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Friday, September 24, 2010

Yak-3






Here are some images of Eduard's 1/48 scale Yakovlev Yak-3. From Wikipedia "The Yakovlev Yak-3 (Russian language: Як-3) was a World War II Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, was much liked by pilots and ground crew alike. It was one of the smallest and lightest major combat fighters fielded by any combatant during the war, and its high power-to-weight ratio gave it excellent performance. It proved a formidable dogfighter. Marcel Albert, the official top-scoring World War II French ace that flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, regarded it a superior aircraft to the P-51D Mustang and to the Supermarine Spitfire. After the war ended, it flew with the Czech and Polish Air Forces.

Lighter and smaller than Yak-9 but powered by the same engine, the Yak-3 was a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both rookie and veteran pilots and ground crew as well. It was a robust, easy to maintain and a highly successful dogfighter. It was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 13,000 ft.

On 17 July 1944, eight Yaks attacked a formation of 60 German aircraft, including escorting fighters. In the ensuing dogfight, the Luftwaffe lost three Junkers Ju 87s and four Bf 109Gs, for no losses to the Yaks. Consequently, the Luftwaffe issued an order to "avoid combat with Yak fighters without an oil cooler under the nose and with an inclined aerial mast below 5000 m". In fact, most of the Yak-3s had no mast, the aerial wire running from canopy to fin.

But unresolved wartime problems included plywood surfaces coming unstuck when the aircraft was pulled out of a high-speed dive.

Other drawbacks of the aircraft were short range, and poor engine reliability. The pneumatic system for actuating landing gear, flaps and brakes, typical for all Yakovlev fighters of the time, was problematic. Though less reliable than hydraulic or electrical alternatives, the pneumatic system was preferred due to significant weight savings.

In 1944, the Normandie-Niemen Group re-equipped with the Yak-3, scoring with it the last 99 of their 273 air victories against the Luftwaffe.

4 comments:

Pablo J. Álvarez said...

Nice work... A good weathering, and the colours gradient looks so fine.

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Pablo.

Anonymous said...

I like the patchy weathering. It's a bold approach. But when It works......its stunning.

Bravo.

Dave

Warren Zoell said...

Believe it or not it is a 4 colour camo scheme. 2 of the colours are so close that they are almost indistinguishable (man that's a long word).