Warplanes / USSR
Yakovlev Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7 and Yak-9

Yakovlev Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7 and Yak-9 

It is said that 37,000 Yakovlev fighters were produced during World War II, of which the vast majority were of the Yakovlev Yak-9 that could outfight the German Bf 109G as early as the time of the Stalingrad campaign. Developed progressively from the Yak-1 (which first flew in January 1940), through the Yak-TB which served from early 1942, the Yak-9 was first flown in its production form in the summer of that year, returning a speed of 600 km/h (373 mph). Numerous versions of this versatile fighter were developed, including the Yak-9T anti-tank fighter with 940kW (1,260-hp) Klimov VK-105PF V-12 engine and 37-mm hub-firing cannon, the Yak-9B fighter-bomber with provision for 400 kg (882 lb) of bombs, the Yak-9D long-range fighter and the Yak-9DD very long-range escort fighter, the latter being flown as escort for USAAF bombers on shuttle raids between the UK and the Soviet Union late in the war. The Yak-9U fighter, with 1231-kW (1,650-hp) VK-107A engine and a top speed of 700 km/h (435 mph), was the final version to see combat during the war and represented the point at which Soviet technology may be said to have finally caught up with that of the West, and came to be much respected by the best Luftwaffe pilots in their final generation of Bf 109K and Fw 190D fighters. The Yak-3 was perhaps the war's most manoeuvrable monoplane fighter, and entered service in 1944 as a lightened derivative of the Yak-1 series.
 

Specification Yakovlev Yak-9U

 
Type: single-seat fighter
 
Powerplant: one 1231-kW (1,650-hp) VK-107A V-12 piston engine
 
Performance: maximum speed 700 km/h (435 mph) at 5000 m (16,405 ft); climb to 5000 m (16,405 ft) in 3.8 minutes; service ceiling 11900 m (39,040 ft); range 870 km (540 miles)
 
Weights: empty 2575 kg (5,677 lb); normal take-off 3098 kg (6,830 ft)
 
Dimensions: span 9.77 m (32 ft 0.6 in); length 8.55 m (28 ft 0.6 in); height 2.44 m (8 ft 0 in); wing area 17,25 nf' (185.7 sq ft)
 
Armament: one 23-mm hub-firing VYa23V cannon and two 12.7-mm (0.5-in) UBS machine-guns, plus provision for two 100-kg (220-lb) bombs
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