Lavochkin La-7

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Lavochkin La-7
Image:LavochkinLa-7.jpg
Description
RoleFighter
Crewone, pilot
First FlightNovember 19 1943 (La-120 prototype)
Entered ServiceMay 1944
ManufacturerLavochkin
Dimensions
Length8.60 m28 ft 2 in
Wingspan9.80 m32 ft 1 in
Height2.540 m8 ft 4 in
Wing area17.5 m²188 ft²
Weights
Empty2,638 kg5,803 lb
Loaded
Maximum takeoff3,400 kg7,480 lb
Powerplant
EngineShvetsov ASh-82FN
Power1,380 kW1,850 hp
Performance
Maximum speed680 km/h425 mph
Range990 km618 miles
Service ceiling9,500 m31,160 ft
Rate of climb1,100 m/min3,608 ft/min
Wing loading
Power/Mass
Avionics
Avionics
Armament
Guns3x 20 mm ShVAK cannon
Stores200 kg (440 lb) of bombs

The Lavochkin La-7 (Лавочкин Ла-7) was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a development and refinement of the Lavochkin La-5, and the last in a family of aircraft that had begun with the LaGG-1 in 1938.

By 1943, the La-5 had become a mainstay of the Soviet Air Force, yet both its head designer, Semyon Lavochkin, as well as the engineers at TsAGI ("Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute") felt that it could be improved upon. The LaGG-1 had been designed at a time when it was felt necessary to conserve strategic materials such as aircraft alloys, and had a structure built almost entirely of wood. With Soviet strategists now confident that supplies of these alloys were unlikely to become a problem, Lavochkin began replacing large parts of the airframe (including the wing spars) with alloy components. Various other streamlining changes were made as well, increasing performance further. The prototype, internally designated La-120 by Lavochkin, flew in November, and was quickly put into production, entering service the following spring.

The La-7 earned itself a superb combat record by the end of the war, and was flown by the top two Soviet aces of the conflict. The aircraft was also used as a testbed to explore advanced propulsion systems, including a tail-mounted liquid-fuelled rocket engine (La-7R), two under-wing pulsejets (La-7D), and two under-wing ramjets (La-7S). None of these variants proved worth pursuing, and turbojet technology quickly overtook them.

The La-7 was the only Soviet fighter to shoot down a Messerschmitt Me262, on one occasion over Germany on Febrary 15, 1945.

Total production of the La-7 amounted to 5,753 aircraft, including a number of La-7UTI trainers. Those aircraft still in service after the end of the war were given the NATO reporting name Fin.

Related content
Related Development LaGG-1 - LaGG-3 - La-5
Similar Aircraft Focke-Wulf Fw 190 - Supermarine Spitfire - P-51 Mustang - Kawasaki Ki-100
Designation Series LaGG-1 - LaGG-3 - La-5 - La-7 - La-9 - La-11 - La-15
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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