- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The I-301 was the prototype for the LaGG-3 fighter series, and so construction, and flight characteristics and performance are similar to them. Unlike many fighters, the I-301 was made out of wood and polymer, which contributed to its flying capabilities. Contrary to popular belief, the wooden construction was quite resistant to catching fire. A successful prototype made its maiden flight in March, 1940. The aircraft was powered by a 12-cylinder liquid-cooled Klimov M-105P radial engine with a rated output of 1,050 HP and its armament was, at the beginning, insanely powerful for its time. It used a 23 mm PTB-23 cannon with 81 rounds of ammunition. The aircraft suffered from poor operational range and thus, two extra fuel tanks were added in the wings.
It was introduced during Update 1.43 as part of a giveaway in the 2014 Winter Holiday event. Currently you can only acquire an I-301 coupon in a trophy or buy one at the Gaijin market to unlock this aircraft. There is almost no difference between the I-301 and the researchable LaGG-3-8. Besides being only marginally faster than the rank II LaGG-3-66 in level flight and in a climb, the I-301 shares many of the characteristics of the LaGG-3-8, with the exception of the massive increase in firepower. The I-301's firepower is a step above the other LaGG-3 fighters due to the extra machine guns and powerful cannon. The cannon is a 23 mm PTB-23 cannon, which in-game is similar to the 23 mm on the IL-2 attackers. As for machine gun armaments, the I-301 has two 12.7 mm HMGs as well as a single 7.62 mm machine gun. With four machine guns and a cannon mounted in the V of the engine, the I-301 is a well-armed fighter for its BR. With its flight characteristics, it is a fighter well-suited for boom and zoom tactics. However, it catches fire easily like the LaGG-3 due to the wing-based fuel tanks and the engine is prone to overheating rather quickly.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,950 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
Survivability and armour
- 8 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
Modifications and economy
The I-301 is armed with:
- 1 x 23 mm PTB-23 cannon, nose-mounted (81 rpg)
- 2 x 12.7 mm Berezin UB machine guns, nose-mounted (210 rpg = 420 total)
- 2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns, nose-mounted (650 rpg = 1,300 total)
Usage in battles
A good tactic for flying the I-301 is to climb above all your enemies, using your good rate of climb. Once at altitude, you can pick and choose whichever target you want to pursue. Once you pick out a target, dive on it and demolish the enemy with your deadly armament. It is very important to note that if your target turns, do not turn with it. Convert your speed back into altitude, and then dive back on the enemy aircraft. If you are playing in an Arcade Battle, you will want to reload your cannon whenever your ammunition runs below about 25 rounds. Optimally you will be at bomber altitude, where you can take your time, reload and regroup.
If you are flying in Realistic or Simulator, you will usually not have to worry about breaking up in a dive, tearing your flaps, or ripping your wings; due to its construction, the I-301 is exceptionally tough. The I-301's roll rate and pitch authority are about average, but it has above average yaw authority. However, as you approach and go beyond 650 km/h (400 mph) your control surfaces will stiffen up.
Unlike the LaGG-3, the I-301 is equipped with four machine guns and a cannon that fires through the propeller hub, which gives this plane the high burst mass. The massive amount of firepower can take down any fighter if one is unlucky enough to have one on their six. As for ammo capacity, it carries a fair amount for its machine guns, carrying more ammo for its twin Berezin machine guns than the total ammo capacity of any of the LaGG-3s (cannon and machine gun combined); carrying enough ShKAS machine gun ammo equal to half the load of planes equipped with four of them such as the I-153 M-62 and the I-16 Ishak. However, the PTB-23 ammo load is abysmal compared to a load of a single VYa-23 cannon, in which it has only 81 rounds before it needs to be reloaded.
As with other planes with a multiple gun arrangement, Trigger discipline is the key to getting as many planes as you can before you run out of ammo for each gun. Since all the guns are centre-line mounted, it is critical that your aim is on point before pulling the trigger in short, controlled bursts. In the end, the full salvo of five guns can quickly dispatch lightly armoured fighters with ease, along with tearing through larger aircraft like bombers and attackers at a rather alarming rate. It is very comfortable at punching well above its rank, but because it is a prototype, it does not have any options for suspended ordnance such as rockets and bombs.
To add, most of the time machine guns, if the aircraft has cannons, will all be paired together. With the I-301, it is different. The twin ShKAS machine guns are what fire when the machine guns key is activated while the twin Berezin UB machine guns and the PTB-23 cannon will fire if the cannons key is activated.
Specific enemies worth noting
There are a select few enemies to be concerned about, one of which are enemy P-47s. Unless catching one in a level altitude, the P-47 can maintain a very high speed and firepower to use when attacking. They come in a Boom & Zoom style onto the aircraft and even if they miss, they zoom away with its speed, with the I-301 unable to catch it under its own speed. If they make the mistake of engaging in a turn fight, the I-301 will dance all over the slowed P-47 and a good burst into the fuselage can still tear apart a P-47.
Due to the previously mentioned firepower and flight performance, the I-301 can be a beast in the air. If trying to down a I-301, try to catch one when it is engaging with another aircraft, namely when it is swooping onto a target or turning against a fighter. While it is preoccupied with trying to destroy the enemy, pounce on it and take it out quickly before the I-301 can react.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Extremely heavy armament concentration, all mounted in the nose
- Great ammo capacity for its machine guns
- Good diving characteristics
- Average climbing characteristics
- Performs slightly better than the production aircraft that follows it (LaGG-3-8)
- Easy to fly
- Incredible armament
- Good canopy view
- Many players will underestimate you because they will not know what you are
- Cannon runs out of ammo before the machine guns do
- Somewhat underpowered engine
- Engine overheats rather quickly
- Engine easy to knock out
- Can't sustain energy in a turn-fight
- Can catch fire pretty easily
- Red camouflage can be somewhat concerning in certain environments
- No camouflage options, stuck with the default red
- Only 81 rounds for the cannon
- The red camouflage will allow experienced enemies to quickly identify you at a distance and exploit your weaknesses
A low wing single-seat all-wooden monoplane fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear with a tail wheel.
Designed in OKB-301 led by the "triumvirate" of aviation designers – S.A Lavochkin, V.P. Gorbunov and M.I. Gudkov.
The I-301's airframe consisted entirely of wood. All its parts were attached with glue, without nails or screws. The most crucial parts were processed with Bakelite lacquer, a phenol formaldehyde resin. This treatment increased the wood's durability and fire resistance due to a slight increase in its specific weight.
The decision to build an experimental prototype of the I-301 was taken in November 1939. On 28 March 1940, the experimental I-301 successfully completed its maiden flight with the test pilot A.I. Nikashina at the controls.
Two I-301s were built and tested in 1940–41. One of their special characteristics was the very careful finish on the airframe's surface. To reduce aerodynamic resistance and improve their flight characteristics, these airplanes were entirely covered in varnish and polished to a mirror sheen.
The I-301 was powered by the 12-cylinder liquid-cooled Klimov M-105P radial engine with a rated output of 1,050 hp. The fuel was initially housed in three tanks: one on the fuselage and two in the central wing section. It had no wing panel tanks, so the aircraft's flight range did not exceed 560 km. As a consequence, two extra wing-mounted fuel tanks were added to improve its range.
The I-301's armament was exceptionally powerful. The nose section of the fuselage housed all its weaponry, which included a 23 mm Taubin MP-6 engine cannon mounted in the cavity of the engine's cylinder assembly with 81 shells, and two 12.7 mm large-calibre synchronized Berezina BS machine guns installed above the engine with 230 rounds each.
In terms of firepower, the I-301 was superior to all other single-engine Soviet fighters of its time.
The I-301 was not put into service and did not participate in combat operations. The first prototype was badly damaged during an emergency landing on 4 January 1941, and was never restored.
- Related development
|Lavochkin Design Bureau (Лавочкинa Опытное конструкторское бюро)
|I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66
|La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20
|La-9 · La-11
|La-15 · La-174 · La-200
|␗La-9 · ␗La-11
|*Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov (Лавочкин-Горбунов-Гудков), head designer V. P. Gorbunov
|I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15 M-25 · I-15bis · Krasnolutsky's I-15bis
|I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
|I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S
|I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
|MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34
|I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66
|La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11
|Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B
|Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)
|Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P
|▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc
|▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15
|▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5
|USSR premium aircraft
|Krasnolutsky's I-15bis · I-16 type 28 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P · I-180S · I-301 · ITP (M-1)
|LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-11
|Yak-3 (VK-107) · Yak-3T · Golovachev's Yak-9M
|▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15 · ▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5
|▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc · ▂Fw 190 D-9
|Su-11 · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17AS · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-23ML
|IL-2M "Avenger" · IL-2 M-82 · IL-8 (1944) · Su-6 · Tandem MAI · TIS MA · Su-8 · Tu-1
|Yak-38 · Su-7BMK · Su-25K · Su-39
|Po-2M · Be-6 · MBR-2-M-34 · Pe-2-205 · TB-3M-17-32
|▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂A-20G-30 · ▂B-25J-30