The Yak-7B in Aces High II
The Yak 7B's engine power compares well to most early war aircraft, especially when one considers that it achieves its numbers without the use of WEP. Air speed starts out at 320 on the deck and climbs gradually to a maximum of 355 mph at 12000 feet, with a slight dip in performance around the 7000ft mark. Climb rate starts out at 2725ft/sec on the deck, with a peak of 3500 ft./sec at 4000 before falling off, again with a slight increase to 2720 ft/sec. at around 11000 ft. Acceleration is below average, but retaining speed is not bad, if not up to the standards of other Yaks.
Aces High II Performance Charts
The Yak 7B possesses the same gun loadout as its cousins the Yak-3 and Yak-9U. The positive aspects are the nose-mounted configuration, which limits convergence issues, and the effectiveness of the guns, which have enough hitting power to down fighters. The downside is the volume of fire, which is simply not enough to severely damage an enemy with a crossing shot, and the ammo load, which is short enough to limit you to downing two or three fighters per sortie. Convergence is best set to around 300 yards, which is roughly the limit of the guns' effective range. Bomber kills are difficult at best. You will need to aim for a wing root or engine to take down a buff, and being able to take out all three bombers in a flight will require accurate shooting and a bit of luck. For Yak drivers, the upside is that the gun load is no better and no worse than the other models. Unlike other Yak models, the 7B has a limited ground attack capability with the addition of rocket racks.
The Yak 7B is a fairly stable bird, well-mannered in sustained turns at most speeds. Its slower top speed gives it a slightly better turn rate, and it remains fairly easy to manage in the vertical, being capable of looping and barrel rolling at speeds that would put a Yak 3 close to a stall. Roll rate and snap-turns are above average, allowing for relatively quick changes of direction. Overall handling is a bit sluggish compared to other Yak models, especially when at full fuel loads. Compressibility is not as much of an issue, possibly because the Yak-7B never quite gets up to the speed of its faster cousins. It will, however, handle quite well in a dive, making it a decent boom and zoom aircraft. Overall this model Yak is stable and easy to fly, if not exactly nimble.
Fighting in the Yak-7B
The Yak 7B's combination of average abilities with few weaknesses can make it a reasonably competent fighter even in the Late War Arena, provided one fights with an added amount of caution. It works best as a Boom and Zoomer, provided you can take enough time to climb out and give the bird time to accelerate to top speed before engaging the enemy. Slashing tactics are also effective, where you can barrel roll onto an enemy's six and take them down with the effective but short-clipped guns. That said, the 7B lacks the Yak 3's built-in escape clauses, having neither the climbing ability nor the speed to pull itself out of trouble, so you need to exit fights early, before anyone can take notice of you and run you down.
Defensively the Yak 7B is actually better at scissors, both flat and rolling, than the Yak 3. It sheds speed faster than its speed-demon cousin while retaining the above-average roll rate and quick-turning ability, and an unwary opponent may assume that you are a later-model Yak and over-estimate their rate of closure.
Fighting against the Yak-7B
For all of its stability and responsiveness, the Yak 7 is still outclassed by most mid and late war rides. Almost any late war plane can out-run it, and any half-decent turning plane can win an angles fight without too much trouble. The 7B can build up speed and retain energy fairly well, but a patient pilot can easily wear it down and corner it. A competent Yak-7 pilot can use its responsive handling and roll rate to frustrate boom and zoom attacks, but only up to a point. It's easy to overestimate the 7B since it resembles its faster cousins at a distance, but once identified, the best way to handle it is to bleed off its energy. Force it to the ground and try to get it to make hard turns, and sooner or later it will be cornered. That said, be wary of a 7B with altitude. The 7B can be effective in the hands of a pilot who knows how to take advantage of its diving ability, and many of the best Yak-3 pilots will take up a 7B to farm perk points, or simply for the challenge.