The Yakovlev Yak-1 Series

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The Yakovlev line of fighters started from the small UT-1 trainer, but quickly progressed into one of the finest line of airplanes seen during the Second World War.

UPDATE 02.08.02: The colors depicted below are not authentic. Newer illustrations with correct coloring will be added soon.

I-26 Prototype

The I-26 was the initial prototype of the Yak series, and many features from this plane can be seen in the rest of the fighters. The shape of the tail and nose are two areas that remained static for the most part throughout the Yak series, changing only when jets were introduced.

Yak-1 Second Series
Yellow 44
Lilya Litvak

This Yak-1 is one of the planes flown by a Soviet woman pilot, Lilya Litvak, who at the time was the Flight Commander of 73 IAP. Litvak went on to shoot down a total of 12 enemy planes before being killed in action on September 1, 1943 over Orel. She was 21.

Yak-1 Second Series
White 25

This Yak-1 fell into Luftwaffe hands intact after the pilot defected to the Germans. This gave the Luftwaffe a chance to fly it against their own fighters and test it for weaknesses. After flying it for a time, the Germans found the Yak-1 to be both underpowered and underarmed.


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