Yakovlev Yak-3

The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a World War II Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, was much liked by pilots and ground crew alike. It was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. It proved a formidable dogfighter. Marcel Albert, the official top-scoring World War II French ace that flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, regarded it a superior aircraft to the P-51D Mustang and to the Supermarine Spitfire. After the war ended, it flew with the Czech and Polish Air Forces.

Lighter and smaller than Yak-9 but powered by the same engine, the Yak-3 was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both rookie and veteran pilots and ground crew as well. It was a robust, easy to maintain and a highly successful dogfighter. It was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 13,000 ft.

In 1944, the Normandie-Niemen Group re-equipped with the Yak-3, scoring with it the last 99 of their 273 air victories against the Luftwaffe. Production accelerated rapidly, so that by mid-1946, 4,848 had been built.

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 8.5 m (27 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 2.39 m (7 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 14.85 m² (159.8 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,105 kg (4,640 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,692 kg (5,864 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× Klimov VK-105PF-2 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,120 kW

  • Maximum speed: 655 km/h (407 mph)
  • Range: 650 km (405 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 10,700 m (35,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 18.5 m/s (3,645 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 181 kg/m² (36.7 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.36 kW/kg (0.22 hp/lb)

  • 1 × 20 mm ShVAK cannon,
  • 2 × 12.7 mm Berezin UBS machine guns

** Yakovlev Yak-3 - Warbird Fare

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