With 14,000 produced between 1942 and well after World War II was over, the Yak-9 was one of the most mass produced fighters in the Russian arsenal and in history as well. Today we’re getting our first look at this prolific fighter for IL-2: Great Battles with the fully textured and in-engine look at the exterior while the interior modeling still has some ways to go.
Time for the Yak-9
Looking at the exterior, you can see that the Yak-9 is a relatively sleek fighter that has shed some of the ungainly appearances of the earlier Yak-7 and that this version of the fighter looks quite a bit like the Yak-1B although under the skin the aircraft are somewhat different.
Armament is the Russian standard single 20mm ShVAK canon firing through the propeller hub and a single 12.7mm UBS machine gun in the nose decking. The other machine gun was removed to reduce weight and improve the overall performance of the fighter.
We also have our first looks at the cockpit for the Yak-9 which is well underway.
Interesting to note, the ring and bead gunsight is up at the front of the aircraft. This I was not expecting and I am curious what the history is behind it as well as if the reflector gunsight will be offered. In the IL-2, pilots had the reflector gunsight removed as it was a hazard in a crash landing.
The Yak-9T is also on its way and apparently will be worked on immediately after the Yak-9 is finished. The 9T introduces some important changes with a 37mm cannon in the nose, the movement of the cockpit backwards to accommodate, and a few other small tweaks and changes. Interestingly, the Yak-9T only weighs 40kg more than the regular Yak-9 so the 37mm cannon firepower upgrade offers very little negative impact.
I will be doing a comparison across all of the Yak series once they are all available.
Where does the Yak-9 and Yak-9T fit in?
A common question is where do the Yak-9’s fit into the currently available content. Fortunately some weeks ago, BlackSix answered this on the forums with information about the Yak-9:
BoS: maybe separate planes were coming to the Stalingrad front, there is no exact data, it is not planned in the career
BoK: from early May to mid-June 1943, 2 regimentsBlackSix on the IL-2 forums
BoK: these fighters were not used in the Kuban battle during our career time period, it will be available as a non-historical plane from July 5 (from the moment the front-line tests began) in one of the regiments.BlackSix on the IL-2 forums