Lavochkin La-5

Russian fighter of the second world war

The aircraft "La-5" designed by engineer Lavochkin, together with the Yak-9, was among the best fighters of the Soviet Union. This aircraft, which was a further development of the La-3, was superior in all respects to the Focke-Wulf-190 produced by the Germans.

The plane "La-5" is a single-seat low-wing aircraft. Mixed design. The landing gear was hydraulically retracted into the wings, the tail wheel into the fuselage. The drive is a fourteen-cylinder engine (double star). Three-bladed propeller. metal, adjustable. The armament consisted of 2 cannons placed in the hull. The aircraft could also carry small loads of bombs.

The team of the design bureau, headed by S.A. Lavochkin, in December 1941 completed the modification of the LaGG-3 fighter, which was being mass-produced, for the ALU-82 radial engine. Alterations were relatively small, the dimensions and design of the aircraft were preserved, but due to the larger midsection of the new engine, a second, inoperative skin was placed on the sides of the fuselage. This was done in order not to suspend the mass production of aircraft. In the future, the fuselage was redone. A modified aircraft that received the La-5 brand. accepted for mass production.

The efficiency of performing a large amount of finishing work during the tests of the La-5 was largely determined by the close interaction of the design bureau of S.A. Lavochkin with the Air Force Research Institute, LII, TsIAM and the design bureau of A.D. Shvetsov. Thanks to this, it was possible to quickly resolve many issues related mainly to the layout of the power plant and bring the La-5 to the series before another fighter appeared on the conveyor instead of the LaGG.

Already in September 1942, fighter regiments equipped with La-5 vehicles took part in the battle of Stalingrad and achieved major successes. The battles showed that the new Soviet fighter has serious advantages over enemy aircraft of the same class. Its speed - 613 km / h - with good maneuverability was higher than the speed of the best enemy fighters. The fuselage is semi-monocoque, glued from birch veneer 1.15-0.75 mm thick in five to eight layers, with a decrease in thickness from nose to tail. At first, there was still a double fuselage skin behind the hood, but then the fuselage was completely redesigned in full accordance with the dimensions of the M-82 engine. The wing is two-spar, with an area of ​​17.56 m2 and a span of 9.8 m, with slats. Ailerons of small scope, slotted, sheathing - canvas. Wing skin - plywood 3 mm. The armament of the La-5 consisted of two synchronous ShVAK cannons.

High horizontal flight speeds, good rate of climb and throttle response, combined with better vertical maneuverability than the LaGG-3, led to a sharp qualitative leap in the transition from LaGG-3 to La-5. The air-cooled motor had greater survivability than the liquid-cooled motor and at the same time was a kind of protection for the pilot from fire from the front hemisphere. Using this property, the pilots flying the La-5 boldly launched frontal attacks, imposing on the enemy a battle tactic that was beneficial to them.

Of course, during the transition to serial production, the flight data of the La-5 deteriorated somewhat compared to its prototype, but not as significantly as that of other Soviet fighters. Thus, the speed at low and medium altitudes decreased by only 7-11 km / h, the rate of climb remained almost unchanged, and the turn time, thanks to the installation of slats, even decreased from 25 to 22.6 s.

In 1943, 5047 La-5 fighters were produced. During the war years, many Soviet aces fought on this aircraft and its later modifications, among them Kozhedub, Alelyuhin, Popkov (the prototype of the Maestro), Pokryshev and many others.

Span 9.69 m
Length 8.71 m
Bearing area 17.4 m2
Speed ​​max. 622 km/h

Lavochkin La-5FN

La-5 is one of the basic Soviet fighters used during World War II. It was constructed in the shortest possible time in the Bureau of Experiments of Semyon Lawochkin on the basis of LaGG-3.
Most of the elements, incl. the design of the fuselage and wings was the same as in its predecessor.
The La-5 FN was the last modification of the La-5 fighter.

It got the better two-star M-82FN engine. In addition to changing the power unit, the plane was equipped with, among others into a lighter chassis and better thermal insulation. In order to reduce production costs, pine wood was used as a building material, and from 1944 mainly metal was used.
As a result of all the improvements, the La-5FN significantly exceeded the German BF-109G and FW-190A in terms of low and medium altitude speed and maneuverability.

The first mass use of the La-5 FN in combat conditions took place in the summer of 1943 during the Battle of the Kursk region. Advantages of the La-5 FN: very good performance at low and medium altitudes, high maneuverability, strong armament, good visibility from the cockpit, good durability of the aircraft, ease of piloting. Disadvantages: similar to its predecessors - the wooden structure of the first units and medium range (the fuel tank only allowed him to fly for about 50 minutes). From the beginning of the period of use to the end of the war (1942-1945), 10,000 aircraft of all La-5 series were produced.