The Yakovlev Yak-1 was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. The Yak-1 was a single-seat monoplane with a composite structure and wooden wings. Production began in early 1940. The Yak-1 was a maneuverable, fast and competitive fighter aircraft. The composite-wooden structure made it easy to maintain and the engine proved to be reliable. It formed the basis for subsequent developments from the Yakovlev bureau. It was the founder of a family of aircraft, with some 43,000 being built. As a reward, designer Alexander Yakovlev was awarded the Order of Lenin (the highest civilian decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union), a 100,000 ruble prize, and a ZIS motor car.