This is one of only two remaining original Yak-3s the other being in the Musee de L'Air in Paris. It was built in the late stages of the Second World War and powered by a Klimov engine, was a poweful adversary to the Germans. It is seen in a Soviet Airforce livery and is on loan to the Commemorative Airforce Museum. The lengthy slogan on this side of the aircraft translates to"The 2nd aircraft from Golovatyy - for the terminal rout of the enemy."
A group of Free French pilots, the Normandie-Niemen Regiment, fought with distinction on the Eastern Front in WWII. They ultimately flew the Yak-3, one of the finest fighters of the war. Flown to France in June 1945, 37 Yak-3s even entered service with the French air force.
Though almost 5,000 of this type were built, this is one of only two surviving original Yak-3, the other being in the Commemorative Airforce Museum at Camarillo, Ca. Powered by a 1.222 hp Klimov engine this aircraft served in a French Regiment, 'Normandie-Niemen' on the Eastern front and was given by Stalin to its French Pilot in May 1945.
First flown in Oct 1943, the Yak-3 was a simple and lightweight design but is credited with being Russia's fastest and most manoeuvrable piston-powered design. Around 70 were received by Yugoslavia by the end of 1945, some being involved in action over post-war border violations. In August 1945 two US C-47s were shot down by Yak-3s, then in October an RAF one was forced to land at Niš. Only three original Yak-3s remain, of which this example retired from instructional use in 1957 is one