This is my current ride. It certainly isn't nearly as impressive as the MiG-17, but you can have one heck of a lot of fun with it. And you can take friends along and scare them (and you) to death!
Just as important, when you pull up to the fuel pit, you don't cry nearly as much as you do with the MiG!
Here are a few recent photos taken by my friend, and excellent photographer, Ron Eyason. They were all shot at the Santa Paula Airport where the Yak is based.
The Yak 52 will do any maneuver in the Aresti System. It is stressed for +7/-5 g's and has a 360 hp engine. I've done erect and inverted spins in it, and even a Lomcevak!
Many people confuse the Yak 52 with a Nanchang CJ-6A, but there are many noticeable differences when you see them side-by-side. The Yak has a straight wing, with about 2 degrees of dihedral, whereas the CJ-6A has a break in the wing, with significant dihedral outboard of that break. Also, the stock CJ has a 285 hp Chinese engine and the Yak has a 360 hp Russian engine. The CJ has flush rivets and the gear retract into the wing, so it is about 15 to 20 kt faster than the Yak which has round head rivets and exposed gear. The CJ does gentlemanly aerobatics, but the Yak, with its inverted fuel and oil systems, shorter straight wings, and higher g-load stressing does it all!
Notice how the gear do not fully retract into the wing. The Russians did this for simplicity and to protect the plane in the event of a gear up landing. There are incidents on record where, after landing gear up, they simply replaced the shattered wood/fiberglass propeller and flew it away.