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Yakolev Yak-3 / I-30


In the early summer of 1940, with the I-26 established in production in the GAZ 115, Aleksandr Yakolev's OKB initiated the redesign of the fighter for all-metal construction as the I-30 (Ya-30), and the first of two prototypes entered flight test in the spring of 1941 as the Yak-3. Powered by a Klimov M-105P 12-cylinder liquid-cooled Vee-type engine rated at 1,100hp for take-off and fitted with a Ye-100 mechanically-driven supercharger developed by V A Dollezhal, the Yak-3 had a three-piece wing with dihedral on the outer panels only and possessed an exceptionally heavy armament by contemporary standards. The single engine-mounted 20mm ShVAK cannon and twin synchronised 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns of the Yak-1 were augmented by two wing-mounted ShVAK cannon. The initial flight test programme suffered constant difficulties with the supercharger, the engine being replaced three times in seven weeks with the result that the Dollezhal supercharger was discarded from the second prototype Yak-3 (I-30-II) which was flown in the summer of 1941 with a standard M-105P engine. The second prototype differed in having the radiator bath moved farther aft, the oil cooler air intake transferred from beneath the nose of the wing root leading edge and an additional pair of synchronised ShKAS machine guns mounted above the engine. With such exceptionally heavy armament and the increased fuel resulting from the larger-capacity tanks rendered possible by the metal wing, the Yak-3 was underpowered by the M-105P. In addition, the prevailing shortage of dural militated against continued development at that stage in the conflict with Germany, the Yak-3 programme being discontinued in the late autumn of 1941, and the designation subsequently being reassigned to an unrelated design.

I-30 (1st prototype)
Max take-off weight: 3130 kg / 6901 lb
Empty weight: 2550 kg / 5622 lb
Wingspan: 9.74 m / 32 ft 11 in
Length: 8.50 m / 28 ft 11 in
Height: 3.00 m / 10 ft 10 in
Wing area: 17.15 sq.m / 184.60 sq ft
Max. speed: 584 km/h / 363 mph
Range: 900 km / 559 miles

Yakolev Yak-3 (I-30)


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