LET C-11 (Yak-11), OK-JZE, serial no. 171511
oil on canvas, 60x40 cm
original painting in personal collection
The Yak 11 was developed from the Yak 3 WW11 Fighter via the radial engined Yak 3 UTI two seater. The first of 3,859 entered service in the Soviet Union in 1947. Known as the Let C-11, seven hundred and eight were built in Czechoslovakia. The Yak 11 was powered by a 570hp Shvetson Ash-21 redial engine, had one 12.7mm machine gun and bomb racks. As well as the air forces of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia they served with Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bulgaria, Egypt, GDR, Guinea, Hungary, Iraq, China, Poland, Rumania, Syria, Vietnam and Yemen.
This particular C-11 OK-JZE (serial nr.: 171511) was one of the last aircraft produced in 1955 and chosen in the 1980s to be brought to flying condition. 14 years after the Yak’s last flight the restoration work began at the Letecké Opravny Kbely (LOK, aircraft repair works Kbely) and the aircraft participated from 1991 to 1998 at several airshows. Unfortunately the engine reached its maximum operating hours and flying the aircraft became too expensive. By chance an un-used engine from the 1970s was discovered in the deposit of the Kbely museum. This was a license produced M-21, the same type that also powered the C-11s at the beginning.
With the help of this engine the Yak-11 was able to fly again and was civil registered and the company BMZ was assigned to operate the aircraft. They also brought the Yak back to its original condition by an extremely authentically restoration.
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