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Yakovlev Yak 7

The Yakovlev Yak-7, derived from its predecessor Yak-1 fighter, underwent a transformation from a trainer aircraft to a formidable fighter.

Demonstrating its versatility, the Yak-7 excelled in both combat and its original purpose as a training platform, earning high praise from aviation personnel.

In comparison to the Yak-1, the Yak-7 exhibited enhanced simplicity, durability, and overall superiority.

In 1939, Alexander Yakovlev conceived a tandem-seat advanced trainer, initially designated as “I-27” and subsequently renamed as “UTI-26”.

This offering was presented alongside the original I-26 proposal, which eventually materialized into the Yak-1 aircraft.

The “UTI” was specifically designed to provide aspiring pilots with the opportunity to gain experience on a high-performance aircraft prior to transitioning to a fighter plane.

Commencing development work in 1940, the UTI-26 differed from its predecessor in several aspects.

Notably, it featured a larger span wing that was positioned further back to ensure optimal balance.

Additionally, the aircraft boasted two cockpits equipped with dual controls and a rudimentary communication system.

As for armament, it was armed with a single 7.62 mm (0.30 in) ShKAS machine gun located in the cowling.

This armament primarily served training purposes.

However, Yakovlev envisioned the UTI-26 as a versatile aircraft capable of undertaking various roles, including courier and light transport duties at the frontlines.

The Yak-7, despite its initial nose-heavy design in the first two-seaters, proved to be an effective fighter for close support.

To address this issue, the factory introduced a rear cockpit fuel tank, although pilots expressed concerns about its vulnerability due to its lack of armour.

As a result, the fuel tank was often removed in the field.

The design underwent constant changes based on combat observations, resulting in the production of the Yak-7B, a definitive single-seat variant that was produced in large numbers.

Following the war, 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.

In April-May 1942, a small batch of 22 Yak-7-37s was authorized and issued to the 42nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (IAP) at the North-Western front, where they proved highly successful in both air-to-air combat and ground attack.

two-seat prototype converted from a pre-serial I-26
initial two-seat communication/trainer version, 186 built in 1941
(vyvoznoy) two-seat trainer; 510 built in 1942/43 + 87 converted from Yak-7B
single-seat fighter version, based on the Yak-7UTI, armour + more guns added, small number built 1941/42
After trials in April–May 1942, a small batch of 22 Yak-7-37s was authorised, fitted with a MPSh-37 37 mm (1.457 in) cannon, mounted between the engine cylinder blocks, firing through the propeller spinner.
Two 12.7 mm (0.500 in) UBS machine guns were also fitted in the forward fuselage firing above the engine.
improved Yak-7, about 300 built in early 1942
upgraded version of Yak-7A (reduced wingspan, simplified landing gear, better equipment), about 5,000 were built.
long range prototype, development basis for the Yak-7DI/Yak-9.
Yak-7K courier
VIP transport version, converted from Yak-7B, 1944.
Yak-7U Mark
experimental – With two DM-4 ramjets under wings, top speed: 800 km/h (500 mph), two were built.
long range fighter, redesignated Yak-9.
Yak-7 M-82
New (M-82) engine version, tested in 1941.
Jet project with one liquid fuel jet and two ramjets.
purported jet version of Yak-7 with Jumo 004 engine.
Yak-3 with Jumo 004 turbojet.
Development started late 1945, first flown in 1946.
Two aircraft for testing engine mounted heavy cannons
(NS-37 and NS-45 37 mm (1.457 in) and 45 mm (1.772 in) calibre respectively).
8.48 m (27 ft 10 in)
10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Wing area
17.15 m2 (184.6 sq ft)
Empty weight
2,450 kg (5,401 lb)
Gross weight
2,935 kg (6,471 lb)
1 × M-105PA V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine,
780 kW (1,050 hp) at rated altitude
Maximum speed
495 km/h (308 mph, 267 kn) at sea level
571 km/h (355 mph; 308 kn) at 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
643 km (400 mi, 347 nmi)
Service ceiling
9,500 m (31,200 ft)
Rate of climb
12 m/s (2,400 ft/min)
Time to altitude
5,000 m (16,000 ft) in 6.4 minutes
Wing loading
172.6 kg/m2 (35.4 lb/sq ft)
0.26 kW/kg (0.16 hp/lb)
Take-off run
410 m (1,350 ft)
Landing run
610 m (2,000 ft)
Sustained turn time
21 – 22 seconds
1 × 20 mm (0.787 in) ShVAK cannon
2 × 7.62 mm (0.300 in) ShKAS machine guns.

Later models like the “B”, used x2 12.7mm Berezin UB guns.
Yakovlev Aircraft Since 1924 – Bill Gunston & Yefim Gordon.
OKB Yakovlev, A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft-Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov & Sergey Komissarov.
Soviet Aircrafts Illustrated-A.S.Yakovlev.
The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918-Vaclav Nemecek.
Soviet AF Fighter Colours 1941-45-Erik Pilaeskii.
Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Vol 1, Single Engined Fighters-Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Khazanov.

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