Kagero's Lavochkin La-5 Vol II


Dariusz Paduch




$37.00 from Casemate Publishers


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 3086. ISBN 978-83-66673-97-7, 84 pages

This latest volume in Kagero's Monograph series complete's the story of the Lavochkin La-5. This was one of the first Soviet fighters that was fairly equal to the German Bf-109 and FW-190. However, this was only true at altitudes below 3,000 meters as the engine quickly lost power above that. Many attempts were made to turbocharge it, but none were successful. Indeed, the La-5 suffered from quite a few faults in the engine and airframe. The truth is that the Soviet Union lacked a skilled work force and fairly poor quality control.

This volume covers mostly the later La-5FN with the upgraded M-82FN engine. This engine provided a greater amount of power over the earlier M-82F. The airframe also got a bit of a facelift, incorporating a cut down rear fuselage section with a better all around vision cockpit transparency set.

It is in this volume that we get a fairly detailed technical description using period drawings and photos. It is also here that we are introduced to all the various experimental aircraft that were built in attempts to improve the La-5's performance. This includes the aforementioned turbocharging, schemes to fit small ramjets to the wings and the development of the two seat La-5UTI.

Though built in fairly small numbers, the two seat La-5UTI was built at the factory and at more local repair facilities. This conversion did not add any length to the airframe, but put the second seat behind the first and required some equipment removal and local airframe strengthening. This volume also covers the wartime and post war utilization of the La-5 by other nations, the greatest user of the type being Czechoslovakia. However, its post war usage was limited as time was not good to the wooden airframe. There are also some large profiles, oddly most of which are of the earlier La-5F which along with all the nice period images, makes this a nice addition to one's library. It is a book I enjoyed reading and can quite easily recommend to you.

July 2022

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