La-15 'Fantail' by S.A.Lavochkin

Two b/w photos (40k, 30k) of La-15 from Ned Avejic collection

mall swept-wing jet fighter, production version of the La-174D with RD-500 engine. Weight increased by 142kg compared with the prototype, and flight performance slightly suffered. But this deterioration did not affect outcome of trials.
Pilots loved La-15 for easy handling and reliability. Pressurized cockpit allowed to increase ceiling against other contemporary fighters.
Production version normally was used without external tank. Flight endurance was only 40-50min, but performance was better than with the tank. Ceiling was up to 14800m.
44k La-15 at Monino by Paul Nann

La-15 and its trainer version La-15UTI ('180') were first Soviet jet fighters with full-hydraulic flight control system, including automatic control load system (Zhuravchenko).
Mass manufacturing was under preparation (A.K.Belenkov), but never started. Reason was in large number of complicated tooling of the airframe. Despite superiority of the La-15, more technological MiG-15 was preferred.
About 500 were built. They were in service until 1954.
La-15 with underbelly tank, drawing by I.G.Soultanov from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.2 p.352
Technical data
Type La-15
Function Fighter
Year 1948
Crew 1
Engines 1*1590kg RD-500
Length 9.56m
Wingspan 8.83m
Wing area 16.16m2
Empty weight 2575kg
Loaded weight 3850kg
Wing load 238kg/m2
Trust-to-Weight 0.41
Speed at 0m 900km/h
Speed at 3000m1026km/h
Takeoff Roll 640m
Landing Roll 630m
Range 1170km
Flight Endurance 2h6min
Ceiling 13500m
5000m 3.1min
Guns 3*23mm cannons NS-23
Modified February 24, 1998
Alexandre Savine
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