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Yakovlev Yak-7

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The Soviet Yakovlev Yak-7 was developed from the earlier Yak-1 fighter, initially as a trainer but converted into a "heavy" fighter. As both a fighter and later reverting to its original training role, the Yak-7 proved to be a capable aircraft and was well-liked by air crews.

Design and development

In 1939, Alexander Yakovlev designed a tandem-seat advanced trainer, originally designated "I-27" and then "UTI-26", offered along with the original I-26 proposal that became the Yak-1. The "UTI" (Uchebno Trenirovochnyi Istrebitel, translated as: Training Fighter) was intended to give pilots-in-training experience on a high-performance aircraft before transitioning to a fighter. With development work stated in 1940, the UTI-26 differed from its predecessor in its larger span wing being placed farther back for balance as well as having two cockpits with dual controls and a rudimentary communication system. It was armed with a single 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun in the cowling, mainly for use in training, but Yakovlev envisioned a multi-purpose aircraft that could also undertake courier and light transport duties at the front.

The first production aircraft known as Yak-7UTIs retained a retractable main landing gear, but beginning in the summer of 1941, a fixed landing gear variant, the Yak-7V (Vyvozoni for Familiarization) was substituted. The factory reasoned that production would be simplified and that reduced performance would not be detrimental for a trainer. Yak-7UTIs and Yak-7Vs were also equipped with skis for winter operations.

A factory team, on its own initiative, converted an early Yak-7UTI into a "heavy" fighter, with two 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns in the cowling, a 20 mm ShVAK cannon firing through the prop spinner and underwing racks for six RS-82 rockets. An armored backrest was added to the pilot's seat as well as armored fuel tanks were fitted. The rear cockpit position was retained, allowing it to accommodate a second seat (without controls) for fast courier and transport duties or a fuel tank for extended range. The additional space could also house bombs or other gear. Although Yakolev did not like the "hybrid" at first, the Yak-7 fighter proved to be very similar to the Yak-1 in overall performance although not as maneuverable. With a "go-ahead" from the Soviet Air Force, the Yak-7 was introduced into the production line and the first batch of 60 reached operational squadrons by the end of 1941.

Operational history

The Yak-7 proved to be an effective close support fighter although the first two-seaters were considered nose-heavy, consequently, the factory introduced a rear cockpit fuel tank. Pilots complained about the fuel tank's vulnerability since it was unarmoured, and it was usually removed in the field. There were constant changes to the design based on combat observations including a definitive single-seat variant, the Yak-7B which was produced in large numbers.

After the war, some Yak-7V trainers were provided to the Poles and a single Yak-7V was delivered to the Hungarians for familiarization with the Yak-9 fighter.


File:LET C-11.Yak-7 outline.Lakeland FL 18.04.07R.jpg
LET C-11 modified to Yak-7 outline, Lakeland, Florida, in April 2007
two-seat prototype converted from a pre-serial I-26
two-seat training, liaison aircraft. The Yak-1 was built in small numbers.
initial two-seat communication/trainer version
(UTI-26, vyvoznoy) production version of two-seater; about 1,500 were built.
production single-seat fighter version with M-105P piston engine
upgraded version of Yak-7A (reduced wingspan, simplified landing gear, better equipment), about 5,000 were built.
long range prototype.
Yak-7K courier
VIP transport version. converted from Yak-7B, 1944.
Yak-7U Mark
experimental - had two DM-4 ramjet under wings. Two were built.
direct predecessor of Yak-9.
Yak-7 M-82
- new (M-82) engine version. tested in 1941.
Jet project with one liquid fuel jet and two ramjets. 1942.
purported jet version of Yak-7 with Jumo 004 engine. Said to have been built in Tbilisi to fly over Red Square at the parade in 1947.
Yak-3 with Jumo 004 turbojet. Development started not later than 1945. First flown in 1946?
two aircraft for testing engine mounted heavy cannons (NS-37 and NS-45 -- 37 mm and 45 mm caliber respectively).


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Specifications (Yak-7)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.00 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 2.75 m (9 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 17.2 m² (185 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,477 kg (5,449 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2,960 kg (6,512 lb)
  • Powerplant:Klimov M-105P , 783 kW (1,050 hp)



See also

Related development




  • Gordon, Yefim and Dmitri Khazanov. Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Volume One: Single-Engined Fihters. Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-85780-083-4.
  • Green, William. Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume Three: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1961 (seventh impression 1973). ISBN 0-356-01447-9.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. WW2 Aircraft Fact Files: Soviet Air Force Fighters, Part 2. London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0-354-01088-3.
  • Kopenhagen, W., ed. Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch. Stuggart, Germany: Transpress, 1987. ISBN 3-344-00162-0.
  • Liss, Witold. The Yak 9 Series (Aircraft in Profile number 185). Leatherhead, Surrey, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1967.
  • Mellinger, George. Yakovlev Aces of World War 2. Botley, UK: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2005. ISBN 1-84176-845-6.
  • Morgan, Hugh. Soviet Aces of World War 2. London: Reed International Books Ltd., 1997. ISBN 1-85532-632-9.
  • Шавров В.Б. История конструкций самолетов в СССР 1938-1950 гг. (3 изд.). Kniga: Машиностроение, 1994(Shavrov, V.B. Istoriia konstruktskii samoletov v SSSR, 1938-1950 gg.,3rd ed. (History of Aircraft Design in USSR: 1938-1950). Kniga, Russia: Mashinostroenie, 1994. ISBN 5-217-00477-0.
  • Stapfer, Hans-Heiri. Yak Fighters in Action (Aircraft number 78). Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1986. ISBN 0-89747-187-3.
  • Winchester, Jim. "Yak Fighters." Fighters: The World's Finest Combat Aircraft- 1914 to the Present Day. Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-40543-843-6.

External links

cs:Jakovlev Jak-7 de:Jakowlew Jak-7 fr:Yakovlev Yak-7 it:Yakovlev Yak-7 ja:Yak-7 (航空機) pl:Jak-7 ru:Як-7 sk:Jakovlev Jak-7 fi:Jakovlev Jak-7 vi:Yakovlev Yak-7 zh:Yak-9

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Yakovlev Yak-7".