The Yakovlev Yak-141 also called the Yak-41 is designed and manufactured by the Yakovlev design bureau as a supersonic vertical takeoff/landing (VTOL) fighter aircraft primarily used by the Soviet Navy. The aircraft was used for testing and initially flew on March 9, 1987. It was canceled in August 1991.
On March 9, 1987, the prototype designated as 48-2 took to the air for the first time from Zhukovsky International Airport. It was operated by chief test pilot Sinitsyn. On December 29, 1989, the prototype 48-3 took to the sky for its first hovering flight. It was the same prototype used on June 13, 1990, to perform the first entire transition from vertical to high-speed flight and vertical landing.
During its testing, the Yak-41 showcased outstanding combat maneuvers. The Yak-41 set numerous world-class records under the fictitious name Yak-141. The designation Yak-141 has been widely known to Western allies.
The Yak-41 has an external length of 18.36 meters, an external height of 3 meters, a tail height of 5 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1 meter. It has a wheelbase of 6.9 meters, a wingspan of 10.10 meters, and a wing area of 31.7 square meters.
The aircraft has an empty weight of 11,650 kg, a maximum takeoff weight of 19,500 kg, a maximum payload of 2,600 kg, and a fuel tank capacity of 1,616 US gallons. It is powered by a single Soyuz R-79V-300 and two RKBM RD-41 engines.
The Soyuz R-79V-300 is an afterburning vectoring-nozzle turbofan engine which produces a maximum dry thrust of 24,000 lbf and an afterburning thrust of 34,000 lbf. The RKBM RD-41 is a turbojet engine with a 9,400 lbf thrust each.
The Yak-41 has a maximum speed of 970 knots and a travel range of 1,100 nautical miles. The ferry range is 1,600 nautical miles. It can fly up to 50,900 feet and can climb at a rate of 49,000 feet per minute.
The aircraft can be loaded with a 1×30 mm GSh-30-1 autocannon with 120 rounds and four hardpoints; four located underwing and one in the fuselage with a capacity of 2,600 kg of external stores with provisions to bear combinations of R-73 Archer short-range, R-77 Adder medium-range active radar homing, or R-27 Alamo medium to long-range air-to-air missiles.