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Lavochkin La-5

Soviet Union (1942)
Picture of Lavochkin La-5 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

The Lavochkin La-5 series was fielded in great quantities after its introduction, taking part in some of the great air battles over the East Front during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lavochkin La-5 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Design of the Lavochkin La-5 series of low-to-medium altitude, prop-driven fighter was spurred on by a need by the Soviet Air Force for a weapon capable of matching, or exceeding, anything the German Luftwaffe was fielding at the time. The Soviets initially reeled from the German invasion of June 1941 to begin the East front and this period placed a focus on the ill-equipped and ill-trained Soviet military against the now-perfected Blitzkrieg. Soviet aircraft designers and production facilities were just starting to get involved in the mass war effort needed to combat the Third Reich and the La-5 joined the Soviet Air Force inventory as an improved form of the early-war, underpowered LaGG-3 of 1940, itself a lighter and improved form of the original (though unsuccessful) LaGG-1, also of 1940. The La-5 series of aircraft was a step in the right direction, appearing in production form almost as soon as it had appeared as a prototype, with the Soviets in the general school of thought that "any aircraft was better than none". Fortunately for the Soviet Air Force - and the Soviet Union for that matter - the La-5 proved to be a versatile, robust, heavy-hitter capable of matching the Luftwaffe fighters pound-for-pound. By the end of the war, the La-5 registered 9,920 production examples. It was introduced in July of 1942.

The design approach to the La-5 was quite different to Lavochkin's previous attemptat it featured a cut-down rear fuselage with the cockpit positioned amidships. The wings were low-mounted under the fuselage and set forward of the cockpit. The fuselage was of a tubular design approach with a shallow vertical tail gin at rear and rounded engine cowling at front. The forward design of the aircraft was dominated by the noticeable propeller hub which would go on to become the consistent design element of Lavochkin aircraft during and after the war. Armament consisted of 2 x 20mm cannons mounted in the nose - this just after the propeller unit and embedded into the over-sized engine cowling.
The La-5 reached "definitive" status in its production run through the La-5FN variant featuring an uprated engine and provision for rocket launching. Power was through a Shvetsov ASh-82FN radial piston engine developing 1,850 horsepower. Dimensions of the aircraft included a running length of 8.7 meters, a height of 2.5 meters and a wingspan of 9.8 meters. Empty weight was 5,645lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight nearing 7,500lbs. Performance included a maximum speed of 405 miles per hour, a range out to 475 miles, and a service ceiling up to 36,100 feet. Rate-of-climb was a handy 3,280 feet per minute. Beyond its 20mm armament and rocket-firing capabilities, the La-5 also adopted a fighter-bomber role in carrying 2 x 220lb drop bombs underwing. The 20mm armament was also upgraded to 23mm NS cannons in later production models.

A two-seat trainer version of the La-5 arrived later as the La-5UTI.

Operators beyond the Soviet Air Force included Czechoslovakia, Mongolia, and Poland. The Poland Air Force operated only one example.

The Lavochkin La-7 was an improved direct offshoot of the La-5 appearing in September of 1944 and seeing production reach 5,753 units.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (403mph).

    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-5FN's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
9920
9920


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1942
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Lavochkin - Soviet Union
Production: 9,920
Global Operators:
Czechoslovakia; Mongolia; Poland; Soviet Union
Historical 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
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-5FN model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
28.44 ft


Meters
8.67 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
32.15 ft


Meters
9.8 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.33 ft


Meters
2.54 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,743 lb


Kilograms
2,605 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,496 lb


Kilograms
3,400 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x ASh-82FN radial piston engine developing 1,850 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
403 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
648 kph


Knots
350 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
475 mi


Kilometers
765 km


Nautical Miles
413 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
36,089 ft


Meters
11,000 m


Miles
6.84 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
3,280 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
1,000 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 (23mm NS cannons on later production models).

OPTIONAL:
Up to 331lbs of external ordnance including 4 x 3.23-inch rockets OR 2 x 220lb bombs under the wings.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• LaG-5 - Developmental Designation
• La-5 - Production Designation
• La-5FN - "Definitive" La-5 Model; appearing in 1943; fitted with an ASh-82FN engine of 1,650hp; provision for 4 x 3.23-in rockets OR 2 x PTAB anti-armor weapons along with the standard 2 x 20mm cannon battery; later production aircraft to feature upgunned 23mm cannons.
• La-5UTI - Two-Seat Conversion Trainer
• La-7 - Late Wartime Production Model based on the La-5 design; fitted with 3 x 20mm OR 23mm cannons and ASh-82FN powerplant.