Aeroplane: Yakovlev Yak-40 (NATO: Codling)
The Yak-40 was designed in 1966 at the Yakovlev design bureau as an airliner for internal passenger transport. It was to be capable of operations from short, unpaved airstrips, and for that purpose was given long unswept wings and landing gear with large diameter wheels. The passenger version carried 32 passengers. Many specialized versions were developed as well as VIP transport variant which carried 13 people. More than 1000 aircraft were built.
The first Yak-40s were delivered to Poland in 1973 were used for VIP transport by 36th Special Air Transport Regiment until the unit was disbanded in 2011. A target tug version for gunnery practice has also been developed in Poland. In late 80s Polish Airlines LOT operated Yak-40s leased from the 36th Regt.
The example on display is a VIP transport Yak-40 number 037, which was used by 36th Special Air Transport Regiment based in Warsaw. The plane was donated to PAM by the Ministry of Defense. It bore witness to the political transformation in Poland, for during its service it flew general secretaries of the communist party as well as members of post-1989 democratic governments.