How do you fly the Yak-3 properly?

So I just got the yak-3 a few days ago and decided to use it since I heard it was a very good plane. This video was literally the most average game I had with this plane. Can someone tell me what am I doing wrong? Since up to this point I don’t understand how to use this plane. Is there some maneuver or tactic I don’t know about that I can use with this plane? People keep saying it is very op at its be and one of the best planes so by this point, I’m just very stupid with this plane.

Imho the key to Yak-3s is quite simple, stay fast, use very good climb, take advantage of very good agility at higher speeds and never get slow as the agility gets real bad at slow speeds.

Your vid showed nothing special, nobody wants to have a Yak-3 above him and everybody knows about the low rip speed. Regarding your death: Climbing straight is the worst thing you can do. You would have survived with a spiral climb or a fast horizontal flat turn, the FM and agility of 190s modelled by gaijin is a joke, at least at lower speeds.

I flew this plane as warbond premium on my old inactive account some years ago but it simply did not fit to my playstyle due to the very low rip speed.

The main strength besides speed and agility is the very good energy retention - it takes ages to push them to the deck and make them slow. Most of their opponents run out of energy way sooner than the Yak-3. As long as you avoid turnfighting A6Ms or Spits you should be better than most enemies.

Some guys claim that they beat Yak-3s turnfighting them with 109 F-4s - from my perspective they beat them mostly as they somehow manage to make them slow in a mix of energy and turnfighting.

From my pov the plane is in the right hands a massive threat in Air RB.

How i fight Yak-3s

I beat every 109 F or G variant in 1 vs 1 turnfights with my SM92 - even if i start the fight with a slight disadvantage.
But to kill a Yak-3 i need a massive energy surplus to beginn and i have to break off, if i am not able to make him slow - my initial advantage melts in a few turns - so i try to drag them upfront above 6km in order to escape with a high speed dive (rip speed is about 870 kmph TAS).
My main weapon against Yak-3s is the B7A2 - turns like hell and i win any classic turnfight if i am undamaged.

As a last tip: Fly with 97% thrust, this avoids overheating.


I met today a rather talented Yak-3 pilot, he got his first 2 kills mainly due to the plane performance and then 3 cheap kills by farming braindead players which tried to rearm on our forward airfield. I mean its about a week that af aaa was removed from the forward airfields, dying there is just stupid.

Nevertheless his opening was good: he climbed up to 5km, stayed fast and scored his first kill vs a 109 G2 - the 109 tried to run away at 5km alt, this does not work, either he had to climb higher (problematic as Yak-3 is good in zoomclimbing) or luring the Yak into a high speed chase below friendlies - using the low rip speed of the Yak-3 to his advantage.
His 2nd kill was 2 vs 1 against a spit trying to turnfight 2 guys with massive speed advantage at 4-5 km, kills No 3-5 against pilots trying to rearm/repair without af aaa cover.

But he made also the biggest mistake you can do in a Yak-3 - he got slow and tried to turnfight a B7A2. I won the fight simple because i was able to dodge his headon approach and started low speed loops. With loops you prevent Yaks to use their better roll and energy retention. I can loop the whole day without giving him a gun solution. Later he tried to lure me to overshoot (does not work if ur opponent has air brake) and lost one of his flaps - Game over.

In the match it looked like he ran out of fuel (20 minutes is usually enough) and crashed on purpose at around 21:40 to deny me the kill.

So if you still like to get used to the Yak-3, you might want to watch the replay using his player perspective:


You’re above the whole enemy team and forcing them to dive out - which is a win to begin with.

As to the Fw190 fight at the end - you flew straight for a few seconds after missing the BNZ rather than trusting your plane and fully committing to spiking back up, that sealed your fate.

Also he dove with throttle down going only just over 500 kph trying to zoom away, which is just not happening, nowhere near enough energy differential to try what he tried going vertical. Should have just committed to the fight at that point, or throttle up in a slight dive and use its acceleration to gtfo and reset. Feels like he wants to be aggressive, but at the same time being very cautious… can’t have it both ways