LaGG-3 Fighter

Single fighter of the USSR. It was in service with the Red Army Air Force during the Second World War. It was used as a fighter, fighter-interceptor, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance aircraft.

This fighter was developed under the leadership of the triumvirate of designers: S.A. Lavochkina. V.P. Gor6unova and M.I. Gudkova. Its prototype, called I-301, went to the test in March 1940, i.e. shortly after I-26 A.S. Yakovleva.

A distinctive feature of the I-301 design was the widespread use of such a then-new material as deltadrewood (plasticized wood, which has great strength). The metal was used only where it was simply impossible to do without it (steel monorama, engine hoods made of duralumin alloys). This design approach was forced. The bottom line was that the possibilities of non-ferrous metallurgy could not keep pace with the requirements of aircraft construction, which had sharply increased in the prewar years, the only way that would allow mass production of new combat aircraft in these conditions was to use wood. It was used to a greater or lesser extent in the design of other aircraft, in particular, the Yak-1 and Mig-Z. and the I-301 most fully embodied the idea of ​​an all-wood machine, which was considered its great advantage. Another distinguishing feature of the I-301 was its unusually powerful armament – a 23 mm cannon and two synchronous large-caliber BS machine guns, in addition to which two more ShKAS could be installed.

The I-301 passed the test as a whole successfully. However, before organizing mass production, an additional requirement was put forward to increase the flight range to 1000 km. The designers had to install additional tanks, although then it was already clear that with such a fuel supply the aircraft would be too heavy.

The first production aircraft, which received the LaGG-Z brand, began to roll off the assembly line in 1941. Like the Yak-1 and Mig-Z, this fighter in the first period of the war became one of the main aircraft of the new generation of the Soviet Air Force.

The composition of weapons LaGG-Z in the process of serial construction has changed. In the most typical version for 1941, it consisted of a 20 mm caliber gun and synchronized machine guns – one BS and two ShKAS. Also, 6-8 rockets can be placed under the wing. Unfortunately, during the development of LaGG-Z in production and during its refinement, it was not possible to maintain its high flight data. Especially greatly reduced speed.

Most successfully LaGG-Z acted against enemy bombers, where its superiority in-flight data and the power of weapons were crucial. This plane was also good for carrying out assault missions. But still, pilots on LaGG-Z often had to conduct air battles with enemy fighters. Here, the flaws of LaGG, due to its too large weight, were clearly evident. In terms of basic indicators, it was inferior to Messerschmitt Bf-109E and Bf-109F.

By decision of the State Defense Committee at one of the most powerful aircraft factories that produced the majority of LaGG-Z. their production was discontinued. Instead of LaGG, the production of Yak fighters was arranged there, and LaGG-Z continued to be built at plant number 31 in Tbilisi. There, under the guidance of V.P. Gorbunov in 1942-1943 Work was carried out to increase the combat readiness of LaGG-Z.

Attempts were made to put the M-106 and M-107 engines on the fighter, but they ended to no avail. Gorbunov made another attempt to improve the flight performance of LaGGa-3 by installing the M-105PT engine on the plane. The fighter, which received the designation “object 105” in October 1943 passed state tests. First of all, the drop-shaped shape of the cockpit lantern was striking. The armament of the aircraft consisted of a ShVAK gun and a BS machine gun with 160 and 200 rounds of ammunition, respectively. The take-off weight of the aircraft was 2818 kg, the maximum speed of 612 km / h.

In February 1944, the “105-2” aircraft appeared with the M-105PF-2 engine with a starting power of 1290 hp. and working power of 1310 hp at an altitude of 2000 m. The capacity of the fuel tanks was reduced from 405 to 377 liters, the ShVAK gun was replaced by the VYA-23 gun with 85 rounds of ammunition. The BS machine gun had 185 rounds of ammunition. The fighter passed state tests from May 10 to June 12, 1944. They ended negatively. The aircraft noted flaws in the design of the propeller group, weak weapons, and low flight parameters. The aircraft “105-2” was significantly inferior in capabilities to the German fighter Bf-109G-6 and Fw-190D-9. As a result, the Air Force Research Institute recognized the futility of further improvement of LaGGa-3 and raised the issue of ending its serial production.

In total for 1941-1944. aviation plants built 6528 LaGG-3 fighters.

Specifications

  • Crew 1 pers.
  • Dimensions
  • Wing span, m 9.80
  • Wing Area, m² 17.62
  • Aircraft length, m 8.81
  • Engine
  • M-105PF 1180 h.p.
  • Masses and loads, kg:
  • Empty 2430
  • Norm take-off 3160
  • Fuel Capacity 340
  • Flight data
  • Maximum speed at the ground, km / h 499
  • Maximum rate of climb, m / min 605
  • Maximum speed at altitude, km / h 566
  • Practical ceiling, m 9000
  • Practical range, km 610
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.