Yakovlev Yak-6

The Yakovlev Yak-6 was a Soviet twin-engined utility aircraft, developed and built during World War II. It was used as a short-range light night bomber and a light transport.

Role Utility
Manufacturer Yakovlev
First flight 1942
Introduction 1942
Retired 1950
Status Retired
Primary user Soviet Air Force
Number built 381


In April 1942, the Yakovlev design bureau was instructed to design a twin-engined utility transport aircraft to supplement smaller single-engined aircraft such as the Polikarpov U-2. The design was required to be simple to build and operate.[1][2] Design and construction work proceeded extremely quickly, with the first prototype Yak-6 flying in June 1942. It passed its state acceptance tests in September that year and was quickly cleared for production.[1]

The Yak-6 was a cantilever low-wing monoplane of all-wood construction with fabric covering. It had a retractable tailwheel undercarriage, with the main wheels retracting rearwards into the engine nacelles. The horizontal tail was braced. It was powered by two 140 hp Shvetsov M-11F radial engines driving two-bladed wooden propellers,[nb 1] with the engine installation based on Yakovlev's UT-2 primary training aircraft. In order to minimise the use of scarce resources, the aircraft's fuel tanks were made of chemical-impregnated plywood rather than metal or rubber. Many Yak-6s were fitted with fixed landing gear.[3][4]

The aircraft appeared in two versions, one as a transport and utility aircraft for the supply of partisans, transport of the wounded, and for liaison and courier services. It could accommodate two crew side-by-side in an enclosed cockpit with capacity to carry four passengers or 500 kg (1,100 lb) or cargo.[4][5] The second version was a light night bomber (designated NBB - nochnoy blizhniy bombardirovshchik - Short Range Night Bomber), capable of carrying up to 500 kg of bombs on racks under the wing centre sections and with a defensive armament of a single ShKAS machine gun in a dorsal mounting.[6] A total of 381 examples were built with production ending in 1943.[7][8]

A few examples of an improved version of the Yak-6 with swept outer wings were flown, with the modified version sometimes known as the Yak-6M.[9][10] The Yak-6M led to the larger Yak-8 which flew in early 1944.[11]

Operational history

The Yak-6 was used with great effect at the front lines in the Great Patriotic War both as a transport and as a bomber, proving popular with its crews, although the potential for the aircraft to enter a spin if overloaded or carelessly handled resulting in production ending in 1943 in favour of the similarly powered Shcherbakov Shche-2. By 1944, most operational units of the VVS had a Yak-6 as a utility aircraft.[10] In the Battle for Berlin, the Yak-6 was fitted with rocket launchers under the wings for ten 82-mm RS-82 missiles for use against ground targets.[12] After the end of the Second World War, some Yak-6s were supplied to allies, while it remained in large scale service with Soviet forces until 1950.[11][12]


  • Yak-6 : Twin-engined light utility transport aircraft.
  • NBB : Short-range night bomber aircraft.
  • Yak-6M : Improved version of the Yak-6.


 Soviet Union

Specifications (Yak-6 (1943 production))

Data from Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft[11]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Capacity: four passengers
  • Length: 10.35 m (33 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.0 m (45 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 29.6 m2 (319 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: Clark-YH
  • Empty weight: 1,415 kg (3,120 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,300 kg (5,071 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Shvetsov M-11F 5-cylinder radial engines, 100 kW (140 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 187 km/h (116 mph, 101 kn)
  • Range: 900 km (560 mi, 490 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,380 m (11,090 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 5.4 min to 1,000 m (3,300 ft)


  • Guns: 1 × ShKAS machine gun in dorsal position
  • Rockets: provision for 10 × RS 82 rockets
  • Bombs: Up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) bombs

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. Yakovlev intended the Yak-6 to use 190 hp M-12 engines, but these were not available.[2]
  1. Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 235.
  2. Gunston 1995, p. 467.
  3. Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, pp. 235–236.
  4. Gunston 1995, p. 467–468.
  5. Alexander 1975, p. 437.
  6. Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, pp. 235, 237.
  7. Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 237.
  8. "History:Serial Production". A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  9. Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov 2005, p. 238.
  10. Donald 1997, p. 915.
  11. Gunston 1995, p. 468.
  12. Alexander 1975, p. 438.
  • Alexander, Jean (1975). Russian Aircraft since 1960. London: Purnell Book Services.
  • Donald, David (Editor) (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Gordon, Yefim; Komissarov, Dmitry; Komissarov, Sergey (2005). OKB Yakovlev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. Hinckley, UK: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-203-9.
  • Gunston, Bill (1995). The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875 - 1995. London: Osprey. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
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