There is just something a bit more interesting in a jet with three holes. I have always loved them. I am starting this topic off with the Yakovlev Yak40/42 which stretches back to 1966. Look forward to more in the future.
Yakolev Yak 40
First flight 21/10/1966
Designed to replace increasingly obsolete turboprop aircraft such as the IL12 and Lisunov Li2 the Yak 40 is a 24-32 seat pressurised trijet and possibly the worlds first successful small capacity regional jet. It was the first Soviet built airliner to be designed to western airworthiness standards. The first flight took place on October 21, 1966, certification followed in 1968 with Aeroflot the types major user putting the aircraft into service on September 30, 1968. As with all soviet types there were a myriad of variants from minor modifications to increase range to military uses including Elint intelligence gathering. Over 1000 of these aircraft were produced and some still remain in service today, mainly in VIP configuration.
First Flight 07/03/1975
Designed to replace the TU134 as well as the AN24/26 and IL18 turboprops, its roots go back to the early 70’s. The aircraft was to be used on Soviet domestic routes often into airfields with limited support equipment. Yakovlev were unsure just what the configuration should be so manufactured three different prototypes, the first two having different wing sweeps. The first prototype which had an eleven degree sweep first flew on 7 March, 1975.
The second had a 23 degree sweep and had done away with storage for coats and carry on baggage which consequently provided 20 more seats. The production standard turned out to be based on the third prototype which was a slightly modified version of the second.
Mainly ordered by Aeroflot the three engined aircraft which by now had gained the NATO name of ‘Clobber’ was first put into service on their Moscow - Krasnodar route with other aircraft going to Cuba and China. In later years and following the break up of the Soviet union the YAK 42 found itself in many different liveries with a number still in operation today.
There were a number of variants created with enhanced avionics and greater range as well as a number of specialist uses. There were further projected versions, none of which flew but the basis of which ended up being incorporated in the design of the Irkut MC-21.
If you are interested in a brief history of different aircraft types including first flights then take a look at my book, information available by clicking the image below.