The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a World War II Russian fighter developed from the Yak-1. First flow in 1943 it proved to be a very capable dogfighter with outstanding maneuverability and high rate of climb. It’s robustness and ease of maintenance meant it was much loved by pilots and crew alike.
In combat the Yak-3 proved its superiority over the German fighters destroying 15 Luftwaffe aircraft for only one loss of its own in its first battle. The addition of the Klimov VK-107 1,700 horsepower engines increased performance further to give a top speed of 450MPH.
Since 1991, a number of true replica Yak-3s have been newly manufactured by Yakovlev for the warbird market using the original plans and dies. These are powered by Allison V-1710 engines and have the designation Yak-3M
470202 (G-OLEK/ former D-FLAK) was assembled at Strela in Orenburg (700 miles south-east of Moscow on the Russian-Kazakh border) in the early 1990s. One of very few two seater examples G-OLEK was purchased by current owner Will Greenwood from Max Alpha Aviation GmbH banner at Bremgarten, southern Germany and relocated to her new base in the UK.
The aircraft is painted in the striking markings of a Normandie-Niemen Regiment aircraft, as flown by Free French Air Force pilots in the Eastern Front.