Yak-3 vs Yak-9 vs La-7: Best Soviet fighter of WW2

Discussion in 'Polls' started by goldmaster11, Jan 10, 2016.

?

Best Soviet fighter of WW2?

  1. Yak-9

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Yak-3

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. La-7

    7 vote(s)
    70.0%
  1. goldmaster11

    goldmaster11 New Member

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    I've been struggling to pick which of these fighters was the best Soviet fighter of WW2. So far, I've narrowed it down to these three. I'd like to hear your opinions about which of the three was the best.
     
  2. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    Goldmaster11,
    This has been discussed directly and in several indirect round about threads. I am afraid you will need to classify your question better in order go get a good answer. The Yak-3 was the most maneuverable of the three (4). The Yak-9 ( U P ) was more versatile and had more potential for growth than the Yak-3 and was still a very maneuverable aircraft. The La-7 was very maneuverable and the best climber of the bunch.
    Now about that number (4) aircraft, the VVS were also using the P-63A. This aircraft was the most rugged and reliable of the bunch. It had the best radio and other equipment. It also was very maneuverable and was perhaps under most conditions THE fastest climbing of the group.
    With all that being said, I will have to ask you a question. Which of the three (4) is best at what?

    Jeff:|:|
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Prior Spring of 1944, the competition is with only one participant - Yak-9. Hence, it is a winner. If one wants a good punch, the Yak-9T is available. The long range versions (D, DD) are also useful.
    From Spring of 1944 towards the end of the 1944, the Yak-3 is perhaps the best, the La-7 might be a bit better above 5 km. With late 1945, the Yak-9U is available, a fine performer, the only shortcoming being the unrelaible VK-107 engine.
     
  4. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    Hi Tomo.

    Well, If I had to fly one into combat against the Germans in 1945 there would be no contest. I would take the P-63A for its reliability and firepower. Against the Japanese I think it would be fun to have an aircraft that could actually outmaneuver them above 330 mph. so I would take the Yak-3P with three B-20 cannons.

    Now to deal with your first question:
    22 June 1941: Low and medium altitude has to go to the Yak-1. High altitude (which was irregular) goes to the MiG-3.
    In 1942 the VVS and USSR were in turmoil. The La-5 'Standard' version was probably there best aircraft. However, do not try to tell that to the recipients of the P-39Ds and P-400s in Russia.
    I believe the Yak-9 became Russia's greatest fighter asset in December of 1942. The La-5F of March 1943 might have challenged that.
    The La-5FN of June 1943, in my opinion eclipsed both.
    The Yak-9U with its engine limitation of 3,000 rpm was still a great asset to the VVS on the 25th of August 1944.

    Your original question still has stipulations of WHEN and WHAT DO YOU WANT IT TO DO?
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If we're also include the LL stuff, the Spitfire IX was probably the best (with P-39 second best) until P-47D was delivered (with P-63 as second best).
     
  6. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    #6 CORSNING, Jan 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
    To be honest Tomo I have not read enough on the subject of lend-lease aircraft to Russia. Although I have read quite a bit.
    Spitfires over the Kuban and several threads (semi-official discussion).

    I am still in the very middle of researching the lend-lease aircraft sent to Russia, so I do not have all the answers at this time. I am actually gearing up to read: http://ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-pictures/russian-47-a-4805.html.

    From what I have read so far the Russians praised the Spitfire L.F.IX mostly for its higher altitude performance (imagine that). I have also read that most if not all Mk.IXs supplied to Russia were second hand.

    I do not know for a fact at this time if all the Spitfire L.F.IXs were second hand or not. Just for a little perspective check I decided to do a side by side. The following figures are for vehicles in excellent condition. I have used Spitfire L.F.IX B.S.543 with a Merlin 66 and a P-63A-8 tests for comparison.
    Note: The P-63A-7 was the first version of Kingcobra supplied to Russia, so the figures should be fairly close.

    Spitfire L.F.IX ------------P-63A-8
    Altitude / Speed / Climb.
    Meters / MPH / FPM
    SL.--- 336 / 4620--------378 / 4900
    1,000 350 / 4653--------393 / 4775
    2,000 365 / 4695--------405 / 4575
    3,000 380 / 4302--------413 / 4325
    4,000 384 / 3922--------420 / 3970
    5,000 385 / 3860--------424 / 3520
    6,000 398 / 3608--------423 / 2925

    The Russians in WW2 and I fail to see how the Spitfire L.F.IX supplied to the VVS could be considered completely superior to the P-63A, especially at the altitudes that most combat was conducted. The Russians seemed to be partial to centerline armament also.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    My point being that, before the P-47D and P-63 were supplied to the Soviets (mid 1944?), the Spit IX might be considered the best fighter in the VVS inventory.
    The figures of 420+ mph for the P-63A (even with water injection) are very optimistic, emanating mostly from Bell, ditto for almost 5000 fpm RoC?
     
  8. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    I agree that most of the data for the P-63 that can be found is from Bell Aircraft Corp. That would be only natural since the AAF and USN showed little or no interest in this aircraft compared to the P-47, P-38, P-51 F6F and F4U which already were in production and had supply lines already set.
    Bell Aircraft Corp. graph dated 4 December 1943 makes reference to the P-63A in Condition 1. Condition 1 is at a test weight of 8,168 lbs. and while war emergency power was used, alcohol-water injection was not. Condition 1 was Army flight test data.

    SL.------- 347 / 4,000
    1,000 m. 360 / 3,995
    2,000 m. 372 / 3,950
    3,000 m. 382 / 3,880
    4,000 m. 397 / 3,730
    5,000 m. 402 / 3,490
    6,000 m. 409 / 3,070

    These figures are good enough to put it in the top runners. To the best of my knowledge at this time all production P-63 delivered to the VVS were equipped with water injection.
     
  9. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    I should add, that the answer to goldmaster's original question with the selection of three aircraft he has listed, I would vote for the Yak-9 (in various forms). It was there first and made the greatest impact on the war of the three.
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I voted for La-7, mostly because La-5FN was the most dangerous opponent of the FiAF 109Gs in 1944. And because Yak-9M was so awful, other Yak-9s were clearly better but part of Yak-9 production (-9Ms) was second rate.

    VVS didn't use P-63s in Europe in combat during the WWII. And because VVS liked manoevrable good climbers it isn't surprising that they liked Spit LF IXs. Or that they loathed P-47D as a fighter because it was an anti-thesis to the Russian understanding of what a good fighter should be
     
  11. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    #11 CORSNING, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    I agree with Juha about the inferiority of the Yak-9M in 1944. VVS didn't use P-63s in Europe (Russian Western Front), well, that depends on who you ask and if you are asking officially or off the record. I also agree that the P-47 was not there cup of tea, coffee or even considered alcoholic choice.

    OK, now to clear up my vote. There is no question whatsoever that the La-7 was the absolute best performing aircraft in the VVS inventory starting in November 1944, and especially in January 1945 when the 3 gun B-20 Berezin cannon were available. The La-7 could out roll all VVS fighters except the Yak-3. It could outturn all VVS fighters except the Yak-3. It was faster at most speeds than the Yak-9U (except at the Yak9's full throttle heights). It was not over all as rugged as the P-63, which could generally match its speed and climb. The La-7 was more maneuverable and held the edge in overall performance at the altitudes that the battles were usually fought at on the Eastern Front. While all this is absolutely true, the La-7, P-63, La-5FN, Spitfire IX and even P-47 were not there when Russia needed them most in 1941- early 1943. The Yak-9 was, starting December 1942. PERIOD!
     
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