A brutal survival of the fittest ensured a rapid evolution of these characterful machines; the final fighters were over six times faster and around ten times heavier than the first generation. The Tigercat also had forty times more horsepower than a World War I fighter. The era of classic fighter planes ended on a high-point with huge, powerful masterpieces. To keep this blog going- allowing us to create new articles- we need donations. You will keep us impartial and without advertisers — and allow us to carry on being naughty. A big thank you to all of our readers.

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The LaGG-3 was a modification of that design that attempted to correct this by both lightening the airframe and fitting a more powerful engine. Nevertheless, this was not enough, and the lack of power remained a significant problem.

Since the LaGG-3 was powered by an inline engine , they accomplished this by grafting on the nose section of a Sukhoi Su-2 which used this engine. When the prototype took flight in March, the result was surprisingly pleasing — the fighter finally had a powerplant that allowed it to perform as well in the air as it had been supposed to on paper. Gudkov , was no longer with the programme , Air Force test pilots declared it superior to the Yak-7, and intensive flight tests began in April.

By July, Stalin ordered maximum-rate production of the aircraft and the conversion of any incomplete LaGG-3 airframes to the new configuration, now simply known as the La-5 despite Vladimir P. Gorbunov still being with the programme. The prototype was put in mass production almost immediately in factories located in Moscow and in the Yaroslav region. Design changes for main production La-5 models included slats to improve all-round performance.

While still inferior to the best German fighters at higher altitudes, the La-5 proved to be every bit their match closer to the ground. Further refinement of the aircraft involved cutting down the rear fuselage to give the pilot better visibility, making this version the La-5F. Later, a fuel-injected engine, a different engine air intake and further lightening of the aircraft led to the designation La-5FN that would become the definitive version of the aircraft.

A full circle turn took 18—19 seconds. Altogether, 9, La-5s of all variants were built, including a number of dedicated trainer versions, designated La-5UTI. Very late La-5FN production models had two 20mm Berezin B cannon installed in the cowling in place of the heavier two 20mm ShVAK both were capable of a salvo weight of 3.

Further improvements of the aircraft would lead to the Lavochkin La A number of La-5s continued in the service of Eastern Bloc nations after the end of the war, including Czechoslovakia. Flying the La-5[ edit ] In the summer of , a brand-new La-5 made a forced landing on a German airfield, providing the Luftwaffe with an opportunity to test-fly the newest Soviet fighter. Test pilot Hans-Werner Lerche wrote a detailed report of his experience.

All of the engine controls throttle, mixture, propeller pitch, radiator and cowl flaps, and supercharger gearbox had separate levers which forced the pilot to make constant adjustments during combat or risk suboptimal performance. For example, rapid acceleration required moving no less than six levers.

Stability in all axes was generally good. The authority of the ailerons was deemed exceptional but the rudder was insufficiently powerful at lower speeds. The La-5 was found to have a top speed and acceleration at low altitude that were comparable to Luftwaffe fighters.

The La-5FN possessed a slightly higher roll rate than the Bf However, the Bf was slightly faster and had the advantage of a higher rate of climb and better turn rate. However, the Fw A-8 was faster at all altitudes and had significantly better dive performance and a superior roll-rate. Utilizing MW 50 both German fighters had superior performance at all altitudes. The La-5 had its defects. To make things worse, exhaust gas often entered the cockpit due to poor insulation of the engine compartment.

Consequently, pilots ignored orders and frequently flew with their canopies open. At first we received regular La-5s, but then we got new ones containing the ASh FN engine with direct injection of fuel into the cylinders. It was perfected and had better maneuverability, acceleration, speed and climb rate compared to the early variants. Everyone was in love with the La It was easy to maintain, too.


Lavochkin Piston Fighters

Even with all that background, this book managed to turn up several photos of aircraft I had not seen before, definitely a nice surprise. But while my illustrations covered just the wartime Lavochkins, this book handles all the piston-engined aircraft, up through the La, with text, photos and drawings. This book sheds a little light on the problem, but it is not a definitive treatise on the differences between all the LaGG-3 variants. This is a wise choice, as you could easily fill the entire pages with nothing but documenting the different modifications made by the different factories producing the LaGG


Lavochkin La-5

He was hired on to the Soviet TsKB aircraft design bureau, working on a number of projects; in , he and Mikhail I. Gudkov joined a design team led by Vladimir P. Gorbunov, to develop a modern piston fighter designated the "I" -- "Istrebitel Fighter , State Factory ". The first of two I prototypes, painted cherry red, flew for the first time on 30 March , with A. Nikashin at the controls. After a series of initial flights, Nikashin reported that the aircraft was easy to fly; the prototype overflew Moscow during the May Day celebrations of The I emerged as a clean, racy, low-wing monoplane with retractable taildragger landing gear, powered by a Klimov M water-cooled vee inline engine driving a three-bladed variable-pitch propeller; it had three self-sealing fuel tanks in the center wing section.

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