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Soviet Union's Yakovlev Yak-1 fighter

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Yakovlev Yak-1 fighter:
Soviet Union's Yakovlev Yak-1 fighter

Design

In 1938 a requirement was issued for a single engine front fighter for the UV-VS.3 The Ya-22, designed by Aleksandr Sergeievich Yakovlev, was selected.3 For his work on the Yak-1, Yakovlev received the Order of Lenin, 100,000 rubles, and an automobile.4

The Yakovlev Yak-1 was to be designed so that as much cheap materials could be used as possible.1

During the initial trials the Yak-1 showed great potential and was rushed into production even before the trials were completed.1

Construction

The Yak-1 had a structure of metal and wood, with wood providing the cover.4

Cockpit

The cockpit hood of the Yak-1M was jettisonable and gave the pilot excellent views.1 There was a 1/3" / 9 mm sheet of armor behind the pilot.1

Wings

Modifications during production for the Yak-1 included more pointed wing tips.3

The Yak-1M had an all metal wing that were replaceable in the field quite easily.1 There were oil coolers in the wing roots.1

Tail

The Yak-1M's tail had a elevator mass balance added that lighted the amount of force that was needed to move them.1 The skin was 1/8" / 2 mm of plywood.1

Undercarriage

The Yak-1's tail wheel didn't retract.1 Eventually a retractable tailwheel was installed in the Yak-1.3

The tail wheel of the Yak-1M retracted.1

Yak-1M

The M-105PF engine was installed to reduce weight to help increase performance.3 The rear fuselage was reduced to allow for an all-around canopy.3

Prototype

The prototypes were nicknamed Krasavyets (beauty).1

The Yak-1 first flew in March 1939.2

I-26

The initial prototype was designated the I-26.3 Originally designed to use the M-106 (1,350 HP) engine, but do to it being unavailable a M-105P engine (based on the Hispano-Suiza 12Y) was put in its place.3

On January 13, 1940, the I-26 first flew.3

By the end of 1940 65 prototypes and early production Yak-1s were completed.3

Test Pilots

Piontkovskii, the test pilot of the Yak-1, was killed in January 1940 while flying the I-26 prototype.1

Stepan Suprun was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for test flying the Yak-1.1

Yak-1M

The Yak-1M first flew on September 23, 1944.1
In June 1941 the first prototype flew.3

Production

  • Yakovlev Yak-1: 8,7001, 8,7213
    • Manufacturer: State Industries4
    • Production: 1940 - mid 19433

Variants

  • Yakovlev I-26: Prototype.3
  • Yakovlev I-28: Prototype.3 Span of wing was reduced.3 Higher rated engine.3
  • Yakovlev I-30: Prototype.3 Metal wings used.3
  • Yakovlev Yak-1:
  • Yakovlev Yak-1M: Had M-105PF engine installed.3 Had a nitrogen fire suppression system for the fuel tanks.1 Evolved into the Yak-3.1 Entered service in 1943.3

Usage

France, Poland, and the Soviet Union used the Yak-1.3

Invasion of the Soviet Union

In June 1941 there were approximately 400 Yak-1s available.3

Factory Moved

With the invasion the factory was moved 1,000 miles / 1,600 km east.3 It took only 6 weeks to move.3

Naval Units

Units with the Black Sea Fleet were equipped with the Yak-1 while fighting in the Crimea.1

Female Ace Lilya Litvak

During the fighting over Rostov and Stalingrad, Soviet ace Lilya Litvak shot down 13 planes.1

Specifications

  Yakovlev Yak-11,2,3,4
Type Fighter1,3,4, fighter bomber3
Crew 11,3,4
Engine (Type) Klimov M-1051
Klimov M-105P3
Klimov M-105PA4
Cylinders V-121,3,4
Cooling Liquid1,4
HP 1,0501
P: 1,1003
PA: 1,1004
Propeller blades 31,3, 3 metal variable pitch4
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 32' 9.75"3, 32' 10"1,4
10 m1,3
Length 27' 9"1, 27' 9.5"3, 27' 10"4
8.47 m3, 8.48 m1
Height 8' 8"3,4
2.64 m3
Wing area 185 ft2 1
17.15 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 5,610 lb1
2,550 kg1
Loaded 6,217 lb4, 6,886 lb1
3,130 kg1
Performance  
Speed 329 mph1
530 kph1
Speed @ 16,400' 364 mph4
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
7 minutes1
Cruising speed  
Service ceiling 29,500'1, 32,800'4
9,000 m1
Range 435 miles1,4
700 km1
Turning time 360° in 17.6 seconds1
Armament 2: MG4
1: 20 mm4
Spinner 1: 20 mm ShVAK1
Upper fuselage 2: 12.7 mm MG1
Nose 1: 20 mm3
2: 12.7 mm MG3
Wing racks 6: RS-82 rockets1
6: 82 mm3
OR  
Bombs - maximum 441 lb3
200 kg3
  Yakovlev Yak-1M3
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Klimov M-105PF3
Cylinders V-123
Cooling  
HP 1,2603
Propeller blades 33
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 5,313 lb3
2,410 kg3
Loaded 6,382 lb3
2,895 kg3
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ sea level 314 mph3
505 kph3
Speed @ 12,465'
3,800 m
364 mph3
586 kph3
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
5.4 minutes3
Cruising speed  
Service ceiling 32,810'3
10,000 m3
Range 528 miles3
850 km3
Turning time  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
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