Aviation of World War II

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Tactical Reconnaissance Aircraft



Yak-9R - a front-line reconnaissance aircraft with an M-105PF engine and a VISH-61P propeller was a modification of the Yak-9 or Yak-9D serial fighters and differed from them mainly in the installation of photographic equipment.

The camera was installed on a special bracket in the rear fuselage compartment and was intended for planned aerial photography. In the lower part of the fuselage against the lens was made a hatch with a shutter, opened by the pilot from the cockpit using a special control. The command device was installed in the cockpit on the right hinged panel.

The Yak-9R was produced in versions of short-range and long-range reconnaissance aircraft, differing from each other in photographic equipment, weapons and a supply of fuel and lubricants. The Yak-9R in the short-range reconnaissance variant was produced on the basis of the serial Yak-9. An AFA-IM aerial camera was installed on it. In terms of flight weight, fuel reserve, basic flight and tactical characteristics, as well as piloting technique, stability and controllability, this aircraft did not differ from the serial Yak-9.

The Yak-9R in the long-range reconnaissance version was built at the factory on the basis of the Yak-9D and had an AFA-ZS / 50 aerial camera (focal length 50 cm). Four gas tanks with a service tank with a total capacity of 480 kg provided a flight range of 1400 km. On some aircraft, the armament consisted of one ShVAK cannon with 120 rounds of ammunition, on other aircraft it remained, as on the Yakh-9D, i.e. there was also a UBS synchronous machine gun with 200 rounds of ammunition. In the first version of the armament, the Yak-9R was equipped with an RPK-10 radio compass, an AGP-2 artificial horizon and an RSI-4 radio station, which facilitated access to its airfield when flying along large broken routes and ensured wider use of the aircraft in poor weather conditions. The installation of AFA-ZS / 50 on the Yak-9R led to a center shift backward, which improved the aircraft's controllability in the air and stability on the ground.

The Yak-9R in the long-range reconnaissance variant was built in Omsk at the plant number 166. As of August 13, 1943, 35 serial Yak-9Rs were produced. Their government or control tests were not carried out. Military tests for combat use took place in the 48th Guards. a long-range reconnaissance regiment of the Main Command of the spacecraft from September 23 to October 12, 1943 on the Steppe Front from Osnova (Kharkov) and Poltava airfields.

Yak-9R Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 9.74
Wing area, m² 17.15
Length, m 8.50
Height, m 3.00
1 × PE Klimov VK-105PF, power, hp 1 × 1180
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 2287
Loaded weight 3082
Maximum speed over the ground, km/h 520
Maximum speed at altitude, km/h 598
Rate of climb, m/min 962
Service range, km 1,400
Service ceiling, m 9,600
1 × 20-mm cannon ShVAK with 120 rounds,
1 × 12.7 mm UBS machine gun with 200 rounds

During these tests, five Yak-9Rs flew 45 combat reconnaissance missions with a total flight time of 67 hours and 30 minutes. Tests have shown that the aircraft is quite suitable for aerial reconnaissance missions,

Under favorable weather conditions, combat missions were carried out at altitudes of 5000 ... 8000 m, and under bad conditions - at altitudes of up to 300 m. The sharpness of the images taken by AFA-ZS / 50 made it possible to easily decipher both military and topographic objects. In terms of its flight and combat qualities, the Yak-9R made it possible to carry out reconnaissance tasks more successfully and with less risk compared to the Pe-2 in areas saturated with anti-aircraft artillery and enemy fighters with the same range as that of the Pe-2.

However, despite a number of positive aspects (speed, maneuverability, defenses, etc.), the Yak-9R could not completely replace the Pe-2 for the following reasons: The Yak-9R did not provide a sufficiently good view of the ground (for this it was necessary to give roll), so the accuracy of shooting a route or object was lower; on the Pe-2, the pilot, navigator and radio operator together saw, memorized and recorded more than one pilot on the Yak-9R, who had to monitor the air, navigate, find an object, control the aircraft and record reconnaissance data.

The Yak-9R complemented the Pe-2 well and was used in areas where it was difficult to perform tasks on the Pe-2 due to the opposition of anti-aircraft artillery and enemy fighters. The Yak-9R passed military tests and was recommended for arming reconnaissance units of the Air Force for use, mainly in areas with strong air defense.

Photo Description

Drawing Yak-9R


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