The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a single-engine, single crew Soviet fighter from WWII. It was a formidable fighter aircraft with excellent performance as a low altitude dogfighter and with high power-to-weight ratio.
Yak-3 development was retarded in 1941, because of the German incursion and lack of aluminum for aircraft construction. However in 1943, Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev designed the Yak-3 to modernize and improve the capabilities of the Yak-1 to compete with the capabilities of Luftwaffe fighters.
With the eventual development and installation of the Klimov VK-107 engine to improve its performance, the Yak-3, entered service in 1944. Eventually 4,848 were built.
The Yak-3 was easy to maintain, successful in dogfights, rugged, and an easy-to-handle aircraft. In 1944, delivery to the frontline began. It flew many successful sorties, downing may German fighters while experiencing low losses. That same year, French fighter pilots employed the Yak-3 in nearly 100 victories against the Luftwaffe. Their unit was called the Normandie-Niemen Group who, as part of the Western allied forces, supported Soviet forces until the end of the war in the European theater.
Manufactured in Kunovice, Czech Republic and delivered in 1956 (as LET C-11), the Museum’s Yak-3 was originally built by the Czech company LET Kunovice, as a C-11 (Yak-11). This two-seat training aircraft served with the Egyptian Air Force until the early 1970s. It was dismantled and stored until 1985. By 1988, it was on static display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England. In 1991, it was converted into a Yak 3U replica by Strela Aircraft Company at Orenburg, Russia. Final restoration to flight was done at the Museum in 2011. It is flown in the markings of Normandie-Nieman ace Marcel Albert, who achieved 8 of his 23 victories flying a Yak-3.
Manufacturer: A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau
Model: Yak-3U Replica (Originally LET C-11)
Registration Number: N130AM
Serial Number: 170101 - Mfg. c/n 533
Max T/O Weight: 5,946 lb.
Span: 30 ft. 2 in.
Length: 27 ft. 11 in.
Height: 7 ft. 11 in.
Maximum Speed: 401 mph
Cruise Speed: 285 mph
Rate of Climb: 3,645 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 × Klimov VK-105PF2 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,290 hp
Range: 340 miles
Service Ceiling: 10,400 ft.
Armament: 1 × 20 mm ShVAK cannon; 2 × 12.7 mm Berezin UBS machine guns