Yakovlev Yak-3

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The Yak-3 fighter

The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a Russian fighter aircraft of World War 2.

The Yak-3 entered service in 1944; it was developed alongside the Yak-9 as an improvement of Yak-1M and, although having a lower designation number, entered service after its sister plane. It was a bit lighter and slimmer than the Yak-9 and was a very agile dogfighter at low heights; however, as with many Russian fighter aircraft, its performance declined tremendously above about 4,000 m (13,000 ft).

The Yak-3 was powered by a 970 kW (1,300 hp) Klimov V12 inline engine which gave it a top speed of 407 mph. It was armed with a single engine-mounted 20 mm ShVAK cannon and two 12.7 mm UBS machine guns.

In total, 4,848 aircraft were produced; at least five of them remain in airworthy condition.

The designation Yak-3 was also used for two prototype planes that were built in 1941 as a modification of the Yak-1. These planes are also known under the alternative designation I-30 ("I" for Istriebitiel - fighter). They were partly constructed from aluminium and were more heavily armed than the Yak-1:

  • first machine: 2x 20mm ShVAK guns in wings and 2x ShKAS 7,62mm machine-guns over engine
  • second machine: 2x 20mm ShVAK guns in wings and 4x ShKAS 7,62mm machine-guns over engine

Both prototypes were powered by a Klimov M-105P engine (809.6 kW). Due to a lack of aluminium, the machnines did not enter production.

Since 1991, a number of Yak-3s have been newly manufactured by Yakovlev for the warbird market, using the original plans and dies. These are powered by Allison V-1710 engines and have the designation Yak-3UA. At least two of these aircraft are based in the United States, one in Santa Monica, California and the other in Maryland near Washington DC.


Specifications (Yak-3)

General Characteristics

  • Length: 8.5 m (27 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 2.39 m (7 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 14.85 m² (159.8 ft²)
  • Empty: 2,105 kg (4,640 lb)
  • Loaded: kg ( lb)
  • Maximum takeoff: 2,660 kg (5,864 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1x Klimov VK-105PF-2 V-12 piston engine, 970 kW (1,300 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 655 km/h (407 mph)
  • Range: 815 km (506 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 10,700 m (35,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 1,266 m/min (4,153 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 179 kg/m² (36.7 lb/ft²)
  • Power/Mass: kW/kg ( hp/lb)


Related content

Related development: Yak-1 - Yak-7 - Yak-9 - Yak-11

Comparable aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109

Designation sequence: Yak-1 - Yak-2 - Yak-3 - Yak-4 - Yak-5 - Yak-6

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

de:Jakowlew Jak-3

fr:Yakovlev Yak-3 pl:Jak-1


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