King George VI, The United Kingdom’s Monarch, on that very uncertain Christmas Day in 1939, gave his speech to the Commonwealth, completing it with somebody else’s poem that began “I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year....”
In context, the entire poem was a moving invocation for trust or faith in the Commonwealth’s immediate future, earnestly presented and nicely underpinned with religious triggers.
Out of context, now in much happier times and with our characteristic flippancy, The Yak Collection would like to invite you now to simply enjoy the imagery of that beautiful opening line, just by itself.
Personally, I picture some seasoned country geezer, a corn stalk waving gently between his teeth, leaning against a stile, taking the long view of some idyllic West Sussex vale, whose rich green sward tumbles happily down before us, as he pauses to eject a little well-directed phlegm out of the other side of his mouth at some unfortunate squirrel, before expounding, cryptically, on all we need to know, but cannot see, for the coming twelve months.
(Ok, it doesn’t need to be snow-covered or Christmas.....Work with me here! )
Our imaginary character is a seer, enveloped by Nature’s duality which reveals to him both the listener’s struggles and successes for the year ahead.
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As purveyors of refurbished and lightly pre-owned parts for everyone’s favorite самолет, here at TYC, we’re very fortunate to catch the breeze of what people are doing with their Yaks “across the Commonwealth” and beyond.
And two seemingly opposing forces would appear to be in play.
On the one hand, TYC is very pleased to be able to offer custom Front Instrument panels for Yaks 52 & 55. In so doing, we’re incorporating 3D CAD modeling of Russian and more recent avionics, laser-cut acrylic prototyping and final waterjetting of your CNC-machined billet panel.
(In the USA at least, the Man at the gate has noticed that most of you will not be able to put off your choice of ADS-B implementation for very much longer. )
On the other hand, requests have been mounting these last few months for original Yak instrumentation. People are seeking out original ADF/ Gyro Compasses, original metric VSI’s and dual Fuel rail gauges to replace non-original aftermarket stuff installed by the previous owner.
This suggests that for some, at least, the Yak is taking on the mantle of a “Classic”, and with it, that passionate appreciation for all things about the marque that are truly retro. Perhaps, too, as a Luddite reaction to the onward march of digital modernity.
With its domed rivets and flat bottomed airfoil, it just screams at you to dig out your E6B whiz wheel - “ we’ll be there in 45 minutes. And we’ll be doing 112 knots all the way!!”
See how easy that was ? At this speed you’ll even have time to look outside and see that Class Delta airport you just flew over. While it’s no Bonanza, basic cross country nav was one thing the Yak 52 was designed to teach its Russian students.
Aaah, a simpler time.
Call us if you’d like to chat about ‘Steam’ gauges, because we love ’em (especially that Clock!). And if you need to squeeze the hole for that Tri Gauge just a little bit to the right to make room for a bitchen G3, we have you covered too.
But for some listeners, that same Man at the gate sees the spectre they’ve been privately avoiding for years. Those same fortunate few who braved the uncertainties of owning & flying Russian & Chinese metal in the import boom of the early nineties have been enjoying their Yaks now for nearly 25 years. These days they have more pressing priorities than replacing Banjo crush washers or getting upside down in the front cockpit & impaling themselves on the control column. They’re thinking about getting out of flying.
If this is you, look out beyond the gate of the Year and see if you can’t find a ‘Child of the Magenta Line’ to take over your Yak. They’ll get their damn head out of the cockpit and, who knows, they might even learn how Pilots use rudders.
John flies out of KSEE whenever he can scrape together a few bucks to fill the tanks