AKL-200911 AviaKollektsia N11 2009: Lavochkin La-7 Soviet WW2 Fighter magazine. Photos, schemes, colour pictures. 32 pages, soft cover, text in Russian.

CREATING A PLANE
In 1939, young engineers B.P.Gorbunov, M.I.Gudkov and S.A.Lavochkin designed a new high-speed monoplane fighter. In its construction, wood was mainly used, and the most critical units were made of "delta wood", which was a wooden workpiece impregnated with synthetic resin and pressed at elevated temperatures. This material did not burn, and its tensile strength was close to that of aluminum alloys.
The new aircraft, called the I-301, went to trial in March 1940. After some refinement, we managed to get a maximum speed of 605 km / h - more than that of an I-26 fighter competing with I-301
design A.S. Yakovlev (future Yak-1). Together with more powerful weapons, this served as a sufficient basis for launching the machine into mass production under the name LaGG-3 at plant No. 21 in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). Lavochkin was appointed chief designer of the OKB-21 stationed there. Later LaGG-3 was built by three more enterprises. Production planes were noticeably heavier and pretty much lost in flight data; their speed did not exceed 550 km / h. The experience of the combat use of LaGG-3 during the Great Patriotic War revealed many shortcomings, one of which was considered unsatisfactory thrust-weight ratio. Motor M-105P, created under the guidance of V. Klimov, developed a maximum power of 1100 hp, after boosting the boost, the M-105PF began to produce 1260 hp But this was not enough.
Since the end of 1941, designers began to look for an alternative to the Klimov engine. One of the most promising options was the 14-cylinder twin-row star-shaped M-82 air-cooled motor created by A.D. Shvetsova. He had a rated power of 1400 hp, for a short time he could give up to 1700 hp Having successfully solved the problem of pairing the star-shaped M-82 with the LaGG-3 fuselage, designed for a narrow V-shaped liquid-cooled motor, the designers got a very successful fighter. Its prototype immediately showed 600 km / h in tests. Refusal from liquid cooling allowed to remove the radiator and water lines, and, as a result, the combat survivability of the machine increased. At first the plane was called LaGG-3 M-82, then LaGG-5, LaG-5 and, finally, La-5.
Since June 1942, in Gorky, La-5 was collected in parallel with LaGG-3, and then it completely replaced the latter. The fighter was gradually improved. In particular, the M-82F engines were soon introduced, and since April 1943 La-5FN was in production. They mounted M-82FN engines with direct fuel injection, which developed 1850 hp. Serial planes of this modification had a maximum speed of about 610 km / h.
However, in the La-5FN glider, metal was still used minimally. The transition from a wooden structure to a metal would significantly facilitate the aircraft and, with the same engine, improve its flight data. But the country lacked aluminum and alloy steels. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, Lavochkin began to introduce metal elements into the structure. Started with wing spars. Since March 1944, part of the La-5FN was produced as a “Type 41” with spars having alloy steel shelves and aluminum alloy walls. Such fighters were lighter than wooden ones and excelled them in every way.

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