|This page is about the Soviet fighter La-5. For other uses, see La-5 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in the battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 Read also
- 8 Sources
The La-5 is a rank II Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 3.3 (AB) and 3.0 (RB/SB). This fighter was introduced in Update 1.35.
The La-5 is an energy fighter. While having decent manoeuvrability, it is sluggish when flown at low speeds and suffers from the control surfaces locking up at higher velocities. It is best to gain altitude, stay around 2-3,000 meters and make short dives on distracted or weaker enemy planes.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,200 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,200 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 410||< 400||< 430||> 200|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,050 m||1,540 hp||1,870 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|5,400 m||1,330 hp||?,??? hp|
Survivability and armour
- 8.5 mm Steel - Plate behind the pilot (with "Rear Armor Plate" module added, thickness increases to 10 mm)
- 8.5 mm Steel - Headrest
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at the front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
The La-5 is armed with:
- 2 x 20mm ShVAK cannons, nose mounted (170 rpg = 340 total)
The La-5 has two options when it comes to external ordinance:
- Without load
- 2 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (100 kg total)
Usage in the battles
At the start of the game, climb high and wait for the first dogfight to commence. Once the other planes are engaged, dive on one, fire a good burst, and pull away back to around 3,000 m, and do it again. Shallow dives like this typically best take place at a lower altitude than other boom and zoom aircraft, but here is where the plane's speed will be optimal for manoeuvrability. If you pick up a tail, speeds of around 300 kph/186.4 mph are the best for manoeuvering. This plane is one of the first Soviet fighters in the game to have a powerful engine, WEP, and effective cooling.
The 20 mm cannons are mighty, but low on total ammunition count. Only fly this plane after getting used to the trajectories of the other more forgiving Soviet planes, such as the Yak line, since they use the same cannons. It is typically best to use Ground Target ammo for its high explosive properties.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair, Radiator||DZ-40|
|III||Wing Repair, Engine||Rear Armor Plate||Offensive 20 mm|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 20 mm Cannons|
Pros and cons
- Excellent performance at 3,000 m/9,843 ft
- Good performance in both vertical and horizontal flight
- Good energy retention
- Nose mounted weaponry
- Leading edge slats
- High rate of fire of the 20 mm ShVAK cannons
- Poor performance above 3,000 m/10,000 ft
- Low total ammunition count
- Jack of all trades master of none
- Severe surface control compression in dives
- No bulletproof glass or armour to protect the pilot in head-on attacks
In early 1942, Semyon Lavochkin's LaGG-3 fighter was under threat of having its production cancelled, having proved itself to be a flawed fighter, underpowered and overweight. At the same time, Arkady Shvetsov faced a lack of demand for his M-82 radial engine, only successfully used by the Sukhoi Su-2 ground attack aircraft that was also in danger of being cancelled. The two designers met at a conference in Moscow, and Shvetsov agreed to help Lavochkin fit the M-82 engine to the LaGG-3 airframe. Mikhail Gudkov, one of the original designers of the LaGG-3, had already attempted to do the same thing, resulting in the Gu-82 fighter. However, he had delayed too long in getting the fighter into production, and by April 1942, Aleksander Yakovlev had succeeded in getting production of the LaGG-3 cancelled in favour of his Yak-7 fighter, effectively monopolising Soviet fighter production.
Lavochkin's OKB was, in the meantime, transferred to the backwaters of Tbilisi, Georgia and he and his team had to work almost illegally and in harsh conditions to modify the LaGG-3 for the M-82 engine. The radial engine was physically wider than the LaGG-3 fuselage cross-section, requiring skirting to attach the larger engine and to the fuselage, and the M-82 also had no space for an engine-mounted cannon, unlike the Klimov M-105. Thus, the updated armament changed to two 20 mm ShVAK cannon mounted on top of the engine. The new LaGG-3 M-82 (also known as the Samolyot 37 (Aircraft 37) or the Type 37) was completed in February 1942 and underwent test flights, with promising results despite problems with engine cooling. Its performance was better than any Soviet fighter then in service. Other issues revealed in testing consisted of: excessive control forces, oil leaks, and excessive weight, but these could not overshadow the LaGG-3 M-82's excellent performance, and it full-scale development began as the LaG-5. The first fully operational LaG-5s were delivered on 20 June 1942.
Series LaG-5s suffered from poor quality, which reduced performance considerably. As was revealed in the test flights, pilots found it to be a more difficult aircraft to fly than the Yak-1 or LaGG-3, but the radial engine enhanced protection during head-on attacks. Redesignated La-5 in September 1942, the new fighter faced its first important test during the battle of Stalingrad. It proved not to be enough to equal the Bf 109 F-4 and G-2 models but was considered capable of further improvement. Continuous improvements to the La-5 would eventually lead to the La-5F, La-5FN, and finally the La-7, among some of the most excellent Soviet fighters of the Great Patriotic War.
"A single-seat cantilever monoplane fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear with a tail wheel. Adapted from the LaGG-3 fighter's airframe for the air-cooled M-82 engine.
The aircraft was powered by the 14-cylinder twin-row air-cooled Shvetsov M-82A radial engine with a maximum output of 1,700 hp.
The La-5 Type 37's armament consisted of two 20 mm synchronized ShVAK cannons with 170 shells each. They were installed in the nose of the fuselage above the engine.
The La-5 Type 37 differed from the prototype LaGG-3M-82 design in its front fuselage, which was given a more circular profile to provide a smooth transition between the engine and the sides without additional splice plates.
The La-5 had roughly equal flight characteristics to those of the Bf.109F, but was weaker than the newer Bf.109G, which appeared on the Soviet-German front at the same as the La-5, in the autumn of 1942.
Apart from that, as with many machines created in a hurry, the La-5 initially had many drawbacks.
The most serious of them were the stifling heat and gas contamination in the cockpit, caused by bad sealing in the engine compartment and a lack of ventilation. Another serious issue was the low-quality plexiglass in the cockpit windows, which quickly discoloured in the sunlight and lost its transparency. In addition, high speeds and g-forces often caused the cockpit canopy to seize up.
To provide fresh air, increase visibility and allow for an emergency escape, the pilot had to keep the cockpit canopy open at all times, though regulations forbade this, as it significantly decreased the plane's maximum speed.
The first La-5 Type 37 Series 1-8 planes were produced in July 1942 at the No. 21 aviation plant in Gorky and went into service in August–September. Production continued until the end of 1942. In total, 1,021 La-5 Type 37s of all production series were produced.
Throughout its series production, the aircraft's flaws were slowly corrected, but for it to go toe to toe with the Bf.109G and the other new German fighter, the FW.190, its flight characteristics needed to be increased."
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- page on aircraft encyclopedia;
- other literature.
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis|
|I-153||I-153 M-62 Chaika · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P Chaika|
|I-16||I-16 type 5 Ishak · I-16 type 10 Ishak · I-16 type 18 Ishak · I-16 type 24 Ishak · I-16 type 27 Ishak · I-16 type 28 Ishak · I-180S|
|I-185||I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)|
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|LaGG||I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66|
|La||La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11|
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|Yak-3||Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)|
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