VH-YOV / N46463 / 33 Avioane Craiova Yak-3U-R2000 (MSN 001-3/2005) named ‘Steadfast’, owned by Eastern Fighters Pty Ltd, at Jandakot Airport – Australia Day, Mon 26 Jan 2015. Though based on the World War Two Yakovlev Yak-3U, this example is based on a Yak-11 airframe and was built in Romania in 2005, powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radial engine. It was registered N46463 to William E Whiteside, in California in 2005, and was used in the Reno Air Races with the name ‘Steadfast’.
Claiming wartime status could be pushing things a little. Members of the Yak-3 family were certainly involved, but the Yak-3U was still in prototype form at the end of the conflict. It evolved into the two-seat Yak-3UTI, powered by the smaller Shvetsov ASh-21. This became the Yak-11.
Steadfast is based on one of the Egyptian LET C.11s recovered originally to France. I am assuming that not enough of one original aircraft was used to warrant carrying over the identity, as it is listed everywhere as a new build. Some of the other LET.11 conversions still record a specific LET.11 donor, such as the Blenheim Yak-9 syndicate project.
Interestingly, the Yak 3U was originally fitted with a Shvetsov ASh-82. There happens to be one of these based at Omaka, but flying for the enemy...
The Yak 11 also has a hideous trainer style canopy that only a Soviet could love.
<-- proudly trumpeting part-Russian background for this comment! I think the Yak-11 is a very cool machine and I was heartbroken when it was announced the Omaka one might head offshore (this was before the Yak-9V syndicate/concept came about). I've always looked at the Yak-11 as being very similar-looking - albeit shorter - to the Yak-52 and Nanchang canopies.
The Yak-11 is effectively the Russian Harvard and I think the performance is about the same.
I was certainly under the impression Steadfast was built in Romania in 2005 as a Yak-3U, rather than being a Yak/LET-11 restored/converted. I'm sure there's a magazine article somewhere about it.
Dave H - I forgot you actually got to see it fly! I'll have to watch your videos to psych myself up.
Now a special note to all you Australians coming over for Yealands Classic Fighters 2017. In line with a policy introduced by a North Sydney school recently to avoid offence to persons with a "noise sensitivity" problem. There is to be NO CLAPPING OR APPLAUSE. You may however, in line with the Elanora Primary Schools directive, "wriggle in your seat" and/or "pull an excited face." Thank you.