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Published on Sep 22, 2008
The Yakovlev Yak-36 (NATO reporting name: Freehand) was a Soviet technology demonstrator for a VTOL multi-role combat aircraft.
The aircraft had vectored thrust engines, similar to the Harrier. One engine was mounted forward of the cockpit, and one was below the cockpit. The exhaust exited through vectoring nozzles in the center of gravity which were vectorable through about 90º.
The Yak-36 made its first hover on 9 January 1963, the first transition from vertical take-off to forward flight and back to vertical landing on 16 September 1963.
The next development step was the Yak-38 which flew for the first time in 1971 as the Yak-36MP.