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LaGG-3
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Description

The fighter LaGG-3 was designed under the direction of a triumvirate of designers: Lavochkin, Gorbunov and Gudkov. The prototype of it named I-301, has left on tests in March, 1940, i.e. soon after I-26 of Alexander Jakovlev. The prototype of the LaGG-3, I-301, was designed by Semyon A. Lavochkin, Vladimir P. Gorbunov and Mikhail I. Gudkov. It was designated LaGG-3 in serial production. Its airframe was almost completely made of timber, with crucial parts processed with Bakelite lacquer. This novel wood-laminate construction was more durable than regular timber, incombustible, and didn’t rot. It was, however, much heavier and pilots joked that rather than being an acronym of the designers' names (Lavochkin, Gorbunov, and Gudkov) "LaGG" stood for lakirovanny garantirovanny grob ("(the) varnished guaranteed coffin" - лакированный гарантированный гроб). The full wooden wing (with plywood surfaces) was analogous to that of the Yak-1. The only difference was that the LaGG’s wings were built in two sections. The fuselage was the same as the MiG-3’s. But the LaGG-3’s armament was considered formidable. It consisted of a large-calibre BK machine gun, which was installed between the "V" of the cylinders of the engine and two synchronized ShKAS machine guns. Consequently the weight of fire was 2.65 kg/s, making the LaGG superior to all serial Soviet fighters, as well as the 1941 version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The LaGG-3 proved immensely unpopular with pilots. Some aircraft supplied to the front line were up to 40 km/h (25 mph) slower than they should have been and some were not airworthy. In combat, the LaGG-3's main advantage was its strong airframe. Although the laminated wood did not burn it shattered when hit by high explosive rounds. Even with its limitations, some Soviet pilots managed to reach the status of ace flying the LaGG-3.

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Entertainment
Date
Feb 1st, 2013
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