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Lavochkin La-160

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Prototype

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.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1947
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Lavochkin OKB - Soviet Union
OPERATORS: Soviet Union (cancelled)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lavochkin La-160 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 32.81 feet (10 meters)
WIDTH: 29.36 feet (8.95 meters)
HEIGHT: 13.45 feet (4.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 6,030 pounds (2,735 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 8,951 pounds (4,060 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x YuF RD-10 turbojet engine with afterburner developing 1,984 lb thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 603 miles-per-hour (970 kilometers-per-hour; 524 knots)
RANGE: 621 miles (1,000 kilometers; 540 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,370 feet (12,000 meters; 7.46 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,905 feet-per-minute (1,190 meters-per-minute)

2 x 37mm cannons in nose
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon

Series Model Variants
• La-160 - Base Series Designation; one prototype completed.


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

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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 (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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