The Yak-15 was developed by Alexander Yakovlev, he based his aircraft on the Yak-3, only the nose of the aircraft was modified because of the new engine. On 24th April 1946, the first flight of the prototype took place, with the aircraft being flown by M. I. Ivanov and powered by a Jumo 004 engine.[N 1] In October 5, of the same year, 12 additional aircraft were built for flight testing and were equipped with the new RD-10 engine.[N 2] In May 1947 testing was completed and production could begin. 280 Yak-15 were built in this year.
The main role of the Yak-15 was to let the pilots learn how to fly a jet powered aircraft, while they were used to fly propeller planes. To demonstrate the performance of the Yak-15, a group of pilots performed in 1948 incredible manoeuvres at an air parade. Sometime later this aircraft was equipped with a tricycle undercarriage for testing. This aircraft was called Yak-21. A as Yak-154 or Yak-15U designated prototype, was later named Yak-17.
The Yak-15s fuselage was made of a metal construction, and was covered with sheet metal on the nose, on the tail it was fabric covered. The wings were mainly made wooden made. The two main wheels could be retracted into wings. The small wheel on the tail was made of steel to protect it against the hot engine exhaust plumes, and was also retractable.
- ↑ This flight took place three hours after the initial flight of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9, with the order being decided on the toss on a coin.
- ↑ This was basically an unlicensed copy of the Jumo 004.