Ya-20 prototype with Renault engine

Updated on February 28, 2014

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Drawing by Tapani Tuomanen

The Ya-20(No. 20) trainer, the prototype of UT-2, was an improvement of the previous similar Ya-10. Two Ya-20 were built in 1937, one of which was moved by a French engine, an in-line air cooled Renault Bengali 4, easily recognizable for the streamlined nose. the other prototype had an M-11E engine of 150 HP, and the nose shaped as usual UT-2.

The plane with Renault engine was first flown on 11 July 1937 by Y.I. Piontkovskii.

Apart for the shape of the nose, the plane was characterized by small windshields divided in two panels connected by a central frame. The plane was painted white, with red fillets on the wings, rudder, tail and landing gear cover.

Number 20 with engine Renault-4. Pilot - YI Piontkovskii. Central Airport. Moscow. July 1937

On July 25, 1937, the plane, piloted by Reno P.M. Stefanovsky and co-driver P.I. Nikitin, participated to the air race on the route Moscow - Sevastopol - Moscow, a flight of 2815 miles. The flight took place under adverse weather conditions. Only 9 planes on 19 completed the race, and Ya-20 was the first between the two-seaters, with a time of 11h 25'.

According to OKB Yakovlev, of Gordon and Komissarov, a red number 3 was painted on the fuselage sides, over the left wing uppersurface and right wing undersurface for this race, but we weren't able to see any number on the wings on the available photos.

Despite the brilliant result, the French engine gave unexpected problems.


Later the plane was modified into a flying boat.

In October 1937 P.M. Stefanovsky and P.I. Nikitin made a world speed record for its category: 210 km / h in a closed 100-kilometer route.

In the photo: P.M. Stefanovsky, Y. Piontkovskii, P.I. Nikitin, A.S. Yakovlev. The plane on the background shows some details of the exhaust pipes and floats.

Later, this seaplane flown by V.S. Grizodubova and E. Slobozhenko established a women's record: speed 200 km / h and altitude 3267 meters