Yakovlev Yak-3


Yakovlev Yak-3
Yakovlev Yak-3
The Yak-1 was a good plane but often dominated by the Me109G and Fw190 it had to face. Yakovlev wanted to improve its performance, but as no newer engines were available, the only thing to do was to redesign the plane structure.
The resulting Yak-1M was a pure dogfighter: smaller wings, light weight, streamlined, with excellent turning abilities. After more improvements, it entered production as the Yak-3.
The Free French "Normandie-Niémen" fighter squad, operating from USSR, flew several Allied-built and Russian-built aircrafts, but praised the Yak-3 over all others; 99 of their 273 air victories were obtained when flying the Yak-3.

Development

Yakovlev Yak-3 Yakovlev Yak-3
Engine Klimov VK-105PF-2 liquid-cooled V12 1,290 hp
Weight empty: 2,250 kg (4,960 lbs) - with full load: 2,690 kg (5,930 lbs)
Armament 2x 12.7mm guns + one nose-mounted 20 mm ShVAK cannon (120 rounds)
Performance Max speed: 650 km/h (403 mph) Ceiling: 10,400 m (34,120 ft)

Stof's notes about this plane in iMOL's WarBirds

The opinions expressed below are only my own, and nothing more...
The Yak-3 is certainly the best dogfighter of all late-war planes.

Strong points:

Weak points:


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(Picture from "Le Fana de l'Aviation", HS n° 6)