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A formation of La-5's

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Lavochkin La-5

The La-5 Fighter was born, when the inline-engine driven LaGG-3 proved less successful than had been anticipated, and was modified to be powered by the Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engine. The new engine finally brought out the performance, that had been planned for the LaGG-3, but as Lavochkin worked alone on it, the new plane was simply called La-5.

The La-5 prototype, converted from an LaGG-3

The La-5 prototype was converted from a late production LaGG-3, its the only La-5 that still had the LaGG-style canopy.

The original La-5 was brought into front service swiftly, where it showed great promise, even though it was still riddled with the typical bugs of the LaGG-3, such as constant oil leaks, bad ventilation in the Cockpit and a canopy, that wouldn’t open in cases of emergency. Still, it proved to be the first soviet fighter to match the performance of the
German Me 109 and Fw 190. It was inferior to those two types at high altitude, but a good match at the low altitudes flown over the eastern front. It also rolled very fast.

A La-5 of the famouys Valerii Chkalov squadron Pilots of the famous Valerii Squadron prepare for their mission in La-5's. The Valerii Chkalov Squadron was among the first to fly the La-5
The La-5 was further developed, when an improved version of the ASh-82 engine, the ASh-82F, became available. The rear section of the fuselage was cut down to create a better view from the cockpit. Another improvement was the La-5FN which received a supercharged
version of the ASh-82 engine. This required the addition of a air intake for the supercharger on the top of the cowling, which became the characteristic feature of the La-5FN. The La-5FN was the definitive
version of the La-5, with its high performance, fast turn radius and heavy armament.
La-5F in Luftwaffe markings

This La-5 was captured by the Germans. La-5's were among the few captured Soviet planes that the germans actually used in combat against the soviets.

The La-5 was, like the LaGG-3, mostly build of wood, which made it heavier then metal-build aircraft, but allowed it to take a lot of damage. It also gave the rear fuselage a smooth, almost seamless
surface. 9920 La-5’s of all versions, including the Trainer version La-5UTI, were build. After the end of World War II, most La-5’s were put out of service, as their wooden structure made them more difficult to preserve than their improved predecessor, the La-7. A few La-5’s were flown by the Czechoslovakian Air Force in their own Markings after the war.
The most famous single La-5 was probably the La-5Fn “white 14”, which was flown by three leading soviet Aces: Snr. Lt. Pavel Bryzgalov, Capt. Kyrill Evstigneev and Capt. Ivan Kozhedub. Kozhedub went on to become the leading allied ace of World War 2 after converting
to the La-7.

This replica depicts the La-5 flown by Capt. Georgii Kostylev. There are no surviving La-5's as their wooden structure was extremely vulnerable to ageing.

wingspan: 9.80m
length: 8.67m
height: 2.54m
empty weight: 2.605kg
max loaded weight: 3.265kg
maximum speed: 648km/h
range: 765km
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