Founded in 1927, the design bureau headed by Aleksandr S. Yakovlev started out with light aircraft but soon became a “fighter maker” when the prospect of war loomed large.
Originally designated I-26, Yakovlev’s simple but rugged fighter, first flew in 1940 and entered production at the end of the year as the Yak-1.
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 Yakovlev Fighters of World War II is a detailed reference source for modelers, enthusiasts and historians alike.