Aviation of WWII
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Yakovlev Yak-1

One of the first successful new airplanes began Alexander Jakovlev's I-26 fighter. It has left on tests in January, 1940. The airplane represented a cantilever monoplane of the mixed design well adapted to conditions of mass production. A motor of liquid cooling M-105P. Armament: One 20-mm gun ShVAK, and two synchronous 7,62-mm machine guns ShKAS. Distinctive feature of this airplane as, however, and Alexander Jakovlev's other warplanes of the period of war, small weight, good stability and simplicity of a piloting was.

After tests and necessary adaptations I-26 have mass-produced and have soon given to it mark Yak-1. In first half of WW2 this airplane began one of the basic new Soviet fighters, and all for 1940-1944 8720 airplanes of this type have been issued.

In first one and a half years of war Yak-1 was the best Soviet fighter. In it high flight characteristics and arms were harmoniously combined. In comparison with the main fighter of hitlerite Germany Messerschmitt Bf-109E, Yak-1 had the superiority in speed and all kinds of manoeuvre. However, with occurrence more perfect Bf-109F flight performances Yak-1 became already insufficient. Then on to initiative Alexander Yakovlev modification of a motor has been lead, power of a motor has essentially increased. Fighter Yak-1 with the new boosted motor having designation M-105PF, was under construction serially since a summer of 1942. On speed at small and mean altitudes this airplane did not concede to the main to German fighters Bf-109F and G, on a manoeuvrability surpassed them, but conceded in a rate of climb a little.

During series production Yak-1 it was repeatedly modified. Simultaneously with change of a motor have changed also arms: instead of two ShKAS have put much more effective large-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun UB. Then have improved aerodynamics, have established radio and have improved the review upper to a floor of sphere from a cockpit. All spent actions allowed to support continuously high fighting qualities Yak-1, and this fighter has consisten on arms of the Soviet air forces up to the end of war.

WW 2 Beginning Soviet Fighters
Yak-1 Yak-1 Yak-7b MiG-3 LaGG-3 LaGG-3
Year of issue 1941 1943 1943 1941 1941 1943
Length, m 8.48 8.48 8.48 8.25 8.81 8.81
Wing span, m 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.2 9.81 9.81
Wing area, m2 17.15 17.15 17.15 17.44 17.62 17.62
Weight, kg:
Maximum takeoff weight 2858 2884 3005 3300 3280 2990
Engine M-105P M-105PF M-105PF AM-35A M-105P M-105PF
Power, h.p. 1100 1210 1210 1350 1100 1210
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 480 501 531 472 474 542
at altitude 577 592 588 622 549 591
m 4950 4100 3860 7800 5000 3560
Time to 5000 m, min 9.2 6.2 6.6 5.7 7.4 5.8
Service Ceiling, m 10000 12500 10200 11500 9300 9500
Service Range*, km 700 625 600 630 700 650
Number Cannon 1 1 1 - 1 1
Machine guns 2 1 2 3 3 1

* Forcing of the engine during 10 minutes.

** On speed making 90 % from maximal.


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "First "Yak" /C. Kuznetcov/
  • "Stories of the aircraft designer" /Alexander Yakovlev/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/