Unknown author, photo (48k) from Lavochkin design bureau Home Page
After designing the LaGG-3, the designers split. It soon
became obvious that the only cure for the shortcomings of the LaGG-3 was a new, more
powerful engine. The best alternative was the M-82 radial.
S.A.Lavochkin managed to modify the LaGG-3 to accept this engine, despite the
lack of official support. The La-5 entered service in 1942. In its developed
La-5FN version it was superior to the German fighters at low and medium altitudes.
With arrival of La-5's and later La-7 to the front line units era of
domination on the east front was over - now and up to the end of the war 'Messer' was outgunned, slower and more vulnerable than
Lavochkin with air-cooled engine.
and its latest modifications, such as
had advantage in speed... above 4000m where it hardly could find any use on the East front. Indeed, most air activity
there took place well below 5000m, often almost near the ground (see Il-2 page).
And record speed of those fighters could be sustained only for very limited time. On low altitudes it was not a big threat for
more agile (just check wing load for La-5, La-7,
Yak-3) Soviet fighters.
Its disadvantages included too simple cockpit equipment (but absolutely sufficient for daylight prop fighter),
short range, a bounce-inducing undercarriage, and in the early stages very poor production quality.
Later production modifications :
La-5 served after the WWII in airforse of some East European countries.
La-5, French site;
Michael Fletcher's Site;
Of course, La-5 at
World War II Fighters;
Virtual Aircraft Museum
La-5FN model page by
DOO Flightsimulator page by Oleg Devjatkin;