The war in Ukraine has resulted in substantial damage to aircraft and buildings at an airfield and flying club hosted by light sport aircraft manufacturer Aeroprakt. Co-founded in 1991 by Yuri Yakovlev (chief designer) and Oleg Litovchenko (director), Aeroprakt currently markets its popular light-sport A-22 and A-32 Vixxen in the U.S. and has delivered a total of more than 1,000 aircraft around the world since its founding 21 years ago. The aeroclub was apparently shelled by Russian forces in the ongoing battle for territory surrounding the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
A YouTube video posted on April 4 shows contrasting images of what is described elsewhere as the Aeroprakt aeroclub in Nalyvaikivka, on the outskirts of Kyiv. In the previously posted video portion, filmed earlier, Yakovlev is seen narrating a walkaround view of the flying club— all in Ukrainian. The footage is interspersed with Daniil Shvedkov’s still images of the matching locations around the club exhibiting severe damage.
An April 15 post on the Aeroprakt Facebook page includes the message, “Dear Friends, we come with a short information update for you. Our aeroclub and airstrip in Nalivaykivka have been damaged. Along with them, several aircraft that were located there.
“Our factory in Kyiv was not damaged. As the orcs [Russians] are pushed out of the Kyiv area, the factory has resumed its work, but for now with one third of the pre-war capacity.” Before the invasion, Aeroprakt had announced plans to build a large manufacturing facility nearby the aeroclub airfield in Nalivaikivka.
Yakovlev also posted a May 1 YouTube video of his tour of the Aero Friedrichshafen general aviation show in Germany, mostly in Ukrainian. A Google translation of his message below the video reads:
“Videos on the channel will now be in Ukrainian only. I will continue to make videos about aviation wherever I will be, because aviation is a lifelong love for me. After the victory of Ukraine, I plan to return and continue my work. After joining the EU, Ukraine will quickly join EASA, which will open the market for aviation training in Ukraine for Europeans. I am also convinced that Ukraine will face economic prosperity. At the moment, both [aircraft] UR-OKI and UR-OBA are intact, I hope they will remain intact.”
“the orcs…” So perfect.