The LaGG-3 was a piston-engine powered pursuit fighter made by Soviets during World War 2. In 1938 Soviets Semyon Lavochkin, Vladimir Gorbunov and Mikhail Gudkov established a design bureau named LaGG where the LaGG in the designation came from “Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Goudkov”. Initially, they came up with an air-superiority fighter, aimed at the altitudes of up to 16,405 ft (5.000 m) in the form of the LaGG-1, built largely of impregnated wood and Dural. Being powered by a Vee engine, it showed indifferent handling and bad performance. LaGG-3’s design which started in 1939 was an improved version of the LaGG-1. The LaGG-3 proved successful at the time when the Soviet Union was in desperate need of a versatile and robust performer.
LaGG-3 had revised outer wing incorporating fuel tanks whose main purpose was to increase its speed. An armament of one 20mm and two 7.62mm weapons made it a powerful competitor. It initially had fixed wing slats which were later replaced by automatic slats. Balance weights were added on the elevators and rudder. They were later discarded to make the surfaces statically and dynamically balanced. The weight of the aircraft was further reduced. LaGG-3 finally arrived in the spring of 1941. LaGG-3’s production was completed in the late summer of 1942 and a total of 6,528 models were manufactured.
The LaGG-3 was a reasonably successful design and it was made at the time when Soviets were trying to do anything to combat the Nazi incursion. Although, the LaGG-3 was still not unbeatable so further attempts were made to make a better aircraft. The LaGG-3 was well-liked by both its pilots and ground crew.
|Max Speed:||357mph (575kmh; 310kts)|
|Max Range:||404miles (650km)|
|Ceiling:||31,824ft (9,700m; 6.0miles)|
|Empty Weight:||5,776lbs (2,620kg)|
|Engine(s):||1 x M-105PF V12 piston engine delivering 1,240hp.|
|Armament:||2x 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Berezin BS machine guns
1x 20 mm ShVAK cannon
6x RS-82 or RS-132 rockets up a total of 200kg (441 lb)