|This page is about the Russian fighter La-7B-20. For other versions, see La-7 and Dolgushin's La-7.|
The La-7B-20 is a rank IV Russian fighter with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). This aircraft was introduced in Update 1.31.
Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 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|
|< 350||< 350||< 440||> 230|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|1,550 m||1670 hp||1,958 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,700 m||1,410 hp||?,??? hp|
Survivability and armour
- 55 mm Bulletproof glass in the cockpit front.
- 66 mm Bulletproof glass in the cockpit rear.
- 8.5 mm Steel plate in the pilot's seat.
The La-7B-20 is armed with:
- 3 x 20 mm B-20S cannons, nose-mounted (130 rpg = 390 total)
The La-7B-20 can be outfitted externally with:
- 2 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (100 kg total)
- 2 x 100 kg FAB-100 bombs (200 kg total)
Usage in battles
The key to staying alive in the La-7 series lies in deceiving the enemy. By flying at around 4,500 m (15,000 ft) altitude, you present yourself as an easy target for Boom & Zoom aircraft that are flying at higher altitudes. When you spot someone diving at you, break off and evade his burst, while slowly luring him into maneuver combat - this way you will start gaining the edge while the enemy loses his speed and momentum in the turn. Another habit worth developing in the La-7B-20 is ammo conservation - because the available load per gun has decreased compared to the La-7, it is crucial to only take shots that you know will hit. This way, you stand a larger chance of critically damaging the enemy airplane. By following those rules, you will soon find yourself efficiently researching the final Lavochkin piston fighter - the La-9.
The LA-7B-20 is placed quite low in the Battle Rating spread, which means that you will still engage Rank III aircraft.
One strength that you will want to take advantage of is the excellent low altitude performance. Ideally, you want to engage your enemies at altitudes lower than 5 km. Higher up, the power output of the engine reduces drastically, making you an easy target. Aside from the speed, the La-7B-20 possesses very good turning capabilities - while it is not as good a turner as some British and Japanese designs, it can give many German and US aircraft a run for their money.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not controllable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair||Radiator||Armored Glass||DZ-40|
|III||Wing Repair||Engine||Rear Plate Armor||Offensive 20 mm|
|IV||Engine Injection||Cover||New 20 mm Cannons|
Four upgrades are of importance: Offensive 20 mm, Compressor, Engine and Engine injection.
Pros and cons
- Excellent low altitude performance (< 3000 m)
- Decent manoeuvrability
- Great acceleration and climb
- Good roll rate
- Centre-mounted cannons
- Poor performance at high altitude (> 4000 m)
- Poor maximum dive speed
- Fast-firing cannons burn through ammunition
The concept of a new fighter for the Soviet Air Force was pitched in 1943. While the earlier Lavochkin La-5 proved to be one of the best Soviet fighters produced up to that point, the main designer of the La-5, Semyon Lavochkin, felt that it could be improved even further. Work on a completely new fighter began in the early months of 1944. The new fighter was supposed to be an improved version of the La-5 design. The changes included the incorporation of a lighter and more durable metal airframe in place of the earlier wooden one. Other changes included the mounting of a new gun sight and propeller, as well as the strengthening of the landing gear struts and streamlining of the wings. It was to be armed with three Berezin B-20 20 mm cannons, however, the delay in production meant that most new La-7s were armed with 2 20 mm ShVAK cannons, like its predecessor. After more tests, the new fighter was accepted into serial production in late 1944.
In September 1944, the first La-7s found their way onto the front lines with the 63rd Guard Fighter Aviation Corps. The reception of the new fighter was warm - it was faster and more maneuverable than the La-5, which meant it could more efficiently tackle the most common German fighter the Soviets faced: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G. In certain circumstances, the speed allowed the Soviet pilots to intercept Fw 190 fighter-bombers - a feat impossible to achieve for other Soviet fighters like the Yak-3. The main critiques of the design were considered to be the engine reliability and armament - the twin 20 mm ShVAK cannons were judged as inadequate in fights against better armoured Fw 190s. Still, the La-7 became one of the most successful Soviet piston fighters of World War II. Soviet ace Ivan Kozhedub scored 17 kills while flying the La-7 - his last one being an Me 262 jet. After the war the La-7 was replaced by the La-9 prop fighter, although many were still used by other communist states as both fighters and trainer aircraft.
"A single-seat cantilever monoplane fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear with a tail wheel. The La-7 was the successor to the La-5FN. Testing began on the experimental La-5 Benchmark 1944 in February 1944, and went into series production in May 1944 with the designation La-7.
The La-5 Benchmark 1944 underwent tests with three synchronized Berezina B-20 aviation cannons. These new cannons were large-caliber UB machine guns redesigned for use with 20 mm rounds, and were not yet in series production. They were very light (only 25 kg) but unreliable. For this reason, the test reports recommended series production of the plane with the same armament as was used on the La-5FN – two 20 mm Shpitalny-Vladimirov ShVAK cannons.
In October 1944, the B-20 cannons went into production at the Kovrov Ordnance Plant, and in January–February 1945, the La-7 underwent testing with them again. The in-flight firing results showed that the reliability of the cannons had improved, but was still lower than that of the ShVAK cannons. Nonetheless, a small batch of the fighters with three cannons (these were also called “three-pointers”) was produced in the winter of 1944–1945 on the No. 381 Aviation Plant in Moscow.
The La-7 was also tested with three experimental Shpitalny SH-20 cannons, but this cannon was never adequately tuned, so it failed to make its way into the series.
The plane contained the twin-row air-cooled 14-cylinder A.D. Shvetsov ASH-82FN radial engine with a maximum output of 1,850 hp.
Its firing armament consisted of three 20 mm synchronized Berezina B-20 cannons with 130 rounds each.
The plane's bomb complement consisted of two detachable wing-mounted DZ-40 locking bomb racks, each of which could carry bombs with a caliber of up to 100 kg. It mostly used the general-purpose air-dropped FAB-50 and FAB-100 bombs, along with the ZAB-50 and ZAB-100 incendiary bombs and the AO-50 and AO-25 fragmenting bombs.
Approximately 368 planes of this model were made. Further production was stopped owing to the unsatisfactory reliability of the B-20 cannons. However, combat pilots liked the “three-pointer” La-7 and, like the test pilots, did not complain about the weaponry's operation."
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;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
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