Kagero's Lavochkin La-7


Dariusz Paduch




$37.00 from Casemate Publishers


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 3088. ISBN 978-83-67294-05-8 80 pages

The Soviet Union has always suffered from a lack of quality production capabilities. This was true in pretty much every part of their industrial capabilitis and in fact, continues even today is several sectors. Much of this was due to the stifling political situation with runaway corruption at all levels, while other parts were a lack of well trained production workers. Often times, these people would emigrate at the first opportunity to places where their skills were more appreciated and working conditions were not as draconian.

However, war changes much of that and the Soviet Union entered WWII with a lot of planes, most of which were on the cusp of being obsolete. The need to move manufacturing out of the way of the advancing Germans did not help, though eventually things stabilized enough to where some semblance of normalcy allowed designers to build and test a variety of weapons, eventually putting some of those into production.

The La-7 is a case in point. Never able to meet the performance specs of the prototype, it was able to at least match or even exceed its rivals on the German side. Constantly plagued by poor workmanship and bugs that seemingly never went away, the La-7 was considered, along with the Yak-3, to be the best single engine fighter of the war.

In this volume, the author covers the development of the La-7 from the earlier La-5FN, its testing, use in combat, and use in test programs. Two of the more interesting were the installation of a rocket engine in the tail and installation of a pair of ramjets under the wing. As with all military systems, politics played a fairly large part and that is covered as well. There are superb period photos, excepts from technical manuals, and the usual large profiles that one expects from Kagero monographs. Those interested in the type will find this a superb addition to their library.

 July 2022

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