|Manufacturer||A. S. Yakovlev Design Bureau JSC|
|Maiden Flight||13 January 1940|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe Yak-1 fighters first flew on 13 Jan 1940 . Almost failing government approval due to overheating problems, they nevertheless entered production a month later on 19 Feb 1940, possibly due to Alexander Sergeevich Yakovlev's favored status with Joseph Stalin. Over 20,000 changes of various degrees were made to the blueprint in the first three years of production, complicating the manufacturing process that was already plagued by a shortage of engines and other parts. As a result, different batches of Yak-1 fighters often used different parts, making service difficult. Additionally, the plywood wings often damaged from weather, and these aircraft were notoriously known for the lack of safety for pilots. Nevertheless, they performed well in combat situations, particularly with a tight turning radius, making them well-liked in the Russian military.
ww2dbaseThe war's only two female aces, Katya Budanova and Lydia Litvyak, both piloted Yak-1 fighters.
|13 Jan 1940||The Yakovlev YA-26 prototype, later to become the Yak-1 fighter, took flight. This prototype would be lost in an accident in Apr 1940.|
|6 Aug 1942||Soviet fighter pilot Mikhail Baranov of the 183rd Air Regiment leading a flight of four Yak-1 aircraft over Stalingrad, Russia ran headlong into a formation of 25 Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters and took them on, shooting down three before running out of ammunition. Then skilfully manoeuvring his aircraft on to the tail of a fourth Bf 109 fighter, he closed in and cut off the fin of the enemy fighter with his propeller, afterwards making a successful forced landing.|
|Machinery||One Klimov M-105PF V-12 liquid-cooled engine rated at 1,180hp|
|Armament||1x20mm ShVAK cannon, 1x12.7mm Berezin UBS machine gun|
|Wing Area||17.20 m²|
|Weight, Empty||2,394 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||2,883 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||592 km/h|
|Rate of Climb||15.40 m/s|
|Service Ceiling||10,050 m|
|Range, Normal||700 km|
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Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945