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Soviet Union's Lavochkin La-5 fighter


Lavochkin La-5 fighter video part 1:
Soviet Union's Lavochkin La-5 fighter
Lavochkin La-5 fighter video part 2:
Soviet Union's Lavochkin La-5 fighter


Semyon Alekseievich Lavochkin started working on the design for the Lavochkin La-5 / LaG-53 in October 1941.1,3,5

The Lavochkin La-5 was based on the Lavochkin LaGG-3.1,4,5 The La-5 also had an all wood construction.1 The La-5FN used metal and wood construction.5


The La-5 used a better engine than the LaGG-3 to improve performance.5 It was the Shvetsov M.82 radial engine (1,600 HP).5 By eliminating the cooling system it saved weight.5 The front of the fuselage was extended to allow for the engine to fit.5

The engine was again improved in 1943 with the La-5FN that had a M.82FN direct injection engine (1,640 HP).5


The wing was constructed of plastic bonded wood veneer strips.1

There were five self sealing fuel tanks in each wing.1 To improve maneuverability the outer two tanks were usually left empty.1

The control surfaces were light allow with a fabric covering.1

Tail wheel

The tail wheel was retractable but was unreliable.1


The elevator and rudder were made of an alloy frame with fabric covering.1


The rear fuselage was cut down to allow for better visibility than the LaGG-3.2,3


The La-5 prototype first flew in March 1942.4

The acceptance trials for the La-5 prototype was completed in May 1942.2,3


First entered production in July 1942 with approximately 1,182 built by the end of the year.1,2,3

Around 12,000 Lavochkin's were produced.1

  • Lavochkin La-5: 1,1823, 9,9204
  • Lavochkin La-5FN:
  • Total: 21,8753 (includes La-7)
    • Manufacturer: State Industries5


  • Lavochkin La-5:
  • Lavochkin La-5N: Appeared in March 1943.4 The engine was a fuel injected M-82FN.4
  • Lavochkin La-5FN: Appeared in 1943.1
  • Lavochkin La-5UTI: Trainer.2,3,4 Two seats.4 Armament was usually removed.4


Liked for it's low level dog fighting, the La-5 was liked by it's pilots and many of the Soviet aces flew the La-5.1 The ace of aces, Ivan Kozhedub, flew the La-5 and shot down 62 enemy planes.1,2,5 He flew La-5s, La-5FNs, and La-7s from March 26, 1943 to April 19, 1945.3 Kozhedub also shot down a Me. 262 while flying a La-7.5


The La-5 became operational in the spring of 1942.5


The first large use of the La-5s were over Stalingrad.1,2,3,4,5


Lavochkin La-5s escorted Il-2 Shturmovik's during the battle of Kursk.1 The La-5s would also be used as tank busters, and once they expended their heavy weapons they would climb to be escorts for the Il-2s.3

After World War II

The Lavochkin La-11, the last piston fighter, was used by Communist forces in 1960.1


  Lavochkin LaG-53,4
Type Fighter3,4
Crew 14
Engine (Type) M-823
Cylinders Radial3
HP 1,6003
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Wing area  
Service ceiling  
  Lavochkin La-5FN1,2,3,5
Type Fighter1,2,3,5, Fighter bomber3
Crew 11,2,3,5
Engine (Type) Shvetsov M-82FN1,2,4,5
ASh-82FN piston3
Cylinders Radial1,3, Radial 144,5
Cooling Air5
HP 1,6405, 1,6501,2,3, 1,8504
Propeller blades 31,2,4
Fuel capacity  
Span 32'1, 32' 1.75"3, 32' 2"4,5, 32' 5.75"2
9.8 m1,3,4, 9.9 m2
Length 27' 10.75"2, 27' 11"5, 28'1, 28' 2.5"4, 28' 5.3"3
8.5 m2, 8.6 m4, 8.67 m1,3
Height 8'1, 8' 4"2,3, 9' 3"4,5
2.54 m1,2,3, 2.82 m4
Wing area 189 ft2 1, 189.3 ft2 3, 201.8 ft2 2
17.59 m2 1,3, 18.75 m2 2
Empty 5,737 lb1, 5,743 lb3, 6,173 lb2,4
2,605 kg1,3, 2,800 kg2,4
Loaded 7,406 lb5, 7,407 lb4, 7,408 lb2,3, 7,932 lb1
3,360 kg1,2,3,4
Speed 403 mph1
650 kph1
Speed @ 16,400' 402 mph5
Speed @ 16,405' /
5,000 m
402 mph2,3
647 kph2,3
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
403 mph4
648 kph4
Climb 3,600'/minute4
1,097 m/minute4
Climb to 3,280' /
1,000 m
0.35 minutes2
Climb to 16,000' /
5,000 m
5 minutes1,3
Service ceiling 32,8004,5, 32,810'2, 36,000'1, 36,090'3
10,000 m2,4, 11,000 m1,3
Range 435 miles2,5, 475 miles1,3,4
700 km2, 765 km1,3,4
Armament 2: 20 mm5
Bombs 330 lb5
Above engine 2: 20 mm4
2: 20 mm ShVAK1,2,3
OR 2: 23 mm NS1,2,3 (later aircraft)2,3
Under wings Rockets or light bombs4
331 lb bombs2,3, 350 lb bombs1
150 kg bombs2,3, 158 kg bombs1
OR 4: 3" rockets1, 3.23" rockets2 , 3.23" RS-82 rockets3
4: 82 mm rockets1, 82 mm RS 82 rockets2,3
OR 2: PTAB anti-tank weapons3


  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  5. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
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