One of our most-read stories from the Farnborough air show reported on the confusion caused when eagle-eyed flight ops types caught sight of the Yak-130's engine-intake blanking doors for the first time and were concerned that something was not right with the aircraft. Only after some reassuring words from Irkut personnel about this being a smart design feature (intended to avoid the ingestion of FOD on unpaved landing strips) was the pilot allowed to take off to perform his display validation flight.
Thanks go to The DEW Line reader Airboyd for sending me a link to his YouTube footage showing not one but three take-off runs involving the Yak-130 at Farnborough, which show beautifully how the inlets open as the aircraft gets up to speed on the ground. Certainly an odd sight if not seen before.
In case you didn't see/read it a couple of weeks back, our UK-based test pilot Peter Collins got an exclusive chance to fly the Yak-130 in Irkutsk, Siberia, earlier this year. His report (which was published as part of our Russian industry special in mid-July) explained how the blanking doors and associated top-intake openings are scheduled by the quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system on the ground. Read the full flight test report here.
Russia and Algeria have bought the Yak-130 so far (Irkut image above); they won't be the only operators to do so.