Yakovlev Yak-9 Frank

in North Korean Air Force service

Key Facts

Total Delivered: 80+
Total Still Active: 0
Total Now Stored: 0
Service Entry: 1950
Retirement: n/a
Main Role: Fighter
Origin: USSR


The first North Korean pilots initiated training in the USSR on the Yak-9 as early as 1946. After the completion of the training, the first Yak-9s were supplied to North Korean air arm. Although a few twin-seat Yak-9Ws was supplied (which see), the main variant supplied was the Yak-9P. The Yak-9P was an all-metal variant, of which 801 (29 pre-series aircraft were of mixed construction) were produced in 1947/48. By mid-1950, some 79 Yak-9s, the majority being of the P variant, was in service. Another variant reported in North Korean service is the Yak-9U, which preceded the Yak-9P on the production lines. The exact quantity of Yak-9s supplied to the DPRKAF in unknown, although the total could possibly be as high as 100.

Eighteen Yak-9s were claimed as shot down during the Korean War, mostly in 1950. An additional number of Yak-9s were destroyed in air raids against airfields. It may be presumed that the final Yak-9s were eventually replaced by the MiG-15 jet fighter. One Yak-9 is preserved at the Homeland Liberation Museum at Pyongyang.

One Yak-9P was captured in airworthy condition by US forces at Kimpo airfield on 17 September 1950, and subsequently shipped to USA for evaluation. It arrived at Buffalo for rebuild by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. The Yak-9U was assigned the serial number T2-3002, with the first flight in US hands occurring on 21 September 1951. In all, 23 hours and 55 minutes of flying time was accumulated in the Yak-9. The last flight took place on 12 December. Following the conclusion of the tests, the Yak-9 was allotted to the USAF Museum in the mid-1950s. Sadly, due to lack of storage space, it was scrapped in 1958. Interestingly, it is alleged that the Yak was offered back to the Soviet Union as a gift by the USAF!

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
Red 3       Yak-9P shot down
Black 32       Yak-9P captured at Kimpo, and shipped to USA for evaluation. Scrapped in 1958
Black 49       Destroyed on the ground
Black 15       Yak-9U


None available at present.

More Information


  • Yakovlev’s Piston-Engined Fighters – Red Star Volume 5 (Yefim Gordon & DMitry Komissarov)
  • Yakovlev Yak-9P (Robert Panek)

Other Sources

To be added.

See other operators of the Yakovlev Yak-9

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