Flight of the Yak 54

The first day of the “Cub Nutz” event ended with a spectacular demonstration of aerobatic mastery! Rob Hoover, a pilot for Coyote Hobby’s flying team, was the man behind the remote when a squad of hobbyists delivered a beautifully finished, 40% Yak 54 to the field. Of course, if you were there to just watch the pilot, his movements may have appeared deceptively understated. However, the audience soon found that his mastery of the aircraft, displayed in his performance that day was far from mundane!


The crowd cheered wildly as the Yak started out by completing circle after circle of an unwavering, extended knife edge. That was just his warm up. Rob continued by making perfectly executed snap rolls. It’s hard to imagine that an aircraft of this size is capable of these quick direction changes.

Having pleased the crowd with the more explosive maneuvers, Rob decided to demonstrate his skill to the more experienced pilots by doing a trick called the waterfall. Though it looked less impressive to some members of the audience, the trained eye knew the difficulty and danger that can come from nearly stalling the wings continually while allowing the aircraft to drift down slowly.

The audience seemed to love the way Rob managed to knife edge while simultaneously making the plane seem to wave at the crowd. As pleasing as this trick may have been to all of us watching, it was not something Rob had intended to do. When the plane had finished its flight, the cause of this maneuver was revealed. Apparently, Rob had been performing the last few maneuvers with a failed left rudder. Left-rudder input caused the right-rudder control linkage to go slack and the rudder would freely and rapidly oscillate, causing the craft to dance like a salmon punching up a waterfall. Although this truth of the failure may have taken away from some of the shine of the fish-like flutter he had performed, all of his other tricks became even more impressive! His final trick was to safely land the stunt plane in spite of the true failure, using only right turns. Wow.

If you are interested in performing aerobatic maneuvers like the ones you can find in the video, but don’t want to pay the $7,000 it costs for an airplane of this scale, check out the Yak-55 Aerobatic 3D Profile Airplane, coming out mid-September. It is only $29.99, and is fully capable of the same 3D flight capacity of the 40%.

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