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Lavochkin-LA9

The Lavochkin La-11 (NATO reporting name Fang) was an early post-World War II Soviet long-range piston-engined fighter aircraft.

One of the recommendations from the government testing of Lavochkin La-130 was to further develop it into a long-range escort fighter. The resultant La-134 prototype featured increased fuel and oil capacity. Armament was reduced to three 23mm cannons. The prototype flew in May 1947. The second prototype, La-134D had fuel capacity increased by an additional 275 l (73 US gal) with wing and external fuel tanks. The aircraft was fitted with larger tires to accommodate the increased weight and amenities for long flights such as increased padding in the seat, armrests, and a urinal. In addition, a full radio navigation suite was installed. Not surprisingly, combat performance with a full fuel load suffered. However, as the fuel load approached that of La-9, so did the performance. The aircraft was found to be poorly suited for combat above 7,000 m (23,000 ft). The new fighter, designated La-11 entered production in 1947. By the end of production in 1951, a total of 1,182 aircraft were built.

Lavochkin La-11 in The Hot WarEdit

By the time of the Korean War, the Soviet Union had begun to transition to jet powered fighter aircraft and so began transferring older propeller aircraft such as the La-11 to allies like North Korea. These, along with ground radar to guide them, still made them a formidable defense against U.S. Air Force B-29 bombing raids during the war and the subsequent World War III.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Hot War, pgs. 285-286, HC.

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