Yakovlev Yak-23, the first Yakovlev fighters
by Marian Mikofajczuk

Review by David Harvey

Review Type
First Look
$??? AUD from Pltypus Publications
Contents and Media:
A5 book with 153 pages
Walkarounds and profiles of a little known aircraft
None seen
Highly Recommended



The Yak-15 to -17 were direct descendants of the Me-262's captured from Germany at the end of the war. Whilst the USSR started looking at jet engines during the 1930's they were for the most part unsuccesful until the 'spoils of war' came into their hands. Development started on the jet aircraft with the initial Russian jet engined based directly on the German Junkers Jumo 004B1 engine.

These aircraft were exported to a number of courties in the Warsaw pact and served until such time as they were overun by technology eg the Mig-15. There was even one captured on film with American markings!

The book

The book is an A5 soft covered book with 153 pages including historical data, walkarounds and profiles. The book is broken into the following areas:

  • Page 4 - 19, Yak-15 design and development;
  • P20 - 29, Birth of the Yak-17;
  • P30 - 31, Yak-17 successors;
  • P32 - 39 Yak-23 development;
  • P40 - 60, Yak-17 and Yak-23 exports including Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, People's Republic of China and Hungary.
  • P61 - 67, Yak-23 structure;
  • P69 - 118, detail photos of the Yak-15, Yak-17, Yak-17 Uti and Yak-23; and
  • P119 - 152, Colour profiles.

Given the time frame involved and the general secrecy of the USSR, this book has quite a few good period images of the aircraft covered. You also receive a number of 1/72 plans and sufficient information to make a good representation of the aircraft. The book doesn't get bogged down with too much information, as you would expect from 153 pages, but you receive enough to get an idea of the aircrafts development and service. The part that realy surprises me is that not only are there images of the aircraft from the time but there are also airframes still existing of it!

The walkarounds are worth the book if you are in the process of making one of these aircraft as they cover most of the detail areas externally with some interior shots as well.


For those interested in this aircraft I would definately recommend this small but useful book as a reference. Considering the number of period images and walkarounds you are definately getting your monies worth.

Book courtesy of and available from Ley Reynolds from Platypus Publications Ph 02 4753 6148 between 10am - 7pm.

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