This aeroplane was built in Russia during the 1990’s as a joint American/Russian project to return the legendary Yak-3 to the skies. In the late 1990’s this aircraft was involved in a take-off accident at the Reno air races. Written off, it was acquired by other interests before being sold to its current New Zealand owner.
Work initially commenced on getting the wings up to standard. Following the 2009 Classic Fighters Airshow, JEM aviation was commissioned to complete the rebuild of this awesome machine. Wing work was completed including fit out of the non-existent undercarriage plumbing and inner gear doors.
Fuselage work centred around converting the existing fuselage to a 2-seat configuration with all work being carried out in accordance with a certified structural engineer’s calculations. Once this ground-breaking work was completed the fuselage was able to be mated to the wing and fit out of the numerous previously completed components begun. An owner sourced Allison V1710 engine was then fitted and a cropped DC-3 prop was brought up to spec by SAFE Air Ltd.
The aircraft was completed in March 2012 with test pilot Frank Parker completing the test flying programme in short order - in fact after the first flight he advised us not to touch a thing - something all restorers love to hear!
The owner was then able to complete his rating in time for the 2012 'Warbirds over Wanaka' airshow where he proudly displayed the aircraft. Since then the aircraft has remained hangared at Omaka. Flown regulalry it has proved to be a very capable and reliable mount!Return to Past Projects