by Dave Weiman
Published in Midwest Flyer – October/November 2018 issue
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh never fails to amaze me, especially when it comes to innovations, aircraft modifications and great airshow performances. In the many decades we have been covering airshows, I have witnessed a lot of cool acts, flown by some extremely talented
For instance, the act called “Double Take,” performed by Craig Hosking of Moorpark, Calif., featured a Pitts S-2B biplane with an extra landing gear mounted on top of the wings. Why, you might ask? So, Hosking could take off and land inverted, of course. It was one of those unique acts that took the word “boring” out of airshows. Hosking performed “Double Take” from 1986 to 1992 when he decided to devote full time to his motion picture pursuits. Google “Double Take Biplane.”
And who didn’t marvel when Jimmy Franklin of Neosho, Missouri, mounted a General Electric J85 jet engine on the bottom of his UPF 7 Waco to create the one and only “Jet-Powered Waco?” Google “Jet-Powered Waco.”
It would be just a matter of time until someone else came along with a novel act, and it happened this year at Oshkosh, Wis., July 23-29, 2018.
Airshow fans were amazed to witness a performer flying not one, but two Yakovlev Yak-55 airplanes welded together to create a multi-engine aircraft of sorts. In addition to the aircraft’s two Vedeneyev M14P nine-cylinder radial engines, a General Electric CJ610-6 turbojet was mounted between the two airframes, producing 3,000 lbs of additional thrust. The aircraft is called the “Jet-Powered Yak 110.”
With two identical airframes, pilot Jeff Boerboon of Cave Creek, Arizona, had to decide from which cockpit he would fly from – left or right. He chose the left cockpit.
Assisting Boerboon with this project is his business partner, Chad Bartee of Lubbock, Texas, and aircraft builder and mechanic, Dell Coller of Boise, Idaho.
Boerboon and Coller first drew a basic design, then decided how best the controls would work, then made up a CAD design for the new wing center section. The two elevators were tied together; the elevators required some modification; the airplane got new wiring, plumbing, and instruments; the fuel system and air system components were redesigned to operate electronically; and the controls were removed from one aircraft, but the seat remained for a willing passenger. The jet engine was the last mechanical component to be added.
“The Yak 110 has been an amazing project and is a great flying airshow plane,” says Boerboon. “I was fortunate enough to fly the Screamin Sasquatch for three years, and now with differential power, there are all sorts of new maneuvers to explore.”
Congratulations Jeff Boerboon, Chad Bartee and Dell Coller on a most entertaining aircraft design, but that’s not all folks… “Next, we will be adding an afterburner and a night show…. stay tuned!” says Boerboon.