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Airco DH.10 КНИГИ ;ВОЕННАЯ ИСТОРИЯ Издательство: Albatros - Windsock DataFile 038Серия: Windsock DataFile 038Язык: английскийКоличество страниц: 38Формат: PDFРазмер: 28.94 Мб eighty five

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34 LAVOCHKIN LaGG-3 with Klimov M-l 07 Semyon Lavochkin realised that decisive steps had be taken to save his fighter, and he believed that the main task was to uprate its engine. In his opinion the most promising powerplant was the M-I07 development engine designed by Klimov. 8kW) at the service ceiling of 16,400ft (5,000m), making them 25% more powerful, and were rated at a higher service ceiling than the M-I05P. The LaGG-3 M-I07 was built very quickly and began flight testing, but the pilot, G Mischenko, stated with regret that the desired result had not been achieved.

In the spring of 1943 the La-5 was not inferior to its opponents with regard to combined flying qualities. 381 in Moscow also started assembling the type. This allowed certain reserves to be accumulated by the summer. On 1st July the forces in the field had 978 La-5s and La-5Fs, more than a quarter of all the fighters available. Only 85 needed repair; the rest were combat-ready on the eve of the great battle of the Kursk Bulge. Among those keeping watch in La-5 cockpits was Ivan Kozhedub of the 240th Fighter Air Corps, unknown at the time but destined to become the greatest Soviet ace.

In combat it was inferior to the Messerschmitt Bfl09, but it had great development potential. This was appreciated by Semyon Lavochkin, who constantly thought about his new creation. Aerodynamic improvements, engine updating, better cockpit view, control enhancement and weight reduction were the main aims of the work carried out during late 1942 and early 1943. A government decree issued on 9th December 1942 authorised development work on the fighter. To increase maximum level speeds, extensive research using four series-produced aircraft was made jointly by the Tsentral'nyi Top: La-5 taxying on a typical improvised airstrip.

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