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Bf-109G-10 vs. LA-7
The 109G-6 and the Yak-9 have very similar performance. On the deck, their top speeds are near equal, but while the Yak-9 turns a bit better and has better acceleration, the Gustav (due to it's better climb rate) can still dictate the vertical energy fight.
The Gustav and the Yak-9U both have two 12.7mm machine guns in the cowl, and a 20mm cannon firing through the prop spinner. The Yak-9U's 20mm Shvak cannon has a higher rate of fire, while the Gustav's MG 151/20 carries a larger magazine of ammunition. The Yak-9T has one less MG and it's cannon is a 37mm designed for "Tank Busting" and has a low velocity, BUT, beware getting close enough to get hit by it as it will only take a couple of hits from it to blow you to pieces. The Gustav has a 30mm cannon or 2x 20mm in gondolas as an option. While the 30mm is better than the Yak's 37mm for A2A work, it is better left to busting bombers with - as the low velocity rounds are only accurate up to 200 yards. The 20mm gondolas give a better option giving you a total brace of 3x20mm cannons (one in spinner) and 2x13mm machine guns - almost on par with the FW-190! One note though - while placing the gondolas on the Gustav will greatly increase your firepower - it will greatly cut your agility it both speed, climb and turning ability.
The single glaring difference between these two aircraft is High Altitude Performance. The Yak-9 lacks a supercharger, thus suffers terribly at higher and even medium altitudes. This weakness is the key to beating the Yak-9. In ALL engagements you should strive to keep the fight at 10K or higher. While performance is near equal on the deck, exploiting the Yak-9's weakness really reduces the amount of work necessary to get the kill.
|ATTACKING A YAK-9:
The most frustrating aspect of combat with any Yak series fighter is it's small size. Even at 200 yards, it looks like a small spec on your canopy. When attacking from a high 5, 6 or 7 o'clock position, the Yak will often break away from your gunsight before he's even big enough to fire at. Counter this missed gun pass with an Immelman or high yo-yo to position yourself above him and try for another gun pass.
If the Yak does a Split-S, do not follow, instead climb or Immelman up and reassess the situation. Try to sucker him into a Rope-a-Dope, or position for a high percentage, close range deflection shot. While the Yak is hard to hit, it's small size makes it quite vulnerable to gunfire once you do hit it.
|MERGING WITH A YAK-9:
In the event with a head-on merge with a Yak-9, climb. Climb up to at least 15K and then resume the initiative from your new advantageous position. If Ivan tried to follow your climb, he's now hanging behind and below "wheazing" along in a perfect position to be reversed on. Use a spiral climb to set him up, followed by a stalling Hammerhead to reverse. There is litte reason to engage the Yak-9 at lower altitudes when you can gain such a hugh advantage with a quick zoom climb.
In the event that a Yak is diving on you, execute a snap roll or fake Split-S to throw off his aim. After he's overshot, change your heading and try to gain horizontal seperation so you can climb away from him or your wingman can deal with him. If worse comes to worse and you have some bloodthirsty Cossack glued to your posterior, there are some moves with which to throw off his aim and hopefully disengage yourself from the situation. Any hard negative-G manuver works well, since in order to keep you in sight the enemy has to roll over. A hard pushover followed by a steep climb is usually enough to throw off even the most aggressive enemy - even an unexpected outside loop can do the trick. A rolling scissors is also very effective, but beware as the Yak-9 does not overshoot as easily as your usual Spitfire.
Something to keep in mind is that the Yak-9 is not often flown by inexperienced pilots, as is the case with the Spitfire. It's small ammo clip and low endurance discourages use by most except expert pilots and VVS Squad pilots that can get the most out of the plane, so make a point of giving special respect to the Yak. The extra caution will serve you well.
If I can emphasize one thing when fighting Yak's (or any Soviet a/c for that matter), is STAY HIGH. When in doubt, climb. When not in doubt, climb. Down low the Yak-9 is a fast, manuverable killing machine - while up high (10K +) it is slow, ackward and easy to kill. Even staying above 5K can give you the edge in a close situation. However, if you find yourself on the deck in a chase with a Yak-9 on your 6, there may be little hope unless you have a wingman with you. If you don't have a wingman with you then you deserve to be shot down.