The first of these, the Yak-11, was clearly based on Yakovlev's successful wartime fighters - the form of the wings and tail unit was the same, and the undercarriage was similar to that of the Yak-1/Yak-3 series; only the two-seat fuselage with its radial engine was new. Yakovlev kept up his reputation for clean design by producing a close fitting, and unblemished, radial cowling which, like its in-line engined forebears had oil-cooler air intakes in the wing-roots.
The Yak-11 was flight tested in 1946 and deliveries to Soviet air force training units began in 1947. In March 1948 a Soviet pilot force-landed his Yak-11 in Turkey while on a delivery flight from the Yakovlev factory at Zaporozhe, so unintentionally enabling Western observers to have their first opportunity of examining the type. During the 1950s a number of class Id (3,858-6,614 lb/1,750-3,000 kg gross weight) records were established by Yak-11s flown by pilots of the Chkalov Central Aero Club, these records included:
Speed over 311 mls (500 km) closed circuit, piloted by
Ya.D. Forostenko, 292.882 mph (471.348 km/h), July 12, 1951.
Speed over 621 mls (1,000 km) closed circuit (piloted by
N. Golovanov), 274.826 mph (442.289 kmh), August 26, 1951.
Speed over 1,242 mls (2,000 km) closed circuit (piloted by
P. Zakhodanin), 223.714 mph (360.032 kmh), October 31, 1953.
Distance in a straight line (piloted by I. Tcherniv), 1,236.642 mls (1,990.183 km), September 11, 1954.
Altogether, 3,859 Yak-11s were built in the USSR between 1946 and 1956, while an additional 707 aircraft were built under license between 1954 and 1956 by LET Kunovice and were designated C-11 and C-11U. The Yak-11 has been used by the air forces of 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Austria (four presented by the Soviet Government), Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Syria, USSR, and Yemen.