Baons Le Comte, France
Operation: Europe and UK
Wing Span: 30' 2"
Length: 27' 10"
Height: 7' 11"
Max Speed: 422 mph
Gross Weight: 5,864 lbs
Power Plant: Allison V-1710-89
Fuel Capacity: 134 gallons
Armament: 1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon. 2 x
12.7mm Berezin machine guns.
Stephane Canu's Yakovlev
Stephane Canu is the owner and
operator of this Yakovlev Yak-3, which is on display in
Europe and is available for airshows, flybys and
The first attempt to build a fighter called the Yak-3
was shelved in 1941 due to a lack of building materials
and an unreliable engine. The second attempt used the
Yak-1M, already in production, to maintain the high
number of planes being built. The Yak-3 had a new,
smaller wing and smaller dimensions then its
predecessor. Its light weight gave the Yak-3 more
The Yak-3 first flew in 1943 and was a further
development of the YAK-1M airframe. The Yak-3 was
considered the best of the low altitude (below 12,500
ft) fighters of WWII. Lighter and smaller than Yak-9 but
powered by the same engine, Yak-3 was a very agile
dogfighter and a forgiving, easy to handle aircraft
loved by both rookie and veteran pilots. It first saw
action in June 1943 and could out climb, out turn and
out run the German Bf 109 and FW 190. German pilots were
warned not to engage a Yak-3 in a dogfight below 14,000
ft, it could roll with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and its
turn was far superior; a full circle in 18.6 seconds.
During the final two years of the Second World War,
the Yak-3 proved itself a powerful dogfighter. Tough and
agile below an altitude of 13,000 feet, the Yak-3
dominated the skies over the battlefields of the Eastern
Front during the closing years of the war.
The Yak-3 served with the Free French, Yugoslavia,
Albania and Polish Air Forces, in addition to its
service with the Soviet Air Force. The basic Yak-3
airframe was further developed in to the Yak-15 and
Yak-17 jet fighters, as well as the Yak-11 Trainer. The
French pilots serving with the Soviet Air Force were
offered any British, American or Russian airplane to fly
and chose the
Yak-3 over all others. A grateful Joseph
Stalin gave each of the French pilots a Yak-3 to fly
home at the end of WWII in reward for their service. A
total of 4,958 Yak-3s were completed with production
ending in 1946.
This Yak-3 has been modified with an American Allison
V-1710 engine. The paint is the same of the prototype of
the Yak-3/VK 107A.
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