Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Goudkov LaGG-3

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Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Goudkov LaGG-3 series 66
Missing image
LaGG-3.jpg
Image:LaGG-3.jpg


photo shows earlier series 35 aircraft
Description
RoleFighter
Crewone, pilot
First FlightJuly 14, 1940
Entered Service1941
ManufacturerLavochkin-Gorbunov-Goudkov
Dimensions
Length8.81 m28 ft 10 in
Wingspan9.80 m32 ft 1 in
Height4.40 m14 ft 5 in
Wing area17.5 m²188 ft²
Weights
Empty2,205 kg4,851 lb
Loaded2,620 kg5,764 lb
Maximum takeoff3,190 kg7,018 lb
Powerplant
EngineKlimov M-105PF
Power924 kW1,240 hp
Performance
Maximum speed591 km/h369 mph
Range650 km406 miles
Service ceiling9,600 m31,500 ft
Rate of climb892 m/min2,926 ft/min
Wing loading150 kg/m²31 lb/ft²
Power/Mass350 W/kg0.21 hp/lb
Avionics
Avionics
Armament
Guns2 x 12.7 mm BS machine guns
1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon

The Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Goudkov LaGG-3 (Лавочкин-Горбунов-Гудков ЛаГГ-3) was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a refinement of the earlier LaGG-1, and was one of the most modern aircraft available to the Soviet Air Force at the time of Germany's attempted invasion.

The central deficiency of the LaGG-1 design was a lack of power. The first attempt to rectify this was to install a more powerful version of its Klimov M-105 engine. In itself, this change did not help very much, and without an alternative powerplant, the only solution was to lighten the airframe. The LaGG design team re-examined the design and pared down the structure as much as possible. They also added fixed slats to the wings to improve climb and manoeuvrability and further weight was saved by installing lighter armament. The LaGG-3 replaced the LaGG-1 on production lines immediately.

The result was still disappointing, as even with the lighter airframe and supercharged engine, the LaGG-3 was still underpowered and proved immensely unpopular with the pilots assigned to fly it. The novel, wood-laminate construction of the aircraft continued to be a quality-control problem (as it had been with its predecessor) and pilots joked that rather than being an acronym of the designers' names (Lavochkin, Gorbunov, and Goudkov) "LaGG" stood for lakirovanny garantirovanny grob ("guaranteed varnished coffin" - лакированный гарантированный гроб). Some aircraft supplied to the front line were up to 40km/h (25 mph) slower than they should have been, and some were even supplied in an unairworthy condition. Despite all this, the fighter still acquitted itself well against the Luftwaffe's Bf 109Es, largely through an ability to absorb massive amounts of damage.

The LaGG-3 was constantly improved and updated during its production run, resulting in 66 minor variants within the 6,258 that were eventually built. Experiments with fitting a large radial engine to the LaGG-3 airframe finally solved the power problem, and led to the superb Lavochkin La-5.

Related content
Related development LaGG-1 - La-5 - La-7
Similar aircraft Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Supermarine Spitfire - Curtiss P-40 - Kawasaki Ki-61
Designation series LaGG-1 - LaGG-3 - La-5 - La-7 - La-9
Related lists List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS - List of fighter aircraft


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

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