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.
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It took 5. It was faster at low to medium altitudes than the La-5 that used the more powerful prototype Shvetsov M engine. The La-5, as well as its predecessors, had been built mostly of wood to conserve strategic materials such as aircraft alloys. With Soviet strategists now confident that supplies of these alloys were unlikely to become a problem, Lavochkin was now able to replace some wooden parts with alloy components. However it was 33 kilometres per hour The Moscow factory was the fastest to complete transition over to La-7 production and the last La-5FN was built there in May Zavod Nr.
The quality of the early production aircraft was significantly less than the etalon due to issues with the engine, incomplete sealing of the cowling and fuselage, and defective propellers.
However four aircraft were lost to engine failures and the engines suffered from numerous lesser problems, despite its satisfactory service in the La-5FN. One cause was the lower position of the engine air intakes in the wing roots of the La-7 which caused the engine to ingest sand and dust.
One batch of flawed wings was built and caused six accidents, four of them fatal, in October which caused the fighter to be grounded until the cause was determined to be a defect in the wing spar.
A total of 5, aircraft had been built by Zavod Nr. Thirty aircraft were provided for the trials, which lasted one month. During this time the new fighters made individual sorties and claimed 55 aerial victories while losing four aircraft in combat. Four other La-7s were lost to non-combat causes, mostly related to engine problems. A total of three pilots were killed during the trials to all causes. Gorbatyuk, a Hero of the Soviet Union , commented: "The La-7 exhibited unquestionable advantages over German aircraft in multiple air combats.
In addition to fighter tasks, photo reconnaissance and bombing were undertaken with success. The aircraft surpasses the La-5FN in speed, manoeuvrability, and, especially, in the landing characteristics.
It requires changes in its armament, and urgent fixing of its engine. At one point during the month, they had fourteen aircraft simultaneously unserviceable with engine failures.
Kozhedub, nicknamed " Ivan the Terrible ", a three-time Hero of Soviet Union , scored his last 17 air victories in in the La-7 numbered 27, which is now preserved in the Central Air Force Museum at Monino on the outskirts of Moscow. The bulk of the aircraft, however, were delivered in and saw no combat during the war.
One of these aircraft survives in the Prague Aviation Museum, Kbely. Such reports arose from misidentification by Western pilots of the La-9s or Las that were given to those countries. He described the handling and performance as "quite superb", but the armament and sights were "below par", the "wooden construction would have withstood little combat punishment" and the instrumentation was "appallingly basic".
Losses to air combat in stand at 79 in total, with overall. However, aircraft that went missing not returning or lost to wear are not included, e. However, the total VVS-KA record loss may not give a true picture of combat losses, as combat losses were often claimed as non-combat losses either to conceal losses or for propaganda purposes. It was destroyed when the TK-3 disintegrated in flight.
Fifteen flights were made in the first quarter of , although the rocket exploded on the ground on 12 May. The aircraft was repaired, but later had an explosion in flight although the pilot managed to land it safely.
Details of any later flights are unknown, but the La-7R was displayed at the August Tushino Airshow with the rocket firing. However the engine was not yet ready for service and the program was cancelled.
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.
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 Piston Fighters
I had never seen this book anywhere other than a couple that cropped up on EBay in early I bought my copy quite cheaply from a chap in Italy. The quality of the paper seems a bit poor and it all feels a little cheaply put together. However, that is where the criticism ends.