Yakovlev Yak-3

The first aircraft to receive the designation Yak-3 was an all-metal fighter, created in 1940 as a parallel development to the Yak-1.

The biggest difference was the all-metal construction first used in the OKB Yakovlev, while the Yak-1 was a wood-metal composite construction. Other differences included a stronger positive V-position of the outer wings and the use of automatic slats. A 775-kW M-105P engine provided propulsion with an E-100 compressor to maintain power at higher altitudes. Two prototypes were created, initially designated I-30s, with unusually heavy armament. The first was equipped with three 20-mm SchWAK machine guns – one in the engine shaft, the others in the wing insides – and two 7.62-mm SchKAS machine guns in the outer wings. he second also received two additional SchKAS-MGs. Furthermore, the fuselage radiator was moved back a bit, and the oil cooler was placed inside the fuselage like on the later Yak-3.

Although production ended in 1946, this was not the end of this model. In 1991 the Museum of Flight in Santa Monica, California, asked Yakovlev to build a new series of Yak-3s. Production began in Orenburg with the original plans and tools. The new version of the Yak-3 was initially designated Yak-3M, and later the aircraft with Allison engines were designated Yak-3U A, and those with Pratt&Whitney engines were designated Yak-3U PW. Five airworthy Yak-3U A aircraft were available in 2010.

A Yak-3 can be seen in AIRPOWER22’s flying display.

Yakovlev Yak-3

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