Brand new Soviet-era military training aircraft
By James Grahame
Richard Van Luven dropped us a line recently to share one of his discoveries:
"While wasting my time looking through vintage aircraft information (a new habit of mine for which your site is entirely to blame) I came across some information on the Yakovlev Yak-52, a Soviet trainer from the 1970s. The nifty thing about this particular piece of aerospace engineering is that it is still available for sale, nearly unchanged from the original (it is produced out of Romania by Aerostar).
The plane has apparently become so popular within the export market, that a 'westernized' variant is now in production, very intelligently tagged the Yak-52W. While it may be a new aircraft, retro-features include a radial 9-cylinder engine, a wood and glass-fibre prop, an optional tail-dragger configuration, and styling typical of the Yakovlev name. Aerobatic features and equipment have also been included.There is a used one in the US that is asking $95,000, so I would imagine that this plane new falls between 'small air force budget' and 'if you have to ask, you're not worthy'."
I did a bit of digging, and it appears that the Yak-52W retails for a more-or-less reasonable €155,000. That's not bad for an aerobatic vehicle with a 400 HP radial power plant and the feel of a classic warbird. The taildragger variant is known as the Yak-52TW.
The Aerostar Yak-52W product page
Their Australian dealer