STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Yakovlev - Soviet Union
OPERATORS: France; Poland; Yugoslavia; Soviet Union
LENGTH: 27.85 feet (8.49 meters)
WIDTH: 30.18 feet (9.2 meters)
HEIGHT: 7.94 feet (2.42 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 4,641 pounds (2,105 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 5,864 pounds (2,660 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Klimov VK-105PF-2 piston engine developing 1,300 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 407 miles-per-hour (655 kilometers-per-hour; 354 knots)
RANGE: 559 miles (900 kilometers; 486 nautical miles)
CEILING: 35,105 feet (10,700 meters; 6.65 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,265 feet-per-minute (1,300 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Yakovlev Yak-3 Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 7/10/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a further development of the Yak-1 series of fighters (detailed elsewhere on this site) and was well renowned for possessing an impressive rate of climb and unmatched maneuverability. The system appeared in 1944 and, though it was eventually superceded by other more capably designs, many Yak-3 pilots still preferred these aircraft regardless. In end, nearly 5,000 of the type would roll off of Soviet assembly lines and onto war against the Luftwaffe.
In its most basic form, the Yak-3 was basically a lightened form of the preceding Yak-1, specifically the Yak-1M development. Though it maintained some of the same design elements, the Yak-3 was truly the better aircraft and first flew in 1943. The cockpit was mounted forward in the fuselage and provided the pilot a better view through its three piece bubble canopy. Wings were slightly forward of their original placement in the Yak-1 yet the Yak-3 maintained the signature air scoop underneath the fuselage characteristic of the series. Armament consisted of 1 single 20mm ShVAK type cannon firing through the propeller hub and an additional 2 x 12.7 Berezin UBS type heavy caliber machine guns in the upper fuselage sides over the engine. These machine guns were synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller.
In combat, the Yak-3 proved its worth almost immediately as it arrived. It maintained a stellar kill-to-loss ratio over Luftwaffe fighters and held the upper hand in most engagements thanks to its inherent capabilities and powerful armament. The addition of the Klimov VK-107 1,700 horsepower engines upped the ante even further as now the Yak-3 was capable of improved top speeds reaching 450 miles per hour. Even when compared against the agile Supermarine Spitfire, it is said that the Yak-3 would hold the advantage in a turning battle - such was the might of this Yakovlev design.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (407mph).
Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Yakovlex Yak-3's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units