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Lavochkin La-9 (Fritz) Fighter (1946)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 7/14/2014

The Lavochkin La-9 was a further evolution of the Lavochkin La-126 prototype.

Picture of Lavochkin La-9 (Fritz)
Lavochkin produced two notable fighters during the defense of the Soviet Union in World War 2 (1939-1945), these being the La-5 and La-7 series. The La-9 was in development by war's end and became a direct development of the La-7 by way of the La-126, a late-war prototype. The Lavochkin La-9 was eventually adopted by the Soviet Air Force and codenamed "Fritz" by NATO. When compared to the La-7 before it, the La-9 represented the same aircraft through with all-metal construction and of slightly larger dimension. The aircraft began operational service during 1946 - to late to see action in World War 2 - and went on to serve in the inventories of a few Soviet-supported countries including China, Romania, and North Korea. Its production run covered two years and totaled 1,500 examples. The La-9 also marked one of Lavochkin's last piston-engined fighters before the shift to jet-powered types in the ensuing years.

The La-9 featured a conventional arrangement with a low-wing monoplane and single-seat cockpit. The fuselage was well-streamlined and its tail-dragger undercarriage retractable (including tailwheel). Armament consisted of 4 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons with 50 projectiles afforded each gun. The all-metal construction of the aircraft allowed engineers to save structural weight which produced increased fuel capacity and greater operational ranges. The weight-saving also allowed for the inclusion of the large-caliber 23mm cannons in the nose.

Power came from a Shvetsov ASh-82FN air-cooled radial piston engine (driving a three-blade propeller) complete with two-stage supercharged and fuel-injection for increased power. Output was 1,850 horsepower, propelling the La-9 to speeds of 430 miles per hour and ranges of 435 miles. Its service ceiling measured 35,400 feet with a rate-of-climb of 3,510 feet per minute.

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Specifications for the
Lavochkin La-9 (Fritz)

Focus Model: Lavochkin La-9 (Fritz)
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer: Lavochkin - Soviet Union
Initial Year of Service: 1946
Production Total: 1,559

Crew: 1

Length: 28.31 ft (8.63 m)
Width: 32.15 ft (9.80 m)
Height: 11.68ft (3.56 m)
Weight (Empty): 12,822 lb (5,816 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 16,647 lb (7,551 kg)

Powerplant: 1 x Shvetsov ASh-82FN air-cooled radial piston engine generating 1,850hp.

Maximum Speed: 429 mph (690 kmh; 373 kts)
Maximum Range: 672 miles (1,082 km)
Service Ceiling: 35,433 ft (10,800 m; 6.7 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 3,489 feet-per-minute (1,063 m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:
4 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons

La-130 - Prototype

La-9 - Base Fighter Model Designation

La-9UTI - Two-Seat Conversion Trainer

La-132 - Proposed Prototype Variant fitted with Shvetsov M-93 engine; never produced.

La-9M - Prototyped Long Range Variant

Soviet Union; China; Romania; North Korea