V Yakovlev Yak-18 (Russian: Яковлев Як-18; NATO reporting name Max) was a Soviet tandem two-seat military primary trainer aircraft. Originally powered by one 119 kW (160 hp) Shvetsov M-11FR-1 radial piston engine, it entered service in 1946. It is also produced in China as the Nanchang CJ-5.
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The Yakovlev Yak-18 is a two-seat military primary trainer aircraft that was manufactured in the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1956. It was designed by Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, a renowned fighter aircraft designer, who also maintained a light aircraft design section. The Yak-18 was powered by a 119 kW (160 hp) Shvetsov M-11 FR-1 radial piston engine and featured a retractable main landing gear and a fixed tailwheel. It was easy to build and maintain, and became the standard trainer for the Soviet Air Force and DOSAAF, the voluntary society for collaboration with the military.
The Yak-18 was also exported to China, where it was produced as the Nanchang CJ-5, and to other countries. The Yak-18 was used as a night bomber by the North Korean Air Force during the Korean War, dropping bombs over UN troop positions and earning the nicknames “Washing Machine Charlie” and “Bed Check Charlie”. The Yak-18 was also the aircraft used for initial flight training by Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, and Ken Rowe, a North Korean pilot who defected with a MiG-15 jet fighter. The Yak-18 is considered one of the most successful trainer aircraft in history, and its variants, such as the Yak-18T and the Yak-54, are still in production and use today.
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