Oxford AC089 Soviet Lavochkin La-7 Fighter - Sergei Fedorovich Dolgushin, Commander of 156 IAP (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 15th, 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 Soviet Lavochkin La-7 fighter that was piloted by Sergei Fedorovich Dolgushin, Commander of 156 IAP.
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Release Date: April 2019
Historical Account: "Mission Critical" - A native of the Tula region in the Soviet Union, Sergei Fedorovich Dolgushin's War began on June 21st, 1941, when he shot down an enemy reconnaissance aircraft over Soviet territory. Second Lieutenant Dolgushin was a fighter pilot of the 122nd fighter aviation regiment and participated in some of the most brutal battles during the early part of the war. On May 5th, 1942, Lieutenant Dolgushin was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title for heroism and courage . In 1943, Captain Dolgushin was the commander of the 32nd guard fighter aviation regiment. In September of the same year, Sergei Fedorovich, already ranked as a Major, went on to become the commander of the 156th fighter aviation regiment, which remained under his command until the end of the war. As a commander, his aircraft had the best performing engine in his regiment.
The new appointment did not affect the intensity of Dolgushin's combat operations as he continued to fly actively. In September 1944, Sergei Fedorovich was allocated a La-7 fighter with the identification number 93. His operational record ended in Northern Germany where Flight Lieutenant Colonel S.F.Dolgushin flew his last combat flight on May 6th, 1945.
During the war, Dolgushin achieved over 500 mission sorties and destroyed 17 enemy aircraft personally and 11 shared.