Flying the Yak-52 at the Temploux-Namur Air Base with Etienne Verhellen: an amazing experience!

Based right in the centre of Wallonia the Belgian Namur-Temploux airfield offers all aeronautical activities in a verdant setting and is really the place-to-be for aviation enthusiasts. Those who like big thrills can even be given the opportunity of discovering or enjoying the art of aerobatics.

Experience Yak-52 Aerobatic flying
Do you know the Yak-52? Not yet? Then, let’s make an appointment with Etienne Verhellen, the owner of “Janie”, a lovely Yak-52, based at Temploux.  Etienne, a professional pilot flying for British Airways, is also a Yak-52 pilot and flight instructor, offering Yak-52 aerobatic training, Yak-52 formation flying, Yak-52 pleasure flights…

On this Sunday afternoon it was Gerard’s turn to have an advanced flying course. Gerard is especially coming from Holland to have a lesson with Etienne. But it’s worth it, I assure you, as Etienne is a brilliant fight instructor and Janie a very lovely aircraft!

For us it was a great opportunity to take wonderful pictures and for Alain a ‘heaven-sent’ opportunity to accompany Etienne during a flight and enjoy aerobatics for the first time!

Like those pictures? Download Janie’s Screensaver


The Yak-52, a light and agile aircraft.
The Yak-52 is the most popular of all the Yak series, a simple to operate 2 seat aerobatics, long range, fast aircraft.

Designed originally as a primary trainer for students who would later transition to Soviet jet aircraft, the aerobatics-capable (+7g / -5 g) Yak-52 is now often seen in the hands of sports flying enthusiasts. It first flew in 1976 and is still being produced in Romania, by Aerostar. The Yak-52 was designed originally as an aerobatic trainer for students in the Soviet DOSAAF training organization. That organization trained both civilian sport pilots and military pilots.

Since the early 1990s and the fall of the Soviet Union, many Yak 52s have been exported to the west. Of the approximately 1,800 produced to date, most now fly in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and other western countries.

A descendant of the single-seat competition aerobatic Yakovlev Yak-50, the all-metal Yak-52 is powered by a 360 hp, 9-cylinder radial engine, the Vedeneyev M14P. The aircraft has inverted fuel and oil systems permitting inverted flight for as long as two minutes. The engine drives a two-bladed counter-clockwise rotating, constant-speed, wood and fiberglass laminate propeller

At 2,200 pounds empty weight, the Yak-52 is responsive and very capable as an aerobatic aircraft. Yet it is also easy to fly and land. It has been used in international aerobatic competition up to the Advanced level. It is stressed to +7 and –5 Gs, rolls (to the right) at 180 degrees per second.

The Yak-52, like most Soviet military aircraft, was designed to operate in rugged environments with minimal maintenance. One of its key features, and a radical departure from most western aircraft, is its extensive pneumatic system. Engine starting, landing gear, flaps, braking and steering are all pneumatically actuated. The steering/braking arrangement, especially, takes some adjustment for flyers accustomed to hydraulics, because the plane uses differential braking controlled by rudder pedals and a hand operated lever on the control stick.

The tricycle landing gear is fully retractable, but it remains partially-exposed in the retracted position, affording both a useful level of drag in down manoeuvres and a measure of protection should the plane be forced to land "wheels up."

The Yakkes Foundation
"Janie" is a member of the "Yakkes Foundation", which has evolved from an idea of a few (aviation-) entrepreneurs who are, either professionally or privately intrigued by all aspects of flight. Its purpose is to keep older airplanes in perfect flying condition for the joy of the aviation sport and spectators alike.

Worth a try!
We can really say that Yaks liven the Namur-Temploux air base up and having a flight onboard one of these aircraft is really an unforgettable experience. Wish to give a try? Go ahead! You won’t regret it!

For further information:
Etienne Verhellen
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: 0032 (0)473 27 21 86

More pictures about Janie can be viewed here
Download Janie’s Screensaver


Source: Skycontrol
Pictures provided and copyrighted by Digital Eyecatcher

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