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Yak on Ground

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There were plenty of other aircraft flying too, including the superb Yak 3 (shown above) which was arguably the best fighter of World War II.

Yak 3

The Yak 3 (officially the Yakovlev Yak 3-M) was introduced by the Soviet Air Force near the end of World War II (1944) and 4,848 were produced in total. Its major advantage was good power to weight ratio which resulted from lightweight construction. It was relatively easy to handle and easy to maintain but did suffer from a few reliability problems including the engine and pneumatic system.

Length: 8.5 meters
Wingspan: 9.2 m
Height: 2.4 m
Wing area: 14.85 m^2
Empty weight: 2,105 kg
Loaded weight: 2,692 kg
Powerplant: Klimov VK-105PF-2 V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,120 kW (1,620 hp)
Maximum speed: 655 km/h
Range: 650 km
Service ceiling: 10,700 m
Rate of climb: 18.5 m/s
Wing loading: 181 kg/m^2
Power/mass: 0.36 kW/kg
1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon
2 x 12.7 mm Berezin UBS machine guns

Sources: Wikipedia, Warbirds Over Wanaka 2010 Programme.

Vampire Pilot


The de Havilland Vampire has been flown at most shows and is popular example of an early jet fighter, probably because it was produced in fairly large numbers and was used for so many years by various air forces. It was developed during the second half of World War II but wasn't ready for service until after the war ended (April 1945).

The unusual design incorporating twin booms for the tail meant the jet engine exhaust was kept short which prevented the power loss which had been a problem with engines running the full length of other aircraft.

Crew: 1
Length: 9.37 meters
Wingspan: 11.58 m
Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Wing area: 24.34 m^2
Empty weight: 3,304 kg
Max takeoff weight: 5,620 kg
Powerplant: de Havilland Goblin 3 centrifugal turbojet, 14.90 kN (3,350 pound)
Maximum speed: 882 km/h
Range: 1,960 km
Service ceiling: 13,045 m
Rate of climb: approx 1,500 m/min
Guns: 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.V cannons
Rockets: 8 x 3-inch "60 lb" rockets
Bombs: or 2 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs or two drop-tanks

Sources: Wikipedia, Warbirds Over Wanaka 2010 Programme, Warbird Alley.

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