Friday fun: spot the difference

I stumbled on a Rex Features image yesterday showing a Yak-130 flying at the MAKS air show in a cracking new red colour scheme, and it reminded me of a recent return to the air for its blood brother: Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346.

Red Red Hi

It’s interesting to look at the two aircraft together, bearing in mind that many years ago Yakovlev and Aermacchi had a brief dalliance on a joint development. That of course failed, and the Yak-130 and M-346 are now being sold to different markets.

Red Dead Hi

Sadly, the pre-production-standard M-346 pictured above was destroyed in a crash on 11 May. Its manufacturer on 22 August announced a resumption of flight activities with the type. It hasn’t made public what caused the accident, but says “the required aircraft modifications have been approved”.

Flight International test pilot Pete Collins is lucky enough to have flown both types over the last several years. If you missed his reports at the time, check out his verdicts on the M-346 and Yak-130.


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2 Responses to Friday fun: spot the difference

  1. AirShowFan 6 September, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Here is a fun “spot the difference” series of images, in case yuo haven’t seen it:

  2. Dorapilot 11 September, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    I’ll tell you the real differences between the two aircraft:
    Yak-130 is a nice aircraft but M-346 has better performance and reliable engines

    Yak-130 and M-346 similar aerodynamic But Yak-130 with simpler camber not fully optimized for transonic region

    M-346 trains pilots and Weapon System Officers. Yak-130 rear cockpit not suited for WSO training

    M-346 full glass cockpit and two HUD. Yak-130 HUD only in the front cockpit and two MFD

    M-346 capable to perform post-stall manouvers. YAK-130 limited by a lower thrust to weight ratio

    M-346 allow full transonic manoeuvring similar of new gen fighters. Yak-130 limited by lower TW ratio

    M-346 allow supersonic speed providing safety margin in dive, Yak-130 has narrower flight envelope

    Yak-130 no voice commands

    M-346 time to Take off equal to new gen combat a/c. Yak-130 lower performance due lower TW ratio

    M-346 has in flight refuelling probe, HMD fully integrated, ideal as trainer or as companion trainer

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