Yakovlev Yak-23

The Yakovlev Yak-23 (in Russian ??-23, USAF/DoD reporting name "Type 28"), NATO reporting name "Flora" was a jet fighter developed in the USSR in the 1940s and used in the early 1950s.

Yakovlev Yak-23
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Yakovlev
Production Period 1949 - 1950
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1947
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bulgaria View
Czechoslovakia View
Hungary View
Poland 1949 1956 View
Romania View
Russia (USSR) 1949 1951 View
United States of America View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Yakovlev 1949 1950 310 View

The Yak-23 was developed as a simple lightweight jet fighter, on Yakovlev's own initiative. It was a development of the earlier Yak-15 and Yak-17 fighters, retaining their non-conventional layout with a jet engine in the fuselage nose and exhaust under the cockpit, but the construction was all new. Its wings were derived from the Yak-19. The Yak-23 used a Soviet copy of the British Rolls-Royce Derwent V turbojet engine, produced as the Klimov RD-500. It first flew on July 8, 1947. After successful flights, it underwent state trials in 1948 and was accepted for series production. It was evaluated as highly maneuverable, with a good acceleration and take-off and climb capabilities thanks to high thrust-to-weight ratio. Faults were poor directional stability at speeds around Mach 0.86 and lack of cockpit pressurization. Despite being one of the best straight-wing jet fighters, it was inferior to new swept-wing designs.

The first aircraft were produced in a factory in Tbilisi in October 1949. In late 1949 they entered Soviet air force service, and were also ordered for export in 1949-50. The Yak-23 was quickly replaced in the Soviet service with the more complicated swept-wing MiG-15, which offered superior performance. In all, only 310 Yak-23 aircraft were built before production ended in 1950. Apart from the fighter there were two trainer versions of the Yak-23 which were built in small numbers. The Yak-23UTI two-seat trainer which appears to have had the unusual arrangement of having the instructor sat in front of the student, and the Yak-23DC trainer which was produced in Rumania.

Small numbers of Yak-23 were exported to Czechoslovakia (20 from 1949, named S-101), Bulgaria (from 1949), Poland (about 100, from 1950), Romania (62, from 1951) and probably Albania. Poland and Czechoslovakia acquired license of Yak-23, but didn't start production in favour of the MiG-15. Yak-23s were withdrawn by the late 1950s. They were not used in combat (there are reports of US pilots encountering Yak-23s during the Korean War, but their presence in North Korea is not confirmed).

Role Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Yakovlev
First flight 8 July 1947
Introduction 1949
Retired 1951 (Soviet Union)
1956 (Poland)
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Polish Air Force
Romanian Air Force
Produced October 1949-1950
Number built 310
Developed from Yakovlev Yak-17
Yakovlev Yak-19

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 8.12 m (26 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.73 m (28 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 3.31 m (10 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 13.50 m² (145 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,980 kg (4,356 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,384 kg (7,445 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: kg (lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Klimov RD-500 turbojet, 15.6 kN (3,500 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 923 km/h (577 mph)
  • Range: 1,400 km (875 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 14,800 m (48,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 41.4 m/s (8150 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 251 kg/m² (51 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.46


  • Guns: 2 × 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 with 90 rpg

End notes