La-5 / La-5FN, S.A.Lavochkin

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 Bf-109 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.
Fokke-Wulf's FW-190 and its latest modifications, such as Ta-152(C,D,H) 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-7, La-9, La-11 ;

La-5 served after the WWII in airforse of some East European countries.
More Links...
  • La-5, French site;
  • La-5FN at Michael Fletcher's Site;
  • La-5, Lavochkin
  • Of course, La-5 at World War II Fighters;
  • La-5 at Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • La-5FN model page by Dariusz Tyminski
  • DOO Flightsimulator page by Oleg Devjatkin;
  • Soviet Warbirds
  • Technical data
    Type La-5FN
    Function fighter
    Year 1943
    Crew 1
    Engines 1*1850hp Shvetsov ASh-82FN
    Wing Span 9.80m
    Length 8.60m
    Height 2.54m
    Wing Area 17.50m2
    Empty Weight 2800kg
    Maximum Weight 3360kg
    Speed 648km/h
    Ceiling 9500m
    Range 775km
    Guns 2-3*g20mm
    Bombs 100kg
    Modified August 2, 1996
    by Alexandre Savine;
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