1 April 2014
Birthday of Alexander Yakovlev
Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev, was born on the 1st of April 1906 in Moscow, he died on August the 22nd 1989 in the same City. He was a leading aircraft designer best known for his series of Yak fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union in World War II.
After graduation from the Air Force Engineering Academy in 1931, Yakovlev immediately began to design aircraft, both piston and jet engined. Many designs were made before the Great Patriotic war, but just before World War II he designed the Yak-1 fighter which was notably agile and fast. The Yak-1 had a structure of metal and wood. The cockpit gave the pilot excellent vision around, and its all metal wings were replaceable in the field fairly easily. It had a M-105PF engine which had a fairly good power to weight ratio.
He went on to develop the Yak 3 - a highly maneuverable low altitude interceptor, the Yak 7 - Frontline pilots considered the rate of fire, endurance and handling characteristics of the Yak-7 to be superior to the Yak 1 and the Yak 9 which would become the ultimate Russian fighter and was destined to be produced in larger numbers than any other Yakovlev aircraft, it took part in every major battle after its introduction during the autumn of 1942.His first jet fighter, the Yak-15, was designed in 1945, followed by the Yak-17 and Yak-23. His foray into bomber aircraft during the war, was shown in the Yak 2 and the Yak 4.
His successful twin-engined “flying wagon” helicopter (the Yak-24) set several world records from 1952. In the years after World War II, as the MiG design increased in popularity, Yakovlev began to design many civilian aircraft, especially sports aircraft.
A member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1938, Yakovlev served from 1940 to 1956 as a deputy minister of the aircraft industry and as chief designer after that. He was awarded the Stalin Prize seven times and the Order of Lenin eight times and became a member of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences in 1976.