History of S.A.Lavochkin La-9/11

The last piston aeroplane made in S.A.Lavochkin design department (bureau) are represented by La-9 and La-11. In their concept they followed up the previous La-7, including the engine ASh-82FN. Their up-to-date all-metal structure as well as their shapes and laminar flow airfoils of the wings with straight "cut-off" ends corresponded to a modern design. The development of La-9 started in 1945, the prototype, designated La-130, took off in 1946. It was armed with 4 synchronized 23mm NS-23 cannons.

A lighter airframe structure allowed to achieve a longer range than La-7. There were made only 16 pieces of La-9 because the production of improved type La-11 has been started. Its prototype (La-140) passed the flight tests in May 1947. The La-11 was determined to be an escort fighter with Tu-2 and Tu-4.

As a result of a removal of a cannon, its flying range increased; hence, 3 remained cannons NS-23 were situated on the fuselage asymmetrically. The engine cooler was shifted from its world classic place under the fuselage (by La-9 directly to the engine cowling (by La-11), also improving aerodynamics of fighter. The La-11 was provided with ice-removing device from wing leading edges, a stabilizer and propeller cone. Otherwise, both types did not differ significantly from each other : their construction was congruent.

The La-11's were used in air forces of the USSR, Northern Korea and China. They were fighting in the initial combats in Korea, used above all as fighter-bombers. There were produced 1500 pieces of La-11. They fulfilled an important role in period of transition before the first jets fighters come to use.

(Based on MPM (Modely Plastikvym Modelarum) manual to La-9/11 model kit)
Modified January 25, 1996 Back to
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