Yakovlev Yak-1,3,7,9 (1939-1953)
Alexander S Yakovlev was the chief Soviet designer of gliders and sporting aircraft between 1925-35. When the Soviet government issued a requirement in 1938 for a new fighter his bureau was quick to respond. The prototype flew in 1939 but did not go into production until just before the German invasion in June 1941. Once production was moved to east of the Urals production started in earnest and by the need of its history more Yak fighters were built than any other fighter in history. Strong and simple the Yak-1 had good all round performance but lacked firepower.
Various improvements followed and by 1942 the Yak-7D later to be called the Yak-9 entered service and proved an excellent fighter in the fierce fighting around Stalingrad. 1943 saw the Yak-9 enter service with much heavier weapons and a Yak-9D was a long range escort version with a Yak-9DD as an ultra long range bomber escort arriving on the seen in 1944. As well as the Yak-9 a Yak-3 dogfighter was also developed by 1943 with smaller wings and an oil cooler. This was such a good aircraft that German pilots were told to avoid combat with this variant. Several communist airforces used Yak-9P's post war in particular North Korea during the Korea War 1950-3 against UN forces.
Total produced - 37,000;
Max speed - 600km/h (373mph);
Range - 837km(520 miles) (9DD 2200km(1,367miles));
Weapons - 1x20mm, 2x12.7mm.
Russian Weapons of World War II, David Porter
A good overview of the weapons used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War, ranging from individual infantry weapons up to the battleships of the Soviet fleet, as well as the various lend lease items that supported the Soviet war effort. Well illustrated, acknowledges the problems dealing with Soviet sources, and accurate in areas of some confusion (such as the various types of artillery pieces in service)
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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T. (25 December 2000), Yakovlev Yak-1,3,7,9, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_yak1379.html