Military Factory logo

Lavochkin La-160

Soviet Union (1947)
Picture of Lavochkin La-160 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Prototype

The Lavochkin La-160 jet-powered fighter prototype was another in the long line of products put forth by the company in forming the early jet age for the Soviets.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lavochkin La-160 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 2/26/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Lavochkin concern of the Soviet Union provided several notable wartime fighter developments during World War 2 (1939-1945) including the LaGG-3 and the La-5 - both prop-driven platforms. Towards the end of the war, the focus became jet-powered fighters and this was hurried along to keep pace with developments in Britain, the United States and elsewhere. Stalin himself ordered several projects directly and Lavochkin engineers were part of a greater collective to see that the Soviet Union stay one step ahead of its soon-to-be post-war enemies. Its La-150 was a sound attempt at an early jet fighter and the La-156 was the first Soviet fighter to fly with an afterburning turbojet engine installed. The follow-up La-160 brought about its own "first" as the first Soviet aircraft to feature swept-back wing mainplanes.

La-160 shared common traits with Lavochkin's other early jet-powered types - it was designed around a "pod-and-boom" arrangement which resulted in a deep fuselage, nose-mounted intake and mid-set cockpit. The position of the engine within the forward section of the fuselage forced the cockpit back some from earlier Lavochkin jet attempts which seated the pilot nearer the nose. The engine exhausted under the midway point of the fuselage's length. The tail unit was highly conventional with its single vertical fin and horizontal plane pairing. The undercarriage, given a modern three-point stance, was wheeled and wholly retractable into the fuselage. For its fighter role, a battery of cannon was to arm the type, this being 2 x 37mm systems fitted in the nose.

Engineers elected for a sweepback of 35-degrees along the wing leading edges and this, in turn, promoted sweepback of the trailing edges. These appendages were mid-mounted along the sides of the fuselage, though well-ahead of midships, and of a very thin chord which restricted internal space for fuel and armament. The RD-10 turbojet engine, the Soviet copy of the wartime German Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet, was installed to the first La-160 when it attempted to get airborne during June of 1947. As this engine outputted at just 1,984 pounds thrust, the airframe could not lift off the ground so ground trials were conducted during this time. Ultimately, this led to the installation of the improved RD-10F, which included an afterburn capability promising the needed propulsion, hich could output at up to 2,580 pounds thrust. A first flight was finally had on July 23rd, 1947 and subsequent testing recorded a post-dive speed of 659 miles per hour. From this promising start came a public unveiling during the 1947 Tushino Aviation Day.
However, the La-160 never evolved beyond its data-collection role and joined many other Lavochkin jet-powered forms to be passed on by Soviet authorities. It proved valuable to the company's future work as well as Soviet aeronautics but little value was seen in pursuing the type as a frontline fighter when more advanced shapes were being contemplated. The sole prototype was eventually lost when it broke up in midair - showcasing the dangerous research involved in high-speed flight and advanced aerodynamics. The cause was blamed on wing flutter.

For its time in aviation history, the La-160 garnered the unofficial name of "Stelka" meaning "Arrow", owing to its sharply-angled wing mainplanes. The La-168 owed much to the work and data collected on the La-160 and appeared through an all-new design form that made heavier use of sweptback wing surfaces (including the planes at the tail).

As completed, La-160 was given a length of 10 meters, a wingspan of 8.95 meters and a height of 4 meters. Its empty listed weight was 6,035 pounds against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 8,950 pounds. Recorded performance specifications included a maximum speed of 602 miles per hour, a range out to 620 miles and a service ceiling of 40,000 feet. Rate-of-climb was seen at 3,905 feet per minute.






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: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (603mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 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-160'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
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1947
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Lavochkin OKB - Soviet Union
Production: 1
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
Soviet Union (cancelled)
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-160 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
32.81 ft


Meters
10 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
29.36 ft


Meters
8.95 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
13.45 ft


Meters
4.1 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
6,030 lb


Kilograms
2,735 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
8,951 lb


Kilograms
4,060 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x YuF RD-10 turbojet engine with afterburner developing 1,984 lb thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
603 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
970 kph


Knots
524 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
621 mi


Kilometers
1,000 km


Nautical Miles
540 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
39,370 ft


Meters
12,000 m


Miles
7.46 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
3,905 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
1,190 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

2 x 37mm cannons in nose
Variants: Series Model Variants
• La-160 - Base Series Designation; one prototype completed.