigners for the first time recorded the “Yak” on the deck. Two years later I entered into a system “Minsk”, and in 1979 — “Novorossiysk”. Each of these ships were up to 36 aircraft and helicopters Ka-27. In 1987, the Navy included the aircraft carrier “Admiral Gorshkov” 44 with a displacement of 500 tons, able except the Yak-38 to bear and developed a supersonic VTOL Yak-41. The fate of these ships otherwise how tragic will not name, because after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they were not needed in the new Russia.
Operation of the Yak-38 in different climatic zones has revealed significant shortcomings of the car. Thus, in conditions of tropical heat and high humidity did not start the lifting engines, and had to urgently be equipped with special devices using supplemental oxygen. Heavily fell the thrust of the main engines and vertical take-off became possible only with incomplete refuelling. During takeoff with weapons fuel is sometimes enough just to fly around the ship.
For the successful operation of the machine and solve problems facing the Navy, it was necessary first of all to increase the thrust of the power plant. The problem is not simple, and at first was only to modify the hoist motor option РД36-35ФВР, increasing the thrust up to 3050 kgs. Planned water injection to increase thrust in a hot climate, but these ideas never implemented.
Apparently, at the same time on the aircraft side of the intake lifting turbojet engines appeared longitudinal ribs that protected them from their own exhaust on takeoff.
Another way of expanding the combat capabilities of the attack aircraft was a short run. Tested it first in the fall of 1978 test pilot LII O. G. Kononenko land at the airport. Almost two years perfected this technique, and only in the summer of 1980 and had to try it on the ship. However, on September 8 during takeoff from aircraft carrier Minsk, located in the Indian ocean, “Yak” came from the deck of the ship and fell into the water. It was the first domestic VTOL crash that claimed the life of Kononenko. Followed by another research and refining, prolonged for more than two years.
NATO responded to the emergence of the Yak-38, giving it the name of the Forger, which translated to English means “Blacksmith”.
In those same years, to expand the tactical capabilities of VTOL explored the possibility of basing on a specially equipped automobile trailers and the civil courts. In the latter case used ship “Agostinho Neto” and container ship “Nikolai Cherkasov”.
From April to may 1980, the Yak-38 were “trained” in Afghanistan. This organized experienced mixed squadron (commander test pilot NII VVS V. V. Vasenkov), which included four Yak-38. Flights from high elevation airfield Shindand in real combat conditions once again proved insufficient, even for takeoff with short takeoff, the thrust of the power plant.
During the test flights made one significant revision: turned the nozzle of the second lifting motor 15 degrees ago. This helped to improve take-off from high elevation airport.
The first modification of the VTOL was double training Yak-36U (product VMC) with cabins of the student and the instructor, causing the fuselage lengthened by 1.39 m. flight tests of the Factory the training started in March 1973 and after completion of both phases of the joint state tests in September 1977 it was launched into serial production. In November of the following year the aircraft was accepted into service under the designation Yak-38U.
A feature of the aircraft was a system of salvation of the crew with chairs TO-36V with controllable pitch nozzle of a jet engine and a forced ejection from breeding trajectories seats of the instructor and the student that have significantly reduced the number of accidents. However, the total losses of the Yak-38 during their testing and exploitation is small (40 vehicles), lower than that of “the Harrier”. While the bailout was 32, including 19 as a result of triggering the automatic system. One of them became foreign seamen in the summer of 1985 during a training exercise in the Norwegian sea, when the pilot of the Yak-38 taking off with takr “Kiev”, had to eject. The last of capitulatory accounted for by test pilot LII V. V. Zabolotsky in the summer of 1992 in preparation for the air show in Zhukovsky near Moscow.
In 1980, the OKB as Yakovlev has prepared a decision on a long-term (MEA, air force, and Navy) program of increasing the combat capabilities of Yak-38. From the whole complex of the planned works implemented taking off from the deck with the runway, landing “slippage” and modernization of the aircraft, which included the installation of more powerful lifting and sustainer engine Р28В-300 maximum horizontal thrust of 7100 kg and lifting engines РД38 thrust 3250 kgs. Upgraded Yak-38M was accepted into service in 1985, this improvement of the Yak-38 was stopped for fear of damaging the program supersonic VTOL Yak-41. At the same time US and England continue to improve, “Harrier”, which at the initial stage of testing barely raised himself, not to mention the combat load.
In conclusion, it should be noted that of the more than 50 projects only VTOL “Harrier” and Yak-38 was brought to serial production and operation. In the USSR, “yaki” for a long time removed from service. As for the “Harrier”, in addition to England and the USA they are used in Spain, Italy and India.
N. In. YAKUBOVICH