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XyZspineZyX
09-12-2003, 10:03 PM
http://www.thehistorynet.com/ahi/

enjoy and have fun.....

XyZspineZyX
09-12-2003, 10:03 PM
http://www.thehistorynet.com/ahi/

enjoy and have fun.....

XyZspineZyX
09-12-2003, 10:10 PM
From this source:

Lavochkin's Grand Pianos



The appearance of these highly polished wooden fighters soon earned them the nickname of "Grand Pianos".


Born at Smolensk in 1900, Semyon A. Lavochkin could look forward to few opportunities for social or professional advancement in Csarist Russia because he was Jewish. Lavochkin was finishing school at the Kursk Gymnasium when the Bolshevik Revolution broke out in 1917. After three years of combat in the Red Army, he was accepted at the Moscow Aviation Institute in late 1920, and graduated with high honors.

Forming a design team with Vladimir P. Gorbunov and Mikhail I. Gudkov in May 1938, Lavochkin designed his first original airplane in response to a Soviet requirement for a new-generation fighter to replace the Polikarpov I-15 biplane and I-16 monoplane. The I-22 or LaGG-1 prototype was powered by a Klimov M-105P in-line, water-cooled engine. It flew on March 30, 1939, and entered service in 1940. With an improved M-105PF engine and some modifications, it entered full production as the I-301 or LaGG-3.

To circumvent shortages of steel tube and light alloy in the aircraft industry, the LaGG-3 was mainly constructed of delta drevesina (delta timber), a plastic-impregnated birch plywood, developed by L.I. Ryzhkov, that was fire-resistant and exceptionally strong. The appearance of these highly polished wooden fighters soon earned them the nickname of "Grand Pianos" from the pilots, but later nicknames for the LaGG-3 were to be less affectionate. Underpowered and overweight, the LaGG-3 also revealed a tendency to go into a sudden, vicious spin from a steep banking turn. Although a few experienced Soviet pilots had a measure of success in the LaGG-3, pilots in most outfits were inadequately prepared for its unforgiving characteristics. Many interpreted LaGG as an acronym for "Lakirovanny Garantirovanny Grob" (varnished, guaranteed coffin), and their lack of confidence in their aircraft stood them in poor stead against their highly skilled Luftwaffe opponents.

In October 1941, Gudkov began studies into the possibilities of replacing the water-cooled M-105 with the air-cooled Shvetsov M-82 14-cylinder engine. Lighter and generating 1,540 hp against the M-105's 1,100 hp, the M-82 had an almost miraculous effect on the performance, maneuverability and durability of the basic LaGG-3 airframe. Rushed into production in the summer of 1942, the LaG-5 radial-engine fighter was an interim improvisation that soon gave way to the La-5, a more refined version with the improved M-82F engine, a strengthened airframe, and the rear fuselage cut away to improve visibility. The single 20mm cannon and twin 7.62mm machine guns of the LaGG-3 were replaced by two 20mm cannon in the La-5.

The La-5FN, powered by a 1,650-hp M-82FN engine cooled by a distinctive air intake above the cowling, was a significant improvement. It had metal fuselage longerons, wings of greater span and narrower shord, and introduced automatic boundary layer control--suction-powered leading-edge slats.

Designed for combat below 15,000 feet, the La-5s generally outperformed their Luftwaffe opponents at the low altitudes dictated by the principally tactical war fought over Russia. At their best at higher altitudes, the Messerschmitt Bf-109G and Focke-Wulf Fw-190A fighters were also less durable than the Lavochkins when operating in the harsh field conditions of the Eastern Front.

The change from in-line to radial engines had as dramatic an effect on Semyon Lavochkin's career as it had on the aerodynamics of his fighter. Discredited for the LaGG-3's poor service record, he was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star of a Hero of Soviet Labor for the success of the La-5 series.

The ultimate wooden Lavochkin, the La-7, was another interim design, put into produciton late in 1943 pending development of the all-metal La-9. Its M-82 FNV engine generated 1,850 hp and, with the air intake moved under the fuselage, the cowling was one of the most streamlined ever to enclose a radial engine. Armament was increased to three 20mm ShVak or 23mm NS cannon, which could be supplemented by six RS-82 rockets or 331 pounds of bombs on underwing racks. The La-7 had a wingspan of 32 feet, 5 3/4 inches, and was 27 feet, 4 inches long. Maximum speed was 423 mph at 20,997 feet. Takeoff weight was 7,496 pounds. Reaching the front late in 1944, the La-7 was arguably the best Soviet low- and medium-altitude fighter of World War II.

Semyon Lavochkin continued to be active in the aviation field until his death in 1965, but never matched the success of his World War II designs. Those subsequently were eclipsed by the team of Artem I. Mikoyan and Mikhail I. Gurevich, whose MiG-1 and MiG-3 fighters had done poorly during the war years, but whose designs came brilliantly into their own in the jet age.

This article originally appeared in the September 2000 issue of Aviation History.


"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it!"

XyZspineZyX
09-12-2003, 10:23 PM
There is also an interesting interview to a soviet fighter pilot in Spanish Civil War. (But Rygachov, a victim of Stalin, was not called "Palenkar", but "Palancar").

- Dux Corvan -



http://www.theinformationminister.com/press.php?ID=612322300

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