Oxford AC011 Russian Lavochkin La-7 Fighter - Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS) Fighter Regiment, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"By powerful artillery fire, air strikes, and a wave of attacking tanks, we're supposed to swiftly crush the enemy."
- Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov
The Lavochkin La-7 was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a development and refinement of the Lavochkin La-5, and the last in a family of aircraft that had begun with the LaGG-1 in 1938. By 1943, the La-5 had become a mainstay of the Soviet Air Force, yet both its head designer, Semyon Lavochkin, as well as the engineers at TsAGI ("Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute") felt that it could be improved upon. The LaGG-1 had been designed at a time when it was felt necessary to conserve strategic materials such as aircraft alloys, and had a structure built almost entirely of wood. With Soviet strategists now confident that supplies of these alloys were unlikely to become a problem, Lavochkin began replacing large parts of the airframe (including the wing spars) with alloy components. Various other streamlining changes were made as well, increasing performance further. The prototype, internally designated La-120 by Lavochkin, flew in November, and was quickly put into production, entering service the following spring.
The La-7 earned itself a superb combat record by the end of the war, and was flown by the top two Soviet aces of the conflict. Turning a full circle took 19-21 seconds. The aircraft was also used as a testbed to explore advanced propulsion systems, including a tail-mounted liquid-fuelled rocket engine (La-7R), two under-wing pulsejets (La-7D), and two under-wing ramjets (La-7S). None of these variants proved worth pursuing, and turbojet technology quickly overtook them.
The La-7 was the only Soviet fighter to shoot down a Messerschmitt Me-262, on one occasion over Germany on February 15, 1945. Total production of the La-7 amounted to 5,753 aircraft, including a number of La-7UTI trainers. Those aircraft still in service after the end of the war were given the NATO reporting name Fin. The follow-up model, La-9 despite its outward similarity was a complete reworking of the design.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Russian Lavochkin La-7 fighter that was attached to the Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS) Fighter Regiment during 1944. Special Order!
Wingspan: 5.25 inches
Length: 4.75 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "From the Earth to the Moon" - Lavochkin was a Soviet aircraft design bureau (OKB), now defunct, that was named for its head designer, Semyon Lavochkin. It gained distinction for its family of piston-engined fighter aircraft during World War II, and later shifted to missile designs. The bureau was closed in 1960 upon its head designer's death, but was later re-opened as the NPO Lavochkin to work on interplanetary probe designs for the Lunokhod program that successfully landed two rovers on the surface of the moon.