In this Yakovlev Yak-130 youtube video you can see at 2:45 where it closes the inlets(something I've never seen before, I've only seen the typical engine inlet covers) and then it does a perfect take off (at 2:58) like there's nothing wrong with closing the inlets.

Can someone explain how is this possible?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The inlets are closed in order to avoid FOD (foreign object damage) when taking off from unprepared fields. Anyway when the main inlets close, above the fuselage two other inlets open, as visible for example in the following picture (source):

enter image description here

I think that this solution was imposed by the compactness of the airframe and the proximity of the front landing gear to the inlets, which worsen FOD ingestion.

As pointed out by Peter Kämpf, MiG-29 was the first fighter to employ this double inlets system.

Apparently the twin design M-346 by Aermacchi (now Leonardo) doesn't possess this kind of feature (source):

M-346 cutaway

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It was also that FOD tolerant features, like intake grilles, was accounted for in Soviet design going way back, partly because of the expected imperatives in wartime, and partly because even in peacetime junk on the pavement was a never ending problem on Soviet bases. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Feb 1 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ You might want to add the MiG-29 as the first design which used intake covers and overwing intakes for take-off. See here or here for more. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ This is mentioned prominently in the Yak-130's Wikipedia page. However: what is the second grill adjacent to the above-wing intakes? $\endgroup$ Feb 3 at 8:01

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