Yakovlev has begun high angle-of-attack (AoA) trials with the prototype of its Yak-130D advanced jet trainer, with the company confident that it has been able to resolve earlier problems with the aircraft's winglets.

Andrei Sinitsin, chief test pilot at Yakovlev, says: "A big part of the test programme has already been covered, including stability and controllability tests. The aircraft has reached 30 degree AoA, remaining in controllable flight at this angle. This is not a limit, it is what we have achieved so far."

The aircraft had been flown 52 times, amassing 36h of flight, by the start of April. Some 20 of these flights have been with the quadruplex digital flight control system (DFCS) in operation.

High AoA tests have been carried out with and without the DFCS to assess the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft, and to then fine-tune the Yak-130's flight-control system.

Discussing the removal of the winglets, Vitaly Naryshkin, the Yak-130 test programme manager says: "At one time we had the wingtips removed in order to assess their effectiveness- The aircraft made only six flights without them." The airframe maker also had to take off the wingtips at one stage as they were deforming.

Yakovlev is competing with MAPO, offering its MiG-AT advanced trainer, to meet a Russian air force requirement..

Ten of each type have been ordered by the Russian defence ministry for operational trials in line- military units.

Lt Gen Yuri Klishin, the deputy Russian air force commander for armament, flew the Yak-130D earlier this year.

Source: Flight International