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Red Star Volume 36

Yakovlev Yak-36, Yak-38 and Yak-41
The Soviet ‘Jump Jets’

by Yefim Gordon


 S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Red Star Series Volume 36
Yakovlev Yak-36, Yak-38 and Yak-41 The Soviet ‘Jump Jets’

by Yefim Gordon

Published by Midland Counties


Hardcover 144 Pages




MSRP: GBP 19.99 from Ian Allen Superstore

Review Type:

First Read


Good background on the Soviet VSTOL program


None specifically noted


Another typical Red Star Series Volume. Covers the history development and employment of Soviet VSTOL aircraft including their decline. Good modelling reference.

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

Red Star Volume 36 is available online from Squadron



The Soviet V/STOL program has almost as long a history as that which ultimately led the Harrier in the UK. Starting from a “flying bedstead” style testbed, Yakevlov progressed from the Yak-36 Freehand through the operational Yak-38 Forger to the advanced supersonic Yak-41, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the P.1154. The latter never proceeded beyond prototype form as a combination of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the development of the CTOL Su-33 Naval Flanker resulted in the end of the program. This latest volume from the prolific Russian aviation author Yefim Gordon covers the complete history and development of the three principal V/STOL aircraft of the title from genesis to final cancellation in 1995.

Whilst developing from a similar conceptual basis to the British Kestrel and Harrier family, the Yakevlov design bureau proceeded down a different path to implementation, using a vectored thrust exhaust coupled with smaller lift engines installed in the forward fuselage. Perhaps this has been vindicated with a similar implementation being employed by Lockheed in the VSTOL F-35 JSF via a forward lift fan and vectoring exhaust. Gordon as is usual explains the wherewithal of the program from operational requirement to eventual fielding of the Yak-38 on the Kiev class aircraft carrying cruisers which formed the mainstay of Soviet naval fixed wing capability up until the end of the Cold War.


  • Yakovlev Jump Jets Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Yakovlev Jump Jets Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Yakovlev Jump Jets Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
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From a modellers point of view this volume again includes “in detail” sections with walkaround photographic coverage of both the Yak-38 and Yak-41 along with discussion covering bort numbers, colour schemes and even nose art as carried by the Yak-38 in service. Given Gordon’s access to Russian sources the book includes a large quantity of colour photographs which will also assist the modeller in completing a replica of these types via the AModel or Revell Forger kits or the Anigrand Yak-41 and Yak-36 kits, all in 1/72 scale. Finishing the volume are 10 pages of four view scale drawings of all three subjects which will also be of some use to modellers. Whilst there are no surprises in the format and content of the now well established Red Star Series, this latest volume covers another interesting aspect of Soviet aviation and constitutes a useful reference to boot.

Thanks to DLS Australia for the review sample

The Red Star series may be purchased from www.midlandcountiessuperstore.com

Review Copyright 2008 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 2 December, 2008
Last updated 2 December, 2008

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