The Yak-1, Yak-7, Yak-9 and Yak-3 are probably the best known and most successful of the Soviet Union’s piston-engined fighters of the Second World War with a total of over 35,000 built in six factories and an outstanding service record. Designed Aleksander S. Yakovlev in 1940, when the Soviet Union desperately needed to substantially upgrade and put into series production modern fighters which could compare and compete with their Western contemporaries, the Yak-1 and ensuing series were well-suited to the battle conditions on the Soviet-German front and could be both easily constructed by unskilled labor and flown effectively by relatively inexperienced pilots. The Yak-9 followed in 1942 and brought a greater proportion of metal to the airframe design leading to the development of the long-range Yak-9D, the up-gunned tank buster versions (Yak-9-37, Yak-9T, Yak-9K etc.) and the Yak-9B light bomber. Later flown by the French pilots of the Normandie-Niemen squadron of the Soviet Air Force the Yak-3 introduced in 1943 came to be recognized as one of the best fighters of WW II.
This detailed history is richly illustrated with unit badges, nose art, scale drawings, color side views and three-views. Previously unreleased photos and personal stories from pilots in the Great Patriotic War ensure it is a detailed reference source for modelers, enthusiasts and historians alike.