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Wes Pennest
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Yak-130 "Mitten"

January 25, 2021 · in Aviation · · 10 · 2.8K

Mittens are all the rage on the internet right now, so I'll get in on the action and post this, the "Mitten"

Originally a joint project between Aermacchi (now Leonardo) and for a subsonic with secondary attack capability, the project split and became two different but very similar aircraft. Leonardo went ahead with the M-346, while Yakovlev produced the Yak-130.

If you're thinking of making a M-346 out of the Yak-130, think again. The basic airframe shape is similar, but major differences exist that preclude the conversion from being something as simple as a different set of decals. For instance, the M-346 lacks the swing-down FOD doors and suck-in vents on the top of the LEX as in the Yak-130. The M346 has an intake at the base of the leading edge of the vertical stablizer, two vertical strakes between the leading edge flap and LEX, and the landing gear is of a completely different design. This isn't to say it can't be done and that a conversion set couldn't address these points, but these are two different aircraft.

Mostly a trouble-free build, but due to the vast amount of subassemblies, you'll have to ensure that all of the mating surfaces are scraped clean of paint and are as smooth as possible. Follow the directions to the letter.

Markings are completely spurious as though Vietnam has ordered the Yak-130, its order hasn't fully rolled off the Irkut assembly line when I built this model. So I extrapolated what I think might be a future color scheme based on Vietnam's current fleet of L-39 Albatros trainers. I could be wrong! Won't that be exciting? That's why I have another Yak-130 kit in the stash.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

10 responses

  1. Nice work on this, Wes.

    • I wouldn't say that one would have to try to screw this one up, but it really is one of those kits that make anybody look good. The nose wheel freely rotates, the rear stabilizers move; Zvezda took a lot of pride in this kit and it really shows.

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaand i just noticed I didn't paint the gun barrels. Which isn't a problem because they're pressed into place with no glue, so I can easily pop them in and out.

  2. Great model, Wes.
    This is an interesting subject, not often seen built.
    Looks great in quarter scale.
    I love the camo.

  3. Very interesting model and a great premonition of the VAF colors

    • Nice kit. Where did you get the VPAF decals? Thanks.


      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  4. Compliments on this build, Wes.
    Good to see a Vietnam scheme.
    Well done.

  5. Great looking Yak! I really like these small "trainers-turned-attack" aircraft.

  6. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice work overall Wes, very refreshing to see this aircraft under a different color scheme.

  7. Such a good looking plane and a beautifully built model, definitely liked.

  8. Well folks, looks like I was KIND of right. The VPAF received its first Yak-130s in November, 2021, and the first photo I've seen shows a similar livery, though much greener and with white trim instead of yellow.

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