YouTube – Lavochkin La-7
3 x 20 mm
28 ft. 2 in.
32 ft. 1 in.
Lavochkin La-7 aircraft were the ultimate development in the Lavochkin series of fighters during World War II. Their stopgap predecessors were made almost entirely of wood, and were easy prey to Luftwaffe fighters.
In 1941 development started on upgrading the fighter’s airframe to accommodate a 14 cylinder engine, replacing the formerly used V-12. The goal of designing the Lavochkin La-7 was to achieve longer range and higher overall performance.
The resulting Lavochkin La-7 was an excellent thoroughbred fighter. The aircraft featured the most powerful engines put into Lavochkin fighters, the Shvetsov ASH-82FN that produced 1,850 hp. In addition to greater engine power, the new aircraft used metal wing spars in place of its predecessors wooden ones, was lower in weight, and had drag reducing streamlining. Its pilot was protected with thicker cockpit armor. Advanced models of the aircraft reduced pilot workload by introducing single lever propeller pitch control.
The Lavochkin La-7 was highly maneuverable, with a fast rate of climb and excellent high altitude performance. The aircraft quickly gained a reputation as an excellent fighter. It was extremely responsive to control and could outperform all other Soviet fighter aircraft. Its three 20 mm cannons delivered a deadly punch
According to some records, Lavochkin La-7 aircraft downed some 3,100 Luftwaffe aircraft vs. only 115 of their own aircraft being lost. One is credited with a victory over a Luftwaffe jet fighter, the only Soviet aircraft to do so.
Over 5,750 of the aircraft were produced. These aircraft continued to serve the Soviet Union through the mid-1950’s.
Pictured immediately above is the Lavochkin La-7 from Alfa Model. The wingspan measures 29 in. The fuselage measures 33 in. For power you can use a Speed 300 motor geared 5:1 swinging a 9 x 6 prop. It is of all foam construction. Ready to fly weight is around 15 oz.
The ESM Model Lavochkin La-7 has a wingspan of 80 in., a length of 65 in., and a weight of around 17 lbs. It features a fiberglass fuselage with balsa built up wings. You will need a 1.8 four stroke engine to pull it through the sky.
The Lavochkin La-7 from Scale Wings, Austria has a 86 in. wingspan and weighs around 29 lbs.
David Andersen Designs has plans of a Lavochkin La-7. Wingspan is 96.5 in. Materials used in the construction are balsa and plywood. Recommended power comes from 3.7 to 4.8 c.i.d. engines.
Don Smith Plans has a Lavochkin La-7. Wingspan is 80 in. and length is 69 in.