article with plans and a 4-view of the YAK-3 fighter appeared in the Sept/Oct
1965 edition of American Modeler.
"The Yakovlev YAK-3
(Russian language: Як-3)
was a World War II
Soviet fighter aircraft. Robust and easy to maintain, it 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
French-Flown YAK-3 World War Two Fighter
By Walter A. Musciano
Produced in greater quantity than any other
YAK design during World War II this YAK-3 was one of the most successful
Russian fighter planes. It was developed from the earlier YAK-1 of 1939
for which Alexander Sergeivich Yakovlev won a prize of 100,000 rubles (and
an elegant automobile) in a Soviet design competition. The craft was a simple,
lightweight, fast-climbing fighter with high performance at low altitudes
where it was intended to maintain aerial superiority directly over the battlefield.
These photos show the YAK-3 which was flown by World War Two
Ace Roger Sauvage on the Russian Front. Note tricolor spinner and lightning
The YAK-3 had a loaded weight of only 5864-lbs which is less than half of
some of the American and British fighters of that period. It could climb
to 16,000-ft in four minutes and had a range of 560 miles at 193-mph. The
Klimov M-105 PA twelve cylinder, liquid cooled, 1210-hp engine was fitted
with a 20-mm cannon which fired through the propeller shaft. Two 12.7-mm
machine guns were installed in the cowling with cocking levers extending
into the cockpit. Top speed was 404 miles per hour and the craft is said
to have compared favorably with the British Spitfire.
famous fighter units on the Eastern Front which flew the YAK-3 was the Normandie-Niemen
Regiment. This group of Free French volunteers composed of four Escadrilles
which arrived in Russia late in 1942 from North Africa proved very successful
and destroyed 273 German aircraft in two years of action. Yet the Normandie-Niemen
Regiment never consisted of more than about forty pilots. One of the leading
Aces of this group was Capitaine Roger Sauvage who scored sixteen official
victories on two fronts and received some of the highest French and Soviet
awards for bravery and valor. The markings on this control line model duplicate
those used by Sauvage on his YAK-3 fighter plane. The story of Roger Sauvage
and the Normandie-Niemen Regiment will be featured in the October 1965 Air
Our model of Sauvage's YAK-3, scaled one inch to one foot
size, can accommodate any engine from .19 to .35 cubic inch displacement.
Construction has been kept as simple as possible and is quite strong without
excessive weight. When you have the full size plans begin construction with
the wing. Trace the spar halves and joiners onto the prescribed wood and
cut to shape. Cement the spars between the joiners, using plenty of the
adhesive, and hold together with small "C" clamps until dry. Meanwhile,
trace and cut all ribs to shape plus the landing gear supports.
Construction instructions appear on Hobby Helpers Plan #965.
Yak-3 Fighter Plans
for larger version>
Yak-3 Fighter 4-View Drawing
for larger version>
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size
version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always
best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing
plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I
will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
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January 29, 2012