Lavochkin La-15


Lavochkin La-15 at Monino by Paul Nann

After some unsuccessful jet fighter designs, the team of Lavochkin used on the 1948 flown La-168
a different design philosophy; the turbojet was in the tail, the air inlet in the nose, wings and tail unit
were swept by 37°20ī and a copy of the british Rolls Royce Nene (the british government didnīt
already think in cold war categories and sold some modern Derwent and Nene turbojets to the CCCP,
which boosted the turbojet knowledge of the soviets, which werenīt successful in improving the
captured german turbojet technology).
The La-174 was nearly identical, but smaller and configured for the use of a Derwent-type turbojet.
Flight tests disclosed that the speed of the La-174 was only 6% less than that of the La-168 with
itīs much more powerful engine. The soviet production of Nene copies was reserved to the famous
MiG-15 (which later shocked the western world in the corean war, although it wasnīt easy to fly),
and so only the quantity production of the La-174 started as La-15. Soon the prototype of a
two-seat training version La-180 was completed and went into production as La-15UTI.
The La-15 and La-15UTI were the first soviet jet fighters with a full-hydraulic flight control system.
The La-15 (NATO codename "Fantail") stayed in soviet service until 1954, about 500 were built
(other sources say that there were 500 La-15UTI built and a unknown number of fighters).

My comment:
This plane was really great, especially because itīs so similar in itīs datas to the british leightweight
fighter Gnat, which entered service after these planes leaved it after many years of duty.
If anyone asked me for the ideal late 1940īs/early1950īs lightweight fighter design, I would show him this one.

Iīve found a great homepage about the russian aviation, where you can also find this plane. Here it is!


Specifications:
Lavochkin La-15 soviet jet fighter
Dimensions:
Wing span: 8,83m
Length: 9,56m
Wing area: 16,16m2
Weight:
empty: 2.575kg
Take-Off: 3.850kg
Performance:
Maximum Speed: 1.025km/h
Service Ceiling: 13.500m
Range with external fuel: 1.170km
Powerplant:
one RD-500 turbojet, 1.590kg (a copy of the Rolls-Royce Derwent)
Armament:
three NS-23 23mm cannons

La-15 three-side drawing

b/w photo, La-15, Ned Ajevic collection

b/w photo, La-15, Ned Ajevic collection

La-15 b/w sideview photo

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