“One day about 10 years ago,” Jeff Boerboon recalls, “I saw my airplane sitting on the ramp next to another Yak 55, and I had the idea of combining two Yak 55s together.”
Normally when one thinks of a crazy idea, it’s unlikely to become a reality, but air show pilot Jeff Boerboon believed otherwise. He turned his wild idea into pure magic with the jaw-dropping Yak 110. The name is pretty creative — 55 plus 55, put the two together and you’ve got the Yak 110.
There was a lot of hard work involved, but the outcome was truly one-of-a-kind. The Yak 110 contains two cockpits, two large radical engines, two tails, one impressively-long wing, and an extra jet engine in the middle for good measure. The unbelievable aircraft made its air show debut this summer.
The Yakovlev Yak 55 was built back in the 1980s by the Soviets and has some major competition. The soviet teams for both men and women flew the single-seat monoplane during its first year on the circuit, earning first place in the World Aerobatic Championships. The Yak 55 is still in production with few minor changes and happens to be Boerboon’s favorite. He teamed up with partners Chad Bartee and Dell Coller for about a year in an Idaho hangar to meld two airplanes together into one aerobatic creation, the Yak 110.
The finished aerobatic creation weighs just under 5,000 pounds, but with Boerboon in the cockpit ready to take flight with three engines, the weight is now closer to 6,000 pounds. (Mainly from the thrust of the aircraft.) “This gives a much better than one-to-one power-to-weight ratio,” says Boerboon. Generally speaking, usually only high-performance fighter aircrafts can accelerate with the aircraft pointing straight up, but with the power-to-weight ratio, the Yak 110 can also accelerate while pointing straight up. Boerboon can perform just about every other aerobatic maneuver that other planes are capable of doing without sparing power.
“The concept of combining two aircraft together and adding a jet engine has never been done in the history of aviation,” says Boerboon. “The airplane is incredible to fly. I have only scratched the service of the maneuvers that are possible.” Boerboon and his crew debuted one of the most fascinating aircrafts to date at several air shows this summer, including the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which is the world’s largest air show. Its next scheduled appearance will be in September at the California Capital Airshow held in Sacramento, California.