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Lavochkin La-7

Soviet Union (1944)
Picture of Lavochkin La-7 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

The Lavochkin La-7 prop-powered fighter appeared as an improved La-5 in the later years of World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lavochkin La-7 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Lavochkin La-7 was an improved variant of the preceding La-5 form. It incorporated a new Shvetsov engine, uprated to increased the mount's maximum speed though, on the whole, it remained largely the same aircraft with a new designation. Other subtle changes were incorporated based on combat actions with the La-7 and first flight of a modified prototype was in February of 1944. Service entry then followed rather quickly in September of 1944. The La-7 led a relatively short operational service life though, being retired during 1950 - the jet age now taking hold. Production of La-7 fighters numbered 5,753 units.

As completed, the La-7 sported similar lines to the original La-5. The cockpit was heavily framed and situated at amidships. The mainplanes were set under and ahead of the cockpit floor. The engine was shrouded over in a rounded cowling with a large spinner capping the three-bladed propeller unit. The tail was tapered and formed the curved vertical fin which mounted mid-set tailplanes on either side. The fuselage spine was only slightly raised to degrade vision to the rear but required for the internal volume it allowed engineers. The undercarriage remained a tail-dragger arrangement with two main legs and a tailwheel - all retractable.

Power was through a single Shvetsov ASh-82FN 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 1,650 horsepower. This drove a three-bladed VISh-105V-4 series propeller blade assembly at front. Maximum speed reached 411 miles per hour of late-war models and ranges out to 415 miles. Service ceiling was 34,300 feet and rate-of-climb a strong 3,095 feet per minute.
Standard armament began as 2 x 20mm ShVAK cannons with 200 rounds afforded each gun. This could be substituted with 3 x 20mm Berezin B-20 series cannons with 100 rounds per gun. As with the La-5 before it, the La-7 retained performance qualities in the low-to-medium altitude range which meant it a stable platform for the fighter-bomber role as well as a fighter. For this role, the La-7 could also be outfitted with air-to-surface rockets and up to 440lbs of conventional drop ordnance.

Beyond the Soviet Air Force, the La-7 was only utilized by the Czechoslovakian Air Force.

The only definitive production variant became the La-7UTI which served as a trainer model. This incorporated a second seat for the instructor at the expense of internal volume. 584 of the type were produced into 1947. Other one-off variants included the La-7TK used in testing a turbosupercharger development and the La-7R to test a rocket motor propulsion system. The La-7PVRD was similar in scope and used in testing of a pair of ramjet installations under the wings. Another one-off model became the La-7/M-71 which fitted a Shvetsov M-71 engine during 1944.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (411mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Lavochkin La-7's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
5753
5753


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1944
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Lavochkin - Soviet Union
Production: 5,753
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Czechoslovakia; Soviet Union
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lavochkin La-7 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
28.22 ft


Meters
8.6 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
32.15 ft


Meters
9.8 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.33 ft


Meters
2.54 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,512 lb


Kilograms
2,500 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,385 lb


Kilograms
3,350 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Shvetsov ASh-82FN 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,650 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
411 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
661 kph


Knots
357 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
413 mi


Kilometers
665 km


Nautical Miles
359 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
34,285 ft


Meters
10,450 m


Miles
6.49 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
3,095 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
943 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
2 x 20mm ShVAK cannons OR 3 x 20mm Berezin B-20 cannons.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 440lbs of external ordnance including rockets and conventional drop bombs.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• La-7 - Base Series Designation; definitive production form; improved La-5.
• La-7UTI - Two-seat trainer; 584 exampes
• La-7TK - Turbosupercharger testbed; single example.
• La-7R - Rocket engine testbed; single example.
• La-7PVRD - Ramjet engine testbed; single example.
• La-7/M-71 - M-71 engine testbed; single example.