A Lavochkin La-7 fresh from the factory on display in Moscow in early
The La-7 was as an
improvement of the existing La-5FN. This plane had a more powerful
engine and better armament and incorporated aerodynamic improvements.
The Shvetsov radial engine generated 1,850 hp (1380 kw), and the
armament was increased to three ShVak 20 mm cannon. The engine cowl was
smoothed, the oil radiator was moved to the lower centre of the
fuselage. The most striking result of these improvements was an
increase of some 20 mph (32 km/h) in speed over the La-5FN. The
installation of a liquid rocket engine in the rear of the fuselage was
also studied in hopes of providing better performance for short
periods. In tests with the rocket engine installed, the aircraft gained
a 10 - 15 percent increase in speed.
Lavochkins were well
liked by their pilots (in spite of bad takeoff and landing
characteristics), and some of Russia's top aces flew them, including
Ivan Kozedub, three time hero of the Soviet Union, the number one
allied ace with 62 victories, all of them while flying Lavochkin
fighters. The last was a La-7 which he received in July, 1944. He shot
down 17 German aircraft, one of them being a Messerschmitt Me-262 jet.
Model developed from
the La-5FN with improved high altitude performance.
Two conversions of
La-7s with booster rocket in rear fuselage. Experimental only.
Conversion of one La-7
with two TK-3 turbochargers installed to give improved high altitude
performance. Experimental only.
with revised wings and a PVRD-430 auxiliary ramjet engine mounted
beneath each wing.
Seat Interceptor Fighter
1,850 hp (1380 kw) Shvetsov M-82FN (Ash-82FN) 14-cylinder radial, air
Maximum speed 413 mph (665 km/h) at 16,447 ft (5000 m); service ceiling
35,435 ft (10800 m).
Range: 395 miles
(635 km) on internal fuel.
5,816 lbs (2638 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 7,496 lbs (3400
32 ft 1 3/4 in (9.80 m); length 28 ft 2 1/2 in (8.60 m); height 8 ft 4
in (2.54 m); wing area 188.37 sq ft (17.50 sq m).
20 mm Beresin B-20 (faster firing) ShVak cannon with 200 rounds per gun
plus two 220 lbs (100 kg) bombs. Underwing racks could accept up to six
(prototype and production), La-7UTI (two seat trainer), La-7R (equipped
with booster rocket), La-7TK (improved high performance), La-126