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Gudkov GU-82

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter


The short-lived Gudkov GU-82 was nothing more than an experimental derivative of the LaGG-3 fighter with the M-82 radial engine installed.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Gudkov GU-82 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter.  Entry last updated on 5/28/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Lavochkin-Gorbuniv-Gudkov (LaGG) went on to design, develop, and produce the effective LaGG-3 single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter for the Soviet Union during the World War 2 years (1939-1945). The inline-engined LaGG-3 was a further evolution of the earlier LaGG-1, this aircraft existing in only 100 completed examples, setting the framework for the subsequent LaGG-3, La-5, and La-7 fighter series to follow. For its part in the war, the LaGG-3 was completed in 6,528 examples and served the Soviet Air Force well. Introduced in the early part of 1941, it was retired as soon as 1944 while production spanned those very same war years.

In 1941, as soon as the LaGG-3 was rooting itself as a player in the wide-reaching war, thought turned to an offshoot of this gunnery platform, one to fit an air-cooled radial unit instead of the more fragile inline system currently in play. This led Gudkov to develop the "Gu-82" which intended to carry the Shvetsov M-82, a 14-cylinder radial of 1,540 horsepower output. The three-bladed propeller unit, with its large spinner, would be retained and armament was to mimic that of the original LaGG-3 (1 x 20mm autocannon in the propeller hub and 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns). Much of the form and function of the original remained.

The M-82 engine was a carry-over from the Sukhoi Su-4 project which intended to mate the Su-4 airframe with the Urmin M-90 engine of 2,100 horsepower. When this intention fell through, the M-82 was to be substituted to create a "wooden-winged attacker" armed through 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns. A single prototype of this aircraft was tested but the product was not selected for production.

Regardless, the M-82 was to be installed in the LaGG-3 airframe to produce the Gu-82 in an attempt to extract better performance and improved economy over that of the original while also increasing survivability through use of an air-cooled radial. The project was heavily delayed by the German invasion of the Soviet union in June of 1941 (Operation Barbarossa) as resources were directed toward the ultimate defense of the Soviet Motherland. To make matters worse for the program, the facility was under threat of being overrun by the enemy, forcing the factory to be relocated eastwards in October of that year. By this time, just one of the two contracted-for prototypes was available and this example did not begin flight-testing until the middle of 1942.

During this time, advancement on a LaGG-3 successor, becoming the La-5 by Lavochkin, eventually overtook the Gu-82 program which was no longer needed. As such, the Gu-82 aircraft's development was abandoned shortly thereafter. The resulting La-5, however, went on to have an excellent wartime and post-war career, seeing production each nearly 10,000 units with a few select global operators in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia, and Poland.

Some performance specifications of the Gu-82 on this page have been estimated on the part of the author based on the existing LaGG-3 production fighter.


YEAR: 1943
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov (LaGG) - Soviet Union
LENGTH: 28.71 ft (8.75 m)
WIDTH: 32.15 ft (9.8 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 4,872 lb (2,210 kg)
MTOW: 8,818 lb (4,000 kg)
POWER: 1 x M-82 air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,330 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
SPEED: 357 mph (575 kph; 310 kts)
CEILING: 32,808 feet (10,000 m; 6.21 miles)
RANGE: 621 miles (1,000 km; 540 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,000 ft/min (914 m/min)
OPERATORS: Soviet Union (abandoned)

2 x 12.7mm Berezin UB Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in upper engine cowling.
1 x 20mm ShVAK automatic cannon firing through the propeller hub.

Assumed support for conventional drop bombs and aerial rockets as mission dictated.
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants / Models

• Gu-82 - Base Series Designation; three prototypes worked on before project's end.

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: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (357mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Gudkov GU-82'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 (3)
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
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Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
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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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