Born: Russia
Primarily active in: Russia

Alexander S. Yakovlev (1906-1989) was a famed fighter aircraft designer during World War I. His first helicopter was the coaxial Yak-M11FR-1, the name coming from the 140 hp M-11FR-1 engine. It was also referred to as the Yak-EG (Eksperimentalnyi Gelikopter). The helicopter was tested in 1947-48, but it was decided that the coaxial rotor layout should be developed by the Kamov bureau. Yakovlev built a single-main helicopter (Yak-100) and a tandem (Yak-24), with as many as 100 built.

Born April 1, 1906, in Moscow, Yakovlev’s career as a designer spanned more than 60 years. He was the last of a generation of aircraft designers, including Oleg Antonov, Alexei Tupolev and Sergei Ilyushin, who dominated Soviet aviation for decades.

Yakovlev was awarded the Soviet Union’s prestigious Lenin Prize and was twice named a Hero of Socialist Labor.  “Yakovlev was known for his tireless search for fresh ideas, creative courage and great talent for organization,” the official Soviet news agency Tass said.

The best-known Yakovlev planes of the past decade are the Yak-38, known by NATO experts as the Forger, the country’s only plane capable of operating from naval vessels, and the 120-passenger Yak-42 short-haul passenger jet.  During World War II, Yakovlev’s fighter planes, the Yak-1 through Yak-9 were the dominant force in the Soviet air force. Of 61,000 fighters built by the Soviet Union during the war years, 37,000 of them were Yaks.

Aircraft designer Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, who built warplanes that challenged German Messerschmitts in World War II and later designed passenger jets, died after a long illness, on Tuesday, August 22, 1989. He was 83.

Source: 2013 AHS Calendar and Websearch