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Soviet Union's Lavochkin La-7 fighter

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  • Lavochkin La-7 fighter

Design

The Lavochkin La-7 was an improved La-5.

Wing

The wing was made of metal. The leading edges of the wings were aerodynamically improved.

Engine

The La-7 had a Shvetsov radial engine installed (1,775 HP). The cowling over the engine was smooth. The La-7 had the oil radiator moved to the bottom of the fuselage.

A few La-7s had a rocket installed in the rear to allow for short bursts of speed. The increased speed was about 10-15%.

Prototype

The La-7 prototype first flew in November 1943.

Production

  • Lavochkin La-7: 5,753
  • Total: 21,875 (includes La-5)
    • Manufacturer: State Industries

Variants

  • Lavochkin La-7:
  • Lavochkin La-7UTI: Trainer.
  • Lavochkin La-9: Designed in 1944. Became operational late in World War II. Wing redesigned.

Usage

Started appearing in spring 1944.

Jet Killer

In February 1945, the only Soviet fighter that shot down a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet was a La-7. This was done by Ivan Kozedub.

Specifications

  Lavochkin La-7
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Shvetsov
Shvetsov M-82FN
M-82FNU or M-82FNV
ASh-82FN
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,775, 1,850, 2,000
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 27' 11", 28' 2.5"
8.6 m
Height 9' 2", 9' 3"
2.82 m
Weight  
Empty 5,842 lb
2,650 kg
Loaded 7,496 lb
3,400 kg
Performance  
Speed 423 mph
680 kph
Speed at 19,030' / 5,800 m 423 mph
680 kph
Speed at 21,000' 423 mph
Climb 3,940'/minute
1,200 m/minute
Service ceiling 34,450'
10,500 m
Range 395 miles
635 km
Armament 3: 20 mm ShVak
Bombs 330 lb
Above engine 2 or 3: 20 mm
3: 20 mm
OR 3: 23 mm
Under wings Rockets or light bombs
  Lavochkin La-9
Type Fighter
Engine (Type)  
HP 1,870
Performance  
Speed at Sea Level 430 mph
Climb to 16,250' 4' 2"
Range 1,100 miles

Sources:

  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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site