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Home Base: Baons Le Comte, France
Operation: Europe and UK
Model: Yak-3
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
Horsepower: 1,480
Fuel Capacity: 134 gallons
Armament: 1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon. 2 x 12.7mm Berezin machine guns.

Stephane Canu's Yakovlev Yak-3

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 film.

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 agility.

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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