Lavochkin produced two notable fighters during the defense of the Soviet Union in World War 2 (1939-1945), these being the La-5 and La-7 series. The La-9 was in development by war's end and became a direct development of the La-7 by way of the La-126, a late-war prototype. The Lavochkin La-9 was eventually adopted by the Soviet Air Force and codenamed "Fritz" by NATO. When compared to the La-7 before it, the La-9 represented the same aircraft through with all-metal construction and of slightly larger dimension. The aircraft began operational service during 1946 - to late to see action in World War 2 - and went on to serve in the inventories of a few Soviet-supported countries including China, Romania, and North Korea. Its production run covered two years and totaled 1,500 examples. The La-9 also marked one of Lavochkin's last piston-engined fighters before the shift to jet-powered types in the ensuing years.
The La-9 featured a conventional arrangement with a low-wing monoplane and single-seat cockpit. The fuselage was well-streamlined and its tail-dragger undercarriage retractable (including tailwheel). Armament consisted of 4 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons with 50 projectiles afforded each gun. The all-metal construction of the aircraft allowed engineers to save structural weight which produced increased fuel capacity and greater operational ranges. The weight-saving also allowed for the inclusion of the large-caliber 23mm cannons in the nose.
Power came from a Shvetsov ASh-82FN air-cooled radial piston engine (driving a three-blade propeller) complete with two-stage supercharged and fuel-injection for increased power. Output was 1,850 horsepower, propelling the La-9 to speeds of 430 miles per hour and ranges of 435 miles. Its service ceiling measured 35,400 feet with a rate-of-climb of 3,510 feet per minute.
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