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Yak-7 Fighter

Yak-7 Fighter


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Yak-7 Fighter

This pictures shows a line of Yak-7s, identifiable by the engine exhaust stubs and style of cockpit.


Yakovlev Yak-1 (Krasavyets)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/04/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Often overshadowed by its contemporaries in the West (to include the Supermarine Spitfire, North American P-51 Mustang, Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190) the early production Yakovlev fighter aircraft were some of the best piston-engined fighters fielded during World War 2. When production of all the major Yak fighter marks were combined (Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7 and Yak-9) these early Yakovlev creations easily became the most produced fighter aircraft line of the entire war numbering some 37,000 total aircraft. The type initially appeared as the Alexander Yakovlev-inspired Ya-26 prototype design and evolved into the I-26 production form before being redesignated as "Yak-1".

For a brief window into history, the Germans and Soviets maintained an uneasy truce during the formative years of World War 2. Both divided the spoils that was Poland and the each were allowed to commit to other conquering ventures without worry of the other. However, all this changed when Hitler enacted Operation Barbarossa and formally invaded the Soviet Union. Initially, German progress was powerful but stretched supply lines and the Soviet winter brought the Soviets time to regroup. Enough cannot be said about the subsequent Soviet response initially beginning with only a thin line of ill-equipped soldiers, tanks and airmen to stem the tide. Yakovlev set about to produce what would become one of three notable fighter designs that would inevitably bring the Soviet Air Force into the realm of respectability. These three would then be often referred to as the first true "modern" aircraft designs of the Soviet air arm, consisting of the Yak-1, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 and the Lavochkin LaGG-3. All would dutifully serve their roles as the Soviet Union pummeled the Germans back into Berlin.

The Yak-1 originated as a design of the Yakovlev bureau, destined to fulfill a 1938 Soviet government requirement for a fighter platform constructed mostly of wood for ease of maintenance, repair and - perhaps most importantly - mass production. The initial design was known as the "Ya-26 Krasavec" and flew for the first time in March of 1939. Upon acceptance of the design into serial production with the Soviet Air Force, the aircraft was afforded the designation of "I-26". Once production had begun, however, the aircraft was redesignated to the more common "Yak-1" naming convention. The acceptance of the Yak-1 would spawn several other successful Yakovlev designs and place the bureau in the elite class of Soviet aircraft design for decades to follow. In any case, the Yak-1 finally put the Soviet Air Force on par with competing German designs of the time (namely the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters) and opened the door to improved designs and, thusly, much improved aerial combat tactics that went beyond what the biplanes of the old Russian Empire once offered.

At first glance, the outwardly design of the Yak-1 "Krasavyets" (this name meaning "Little Beauty") proved very utilitarian featuring a basic yet slender fuselage, mid-set canopy and a low-cut vertical tail surface. Though the initial Yak-1 would feature a "razorback" fuselage spine (blocking views to the critical "six"), the upcoming Yak-1b sported an unobstructed bubble-type design. Construction consisted of a combination of plywood covered over in fabric that made the Yak-1 both easy to produce in large numbers and generally easier to maintain. Additionally, such a structure could withstand greater damage from enemy guns. Power was derived from a single Klimov-brand engine fitted to the front of the design and developing some 1,100 horsepower or more depending on the production model. The Yak-1 proved a highly capable performer that quickly endeared herself to her new generation of Soviet pilots. Initial production totals in 1940 were slow to mount though the German invasion of 1941 put the program into high gear of what would become one of the most celebrated Soviet piston-engine designs of the war.

The Yak-1 appeared in an improved form designated as the Yak-1b. Improvements included revised armor protection, a retractable tail wheel, bubble canopy upgraded engines and weapons. Two examples of the experimental Yak-1M existed and these were given more powerful engines, smaller-area wings and other improvements to help refine the mark. Total production of the Yak-1 exceeded some 8,700 examples. The I-28 prototype was intended as a Yak-5 interceptor but never produced - instead the improvements went into the upcoming Yak-7 and Yak-9 fighter models.

The Yak-3 appeared as a "lighter" version of the Yak-1 in an effort to help increase performance, first flying in late 1943. The Yak-7 followed thereafter and began life as a trainer with excellent performance enough to warrant 5,000 fighters being built. This design eventually culminated with the excellent Yak-9 "Frank", itself a further development of a Yak-7 experiment. This particular model would itself spawn a plethora of battlefield-necessary designs including a dedicated tank-buster, fighter-bomber and several long-range fighter escort mounts. In all, the Yakovlev designs would prove to be some of the most instrumental and best-performing fighters of the entire war and Luftwaffe pilots themselves would later attest to these excellent flying machines available to Soviet airmen.

As an aside, the Yak-1 was known to serve within the Soviet all-female Soviet air unit (the 586 IAP) that would go on to produce two of the world's only female air aces - Lydia Litvyak and Katya Budanova - each collecting 12 and 11 air victories respectively. Soviet women played a crucial role in the forging of the new Soviet military. The Yak-1 was fielded y the Free French forces, Poland and Yugoslavia. For the latter, the Yak-1 served until 1950.


Yakovlev Yak-1/3/7/9 (1940)

A Yak-3 of the 303rd Fighter Aviation Division, First Soviet Air Army, on the 3rd Ukrainian Front, in 1944. Pilot of this aircraft was 303rd commander Georgii Nefedovich, who eventually accumulated 23 kills.

This Yak-9D was flown by the famous ‘Normandie-Niemen’ Regiment in 1944. This French-manned unit was established in 1943 and fought with distinction over Byelorussia and Lithuania.

A frontal view of the Yak-9D. The fighter utilized a lightweight armament comprising a single 20mm (0.79in) ShVAk firing through the spinner and one 12.7mm (0.5in) UBS machine gun.

The most important Soviet fighter line of World War II, the Yakovlev series of single-seaters were built in greater numbers than their contemporaries, and scored more victories than all other Soviet fighter types combined.

The first of the Yakovlev single-seat fighter dynasty was the Yak-1, product of a design competition launched in early 1939. From the start, the plan was to devise a fighter built around the Klimov M-105P inline engine with an integral cannon. The Soviet authorities also stipulated the use of wooden or composite materials. The resulting I-26 prototype took to the air in January 1940, a low-wing monoplane of welded steel tube and wooden construction. While the wing and tail unit had fabric covering, the forward fuselage had metal covering.

In May 1940 the I-26 was authorized for production, with the armament of a 20mm (0.79in) cannon firing through the propeller hub, and two machine guns mounted in the decking above the engine. While 18 pre-production Yak-1s were built in summer 1940, only 64 aircraft were completed in 1940 a second unit did not receive its aircraft until April 1941. Only one regiment in the west had re-equipped with the Yak-1 by the time of the German invasion in June 1941. As the Red Army was pushed back, Yak-1 production was moved to factories in Siberia and elsewhere.

While the pace of Yak-1 production increased, Yakovlev set about creating a stopgap solution to provide additional fighters for the Soviet Air Force. For this, the company took the Yak-7UTI, a two-seat trainer based on the Yak-1. In August 1941 the trainer model was reconverted to become a fighter – the Yak-7. This retained the rear cockpit canopy but demonstrated performance similar to the Yak-1, as well as additional fuel capacity. In September 1941, production of the Yak-7UTI trainer switched over to the Yak-7 fighter. In early 1942 the design was refined as the Yak-7A, with a re-modelled cockpit, while the Yak-7B of mid-1942 replaced the original 7.62mm (0.3in) machine guns with 12.7mm (0.5in) weapons.

In March 1942 a small batch of lightened Yak-1s was completed, featuring boosted M-105PF engines but with the machine guns deleted. June 1942 saw another addition to the line, the Yak-1b featuring a reduced-depth rear fuselage, and a new cockpit canopy improving all-round vision. This feature was adopted on subsequent Yak fighters. Armament comprised a 20mm (0.79in) cannon and one 12.7mm (0.5in) gun.

In a bid to counter the Bf 109F/G, both the Yak-1 and Yak-7B were re-engined with the M-105PF engine from August 1942, in time to see action over Stalingrad. Some Yak-7Bs were also completed with the M-105PA engine that incorporated a new 37mm (1.45in) cannon. After 8734 Yak-1s, production switched to the Yak-3 in July 1944.

In summer 1942, the availability of new alloys permitted new weight-saving features to be incorporated in the Yak-7, in turn allowing additional fuel capacity, and producing the long-range Yak-7D. In total, 6399 Yak-7s of all models were completed by the time production ended in July 1944. In June 1942 a Yak-7B fuselage and M-105PF engine had been combined with the wings of the Yak-7D, and a cut-down rear fuselage and canopy similar to the Yak-1B. The vacant rear cockpit area could be used to house additional fuel, small bombs or cameras. The resulting aircraft was ultimately designated Yak-9, and became the standard ‘heavy’ version in the Yak fighter line.

Numerically, the Yak-9 became the most important Soviet fighter of the war, and first saw significant action at Stalingrad. The new fighter replaced most of the earlier wooden components and featured an armament of one 20mm (0.79in) cannon and one 12.7mm (0.5in) machine gun. Production facilities gradually switched over from the Yak-7 to the Yak-9 and in the meantime some features of the former were included in production Yak-7Bs.

The Yak-3 was developed from the lightened Yak-1 of March 1942. Superbly agile, the Yak-3 served as the ‘light’ complement to the Yak-9, and was powered by a further boosted M-105PF. Other changes included the lowered rear deck and rear-view canopy, and a new wing of reduced span. The Yak-3 entered front-line service in spring 1944 and a total of 4848 Yak-3s of all sub-variants were produced by mid-1946, when production ended. The Yak-9 remained in production until late 1948, by which time 16,769 of these aircraft had been completed in a range of sub-variants. The key post-war versions of the Yak-3 and Yak-9 included the Yak-9P, which introduced all-metal construction and saw combat in the Korean War, and the Yak-3P, the latter featuring three-cannon armament and VK-105PF engine.


The Yak-7 proved to be an effective close support fighter although the first two-seaters were considered nose-heavy, consequently, the factory introduced a rear cockpit fuel tank. Pilots complained about the fuel tank's vulnerability since it was unarmored, and it was usually removed in the field. There were constant changes to the design based on combat observations including a definitive single-seat variant, the Yak-7B, which was produced in large numbers.

After the war, some Yak-7V trainers were provided to the Poles and a single Yak-7V was delivered to the Hungarians for familiarization with the Yak-9 fighter.

After trials in April–May 1942, a small batch of 22 Yak-7-37s was authorised, all of which were issued to the㺪nd IAP at the North-Western front, where they proved highly successful both in air to air combat and ground attack.


Conclusions and final thoughts

The Yak series was produced in huge numbers and was immensely popular with their pilots. Their simple construction and equipment betray the advanced design work behind the aircraft to achieve a high level of performance despite not having the best fuel or engines available.

Both Yak-1 and Yak-7 are fighters that were designed to be just the essentials and nothing extra. There is the ability to carry bombs or rockets on the wings but aside from these concessions the Yak is a pure, simple, fighter designed to get the most out of even average pilots. This translates into the sim world well and I highly recommend any of the Yak fighters to virtual pilots looking to get started on the Eastern Front.


Operational history [ edit | edit source ]

The Yak-7 proved to be an effective close support fighter although the first two-seaters were considered nose-heavy, consequently, the factory introduced a rear cockpit fuel tank. Pilots complained about the fuel tank's vulnerability since it was unarmored, and it was usually removed in the field. There were constant changes to the design based on combat observations including a definitive single-seat variant, the Yak-7B, which was produced in large numbers.

After the war, some Yak-7V trainers were provided to the Poles and a single Yak-7V was delivered to the Hungarians for familiarization with the Yak-9 fighter.

After trials in April–May 1942, a small batch of 22 Yak-7-37s was authorised, all of which were issued to the 42nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (IAP) at the North-Western front, where they proved highly successful both in air-to-air combat and ground attack. Δ]


Yak-7 Fighter - History

Yak-9D Soviet Military Photograph

Yakovlev's Yak-9 was a development of the line of Russian fighters that started with the inferior Yak-1 and evolved into the far better Yak-3 and Yak-9, the latter being the subject of this article. The Yak-9 was the mainstay of the Soviet Air Force in the middle and late years of World War II and was produced in greater numbers than any other Soviet fighter. By the middle of 1944 there were more Yak-9s in service than all other Soviet fighters combined. Like other Russian fighters, it was designed for mass production and durability. It offered little in new technology and, due to chronic Soviet shortages, incorporated a minimum of scarce strategic materials, especially in the earlier models. Soviet fighters of the era, including the Yak-9, were designed to achieve numerical rather than technical superiority.

Nevertheless, it could be a formidable fighter, particularly at low altitude and when Soviet pilots had numerical superiority over the Luftwaffe fighters opposing them. This was a common scenario on the Eastern Front. The Yak-9 was not the best of the breed one-on-one in the air superiority role, that honor being reserved for the contemporary Yak-3. The Yak-9 was more the all-around Soviet fighter and could be identified by the large scoop under the engine, which was absent in the Yak-3.

The Yak-9 had an excellent (small) sustained turning diameter at low speeds, which allowed it to turn inside of the German fighters it faced. It could also turn inside of most of the famous American fighters of the war, including the P-38, P-47, and P-51. The Bf 109 had a slightly superior turn rate, but a larger turning diameter. This means that a Yak-9 could usually get inside of an opponent in a sustained turn. By all reports it was also a durable fighter, capable of absorbing a lot of battle damage and still making it home. It was also a successful ground attack fighter, and some variants were specialized for that role.

On the debit side, compared to most other contemporary fighters, the Yak-9 is relatively slow, climbs poorly and performs poorly at high altitude. It was a short-range fighter (combat radius of most models was similar to that of the Bf 109) and not particularly well armed.

The Yak-9 entered service in October 1942 and subsequent versions remained in service with the Soviet Air Force and later its client states (including Poland, Hungary, China, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria) into the early 1950's. The Yak-9 first made its presence felt during the Battle of Stalingrad in early 1942.

The first production Yak-9s had wooden wings with metal spars and a mixed construction fuselage with a molded plywood skin. Power came from a liquid cooled "Vee" engine, the M-105PF, rated at approximately 1,100 hp. Armament consisted of one 20mm cannon firing through the center of the propeller boss and one 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun firing through the engine cowling. The Yak-9 could also carry six rockets or two 220-pound bombs.

By February of 1943, the Yak-9M was in production. This standard version was armed with one 20mm cannon and two .50 cal. machine guns, all concentrated in the nose of the airplane. The wingspan was reduced and the ribs were made of lightweight duralumin. The engine was upgraded to the 1,240 hp. M-105PF-3. The Yak-9MPVO was a night fighter variant equipped with a searchlight and a radio compass.

The Yak-9T was an anti-armor, ground attack version that entered service early in 1943. It was usually armed with a 32mm or 37mm cannon and had wing racks for 5.5 pound anti-personnel bomblets in special containers. Later in 1943 came the limited production Yak-9K, which featured a 45mm cannon. The Yak-9B was another limited production version, this time a light bomber variant with internal stowage for up to four 220-pound bombs in a bay behind the pilot.

The Yak-9D, introduced in the summer of 1943, was a longer-range escort fighter version carrying additional fuel in two outer wing panel tanks and an optional tank under the cockpit. (Soviet pilots must have been viewed the latter as a mixed blessing.) It was powered by a 1,360 hp. M-105PF-3 engine. Specifications for the Yak-9D are as follows (from The Complete Book of Fighters by Roy Cross): Max speed 374 mph at 10,170 ft., 332 mph at sea level Climb to 16,405 ft. in 6 minutes Max range 870 miles Empty weight 6,107 lbs. Max loaded weight 6,790 lbs. Span 31 ft. 11.5 in. Length 28 ft. .75 in. Height 9 ft. 10 in. Wing area 184.6 sq. ft.

The Yak-9DD was an even longer-range version (up to 1,367 miles). It was used to escort U.S. heavy bombers on shuttle missions against the Romanian oil fields, and also over Italy and Yugoslavia.

The second generation of Yak-9 fighters began with the Yak-9U prototype, which first flew in December 1943. The "U" stood for Uluchshennyi ("improved" in Russian). The Yak-9U in fact represented a major redesign. It incorporated an improved airframe with a new wing of all metal construction, which had a greater span and area. It was intended to power the improved fighter with the Klimov VK-107A engine of 1,650 hp. Due to production difficulties, the M-105PF-2 engine was substituted until the Fall of 1944, when the VK-107A finally became available in quantity. The Yak-9U became the definitive interceptor/fighter version of the Yak-9 series. The Yak-9UV was a two-seat conversion for training purposes.

The subsequent Yak-9UT had a skin entirely of light alloy. It entered service early in 1945.

The Yak-9PD was an interesting experimental high altitude variant. It had an M-105PD engine with a two-stage supercharger. The armament was reduced to just a single 20mm cannon, firing through the propeller boss, to reduce weight. I suspect, but could not confirm, that other weight saving measures were also taken. It may have been deployed in very limited numbers against high-flying German reconnaissance airplanes late in the war.

The Yak-9P version appeared after the end of hostilities in 1946 and featured an increased armament with one or two fuselage mounted 20mm cannon synchronized to fire through the propeller arc, in addition to the usual cannon mounted in the propeller boss. It saw action in North Korean hands in 1950.

The basic specifications for the Yak-9U (taken from The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft , David Donald general editor) are as follows: Powerplant one 1,650 hp. Klimov VK-107A liquid cooled Vee engine Max speed 434 mph at 16,405 ft., 367 mph at sea level Service ceiling 39,040 ft. Range 541 miles Armament 1-20mm MP-20 cannon, 2-.50 in. UBS machine guns, plus up to 2-220 lb. bombs on underwing racks Empty weight 5,988 lbs. Max T.O. weight 6,830 lbs. Span 32 ft .75 in. Length 28 ft. .5 in. Height 9 ft. 8.5 in.

Production of the Yak-9 continued into 1947 and a staggering total of 16,769 were built. China received Yak-9P fighters from the USSR after the Communist take-over and supplied some to North Korea, where they were used against NATO forces at the beginning of the Korean War. A few were shot down by American P-51's. In the five years since the end of WW II, uneasy allies had become active enemies.


World War II Database


ww2dbase The Yak-7, also known as UTI-26, was a Russian two-seat trainer aircraft. Later during the war, the second seat was removed from the design for additional fuel or armament, and they acted as close-support fighters. Some of the two-seat versions also entered combat, though only in reconnaissance capacity. A total of 6,399 Yak-7 aircraft were built.

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2007

Yak-7

MachineryOne Klimov M-105P engine rated at 1,050hp
Armament1x20mm ShVAK cannon, 2x7.62mm ShKAS machine guns
Crew1
Span10.00 m
Length8.50 m
Height2.75 m
Wing Area17.20 m²
Weight, Empty2,477 kg
Weight, Loaded2,960 kg
Speed, Maximum560 km/h
Rate of Climb12.00 m/s
Service Ceiling9,250 m
Range, Normal643 km

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7 of the Greatest Flying Aces Throughout History

From World War I to Operation Desert Storm, these are the most effective aviators in the history of aerial warfare.

A dogfight between two aircraft is perhaps the most fascinating type of combat. The technical knowledge and precision required to operate a fighter aircraft combined with the physical and mental strain of a dogfight make the fighter pilots who excel at them truly exceptional.

Unofficially, a flying ace is a fighter pilot who shoots down at least five enemy aircraft, though the number a single pilot can achieve has steadily decreased because anti-aircraft and tracking technology has made dogfights rare in modern warfare. From Erich Hartmann, the Nazi fighter pilot credited with the most aerial victories of all time, to Giora Epstein, the ace of aces of supersonic jet pilots, these men are among the most skilled fighter pilots to ever enter a cockpit.

The "Red Baron" is perhaps the most famous flying ace of all time. Richthofen, a pilot for the Imperial German Army Air Service, had more aerial victories in World War I than any other pilot, making him the ace of aces of the war. In his red Fokker Dr.1 fighter aircraft, Richthofen achieved fame all across Europe and became a national hero in Germany. He led the Jasta 11 air squadron which enjoyed more success than any other squad in WWI, particularly in "Bloody April" of 1917 when Richthofen shot down 22 aircraft alone, four in a single day. He eventually commanded the first "fighter wing" formation, a combination of four different Jasta squadrons that became known as the "Flying Circus." The Circus was incredibly effective at moving quickly to provide combat support across the front. In July 1917, Richthofen sustained a head wound that temporarily knocked him unconscious. He came to just in time to pull out of a spin and make a rough landing. In April 1918, Richthofen received a fatal wound near the Somme River in northern France. A significant amount of mystique surrounds the Red Baron's death, but it is most likely that a .303 bullet from a Canadian pilot in the Royal Air Force struck him in the chest. He was able to make an emergency landing but died sitting in the cockpit. Richthofen had 80 credited kills.

"Bubi" to the Germans and "The Black Devil" to the Soviets, Erich Hartmann is the ace of aces, with more aerial combat victories than any other pilot in history. He shot down an astounding 352 enemy aircraft during his career as a fighter pilot for the Luftwaffe, the aerial warfare branch of the German military in World War II. Hartmann crash-landed his damaged fighter on 14 separate occasions, though each crash-landing was due to mechanical failure or damage caused by debris from an enemy aircraft Hartmann had downed. In his 1,404 combat missions, Hartmann was never forced to land due to enemy fire. He flew a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and was continuously developing his skills as a stalk-and-ambush fighter. Unlike some of his German comrades, he didn't rely on accurate deflection shooting&mdashwhich involves leading the target with gunfire so the projectile and aircraft collide&mdashbut instead used the high-powered engine of his Me 109 to achieve quick sweeps and approaches, even diving through entire enemy formations on occasion.

James Jabara was a United States Air Force fighter pilot in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In WW II, Jabara flew a P-51 Mustang on two combat tours and scored one-and-a-half victories (one shared victory) against German aircraft. In April 1951, during the Korean War, Jabara shot down four Soviet-built MiG-15 jets in an F-86 Sabre with .50 caliber machine gun fire. He voluntarily joined the 335th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron to stay in Korea when his own squadron returned to America. In May, Jabara was flying to support an aerial battle in MiG Alley, an area of northwestern North Korea, when he tried to jettison his spare fuel tank to decrease weight and improve maneuverability, but the tank did not separate from the wing entirely. Protocol would have Jabara return to base as the maneuverability of his aircraft was compromised, but he decided to press on. Jabara successfully scored two more victories over MiG-15s despite his aircraft's disadvantage, making him the first American jet ace in history. After Korea, Jabara rose through the ranks of the Air Force to become the youngest colonel at the time. He flew with an F-100 Super Sabre flight group in Vietnam on a bombing run that damaged buildings held by the Viet Cong. He finished his career with 16.5 total aerial victories.


IPMS/USA Reviews

This book is the comprehensive history of the fighters produced by the Yakolev Design Bureau during World War Two. The Yak-1 first flew in 1940 under the designation I-26, changing to the now familiar Yak-1 when production began at the end of that year. The authors trace the development of these designs and offer the reader a comprehensive history from drawing board to final use. Ever wonder why the Yak-3 was actually produced after the Yak-9? It is all here.

The book is divided into 9 chapters. Chapter one is comprised of 58 pages and deals with the design, development and use of the Yak1. This begins with the I-26 initial variant and the loss and death of Yakolev's chief test pilot Yulian Piontkovsky. Each variant and weapons system is covered.

Chapter two covers the I-28, I-30 and heavy fighter projects. These 14 pages deal with some prototypes and dead-end Yakolev developments

Chapter three is 58 pages dedicated to the Yak-7 fighter and trainer version. What started out as a fighter trainer eventually evolved into a very good fighter. The fighter version had all equipment removed from the rear cockpit. The canopy for the Yak-7 fighter was replaced with a hinged plywood fairing, and equipment suitable for a fighter installed. This aircraft is most interesting as it is a fighter that evolved from a trainer when it is usually the other way around.

Chapter 4 is the next 76 pages and covers the Yak-9. The Yak-9 was a development of the Yak-7 and had many improvements based on combat experience with the Yak-1 and 7. Yak-9 production saw a much wider use of duralumin throughout the airframe.

The 46 pages of Chapter 5 are devoted to the ultimate Yak fighter, the Yak-3. Encompassing all that had been learned from the Yaks 1, 7 and 9 this was the final and best of the World War two Yaks. From its baptism of fire in the summer of '44 until the end of the war and beyond, it gave mother Russia outstanding service.

Chapter six is a 48 page combat history of all the Yak fighters. A good discussion is found on the approach Soviet Command took with their air wings, and here is where you will find many beautiful color profiles of many of the combat aces.

Chapter seven covers all foreign users of the Yakolev fighters. From Albania to France, to post-war China evaluation aircraft captured by the Germans and post-war evaluations by the UK and USA. There is also discussion of postwar communist bloc use of these fighters.

The last two chapters totaling 21 pages detail all original surviving Yaks in museums around the world, and the new build warbirds. These new Yaks were produced by the Yakolev factory, and the 20 or so new aircraft that were constructed continued the serial numbers from the last production Yak-3. Differing mostly in power plant (the new ones use an Allison V-12) and propeller (a Hamilton Standard), each of the new aircraft is discussed.

This is a very good book! It is a well researched, in-depth study of the WWII Yaks. The authors have produced the ultimate book on these aircraft and no modeler, aircraft historian, WWII historian, or VVS historian should be without it. I can heartily recommend this book to all! In modeling, these types are well represented with kits in 1/48 from Accurate Miniatures, Eduard, ICM, Modelsvit and ARK, to name a few. In 1/72 they are available from companies such as Mastercraft, Airfix, Amodel, Hobby Boss, Heller, ICM and Valom.

The book can be purchased from the website above or by calling 1-800-895-4585. A $6.95 shipping and handling fee is applied to each order.

Our thanks to Specialty Press for the review copy, and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity!



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