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LaGG-3 variants

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So Im curious about the development of the LaGG-3. It seems that information about the specifics of the development of the type is rare and usually is limited to mentioning its underwhelming performance and eventual evolution into the La-5. I am mostly curious as to how the early LaGG models (ie around the start of Barbarossa) compare to the LaGG model we have in the sim and what improvements were made to it prior to the type being pulled from the front lines.

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Lagg development wasnt dropped until around 1943. I think the Lagg-3 series 66 was the pinnacle of the lagg design and was used into the end of the war along with the Migs. It turned into a rather formidable opponent at that time but never took the spotlight because it was still behind the competition. I think it was mostly the power plant that was where they focused on improvement but I am no expert. 

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The version we have, the Series 29, is at least somewhat of a refinement of the original design. The early series 4 version for example packed a ShVAK 20mm cannon, a pair of UBS 12.7mm machine guns plus another two ShKAS 7.62mm machine guns. All in the nose either firing through the prop hub or through the prop.

 

This plus manufacturing defects meant that the LaGG-3 was lugging around a lot of weight. The early M-105 engine wasn't as refined either.

 

Successive versions reduced weight (armament reduced to a single cannon and machine gun), improved aerodynamics, cleaned up production issues, and added features. Sometime after the S.29 they added leading edge slats as you see on the La-5.

 

The Series 66 is the last version with the lowest weight, the most engine power, and the most refinement. It was adequate but lived in the shadow of the La-5 by this point. It saw combat almost exclusively on the southern front (i.e. Kuban/Crimea).

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Originally the LaGG was built around the M-106 Engine. which never entered large scale production. The 106 was the predecessor to the 107, following the same recipe of low compression and high boost pressure for low altitude operation. Just like the La-5, the LaGG-3 would have been best below 2000m where it would have matched the German fighters with ease. That Engine would have produced about 1350-1400hp as a low drag V-12.

 

Well, the engine never happened. And so it got a 28% less powerful engine than it was designed to. Add to that factories being evacuated, Workforce changed to untrained women and children, while experienced men went to the Front. And you bet you have yourself a potential Problem. 

 

In any case the first 300 LaGGs were really good, having been built in Peacetime.

Edited by 6./ZG26_Klaus-Mann
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In any case the first 300 LaGGs were really good, having been built in Peacetime.

I think a good example of the overall production quality of the early LaGGs is Galchenko’s famous “white cat”/“black cat”.

 

galachenkoallm2cr.jpg

 

That plane is commonly considered a series 2 or 3 (so it has no cannon just 2xShKAS and 1xUBS on the cowling and one UB firing through propeller hub) and it soldiered on through hundreds of missions over 2 years in very harsh conditions on the northern front, eventually becoming a patchwork of overlapping paint jobs. Galchenko was never shot down and scored the majority of his 24 victories in that LaGG.

 

Still, the quality of the early builds doesn’t negate the overall lack of power and poor weight distribution of the early design.

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Add to that factories being evacuated, Workforce changed to untrained women and children, while experienced men went to the Front. And you bet you have yourself a potential Problem. 

 

In any case the first 300 LaGGs were really good, having been built in Peacetime.

 

Main producer of LaGGs, Zavod No.21 in Gorkyi (Nizhnyi Novgorod) has never been evacuated (It is some 400km eastward of Moscow).Nor was Zavod No.31 in Tbilisi. Production before 22.6.1941 was of as low quality as after. Situation improved in early 1942 ,when experience gained by workers and general continuous refinements in construction and production has started to kick in.

Same as Yak and MiG,Laggs suffered in build quality due to unfinished development and too early press into serial  production with all of their "child diseases". Not because women and teenagers (that was a matter of technological discipline on production lines). Skilled aviation workers were not sent in droves to the frontlines. It was the ramp-up of the production that required increased number of workers. Same as in peacetime,they dont grow on trees. You have to hire them in advance and train them. That was the main issue. Unrealistic plans from NKAP pushing plant managers to the limits of their capabilities and sources.

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Very good article about LaGG-3 in Crimea-Kuban region in late 1943, by Ivan Lavrinenko.

Great article (using google translate) Sounds like the pilots were not impressed with the machine.

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That plane is commonly considered a series 2 or 3 (so it has no cannon just 2xShKAS and 1xUBS on the cowling and one UB firing through propeller hub)

 

I thought the early weapon configuration of the LaGGs were 2 UBS in the cowling, 1 UBK through the prop hub + 2 ShKAS in the cowling as well, or 1 ShVAK through the prop hub but only 1 UBS in the cowling and 2 ShKAS?

 

I wonder if they could fit the powerful Mikulin engine in an early LaGG or Yak how they would have performed.

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Of the 4 Plants LaGG-3s were produced at, 3 were evacuated. 

Zavod 21 in Gorky never moved, true

Zavod 31 moved from Taganrog to Tbilsi

Zavod 23 from Leningrad and 153 in Moscor were joined together in Novosibirsk. 

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Zavod No.301 Moscow-Khimki

Original seat of Lavotchkins OKB-301.Never produced LaGGs.

 

Zavod No.21 Gorkyi (Niznyi Novgorod)

After moving OKB-301 there became motherplant for LaGGs.Produced majority of LaGGs till summer 1942 (4430pcs) and then switched to La-5.

Established from the very beginning as Fighter aircraft factory in 1932.

 

Zavod No.153 Novosibirsk

Former Sibmeshstroi factory producing mining equipment. Opened partial aircraft production in 1937 (I-16 and UTI-4)

It was not evacuated.Produced totally 265 LaGGs (most of them assembled only in spring 1942 after half finished pieces withstand the harsh winter parking outside of factory covered by snow) and then switched to Yak-7/9.

 

 

Zavod No.23 "Krasnyi Letchik" Leningrad

Main production of U-1,U-2,UT-2 trainers.Produced only small batch of 65pcs of LaGGs.Moved first in June 41 to Moscow premises of Zavod No.22,then in october 1941 merged with Novosibirsk Zavod No.153.

 

Zavod No.31 Taganrog

Former Lebedevs maritime aircraft factory.Main production of seaplanes (1365 MBR-2s till 1940).

Managed to produce 474pcs from October 1940 till October 1941 before evacuation to Tbilisi.Production has been very slow paced in Taganrog,factory was not suitable for mass production of such aircraft. Launch of the production supervised by Gorbunov team.

After evacuation to Tbilisi it absorbed local Zavod No.448 (intended to produce Klimov engines for Pe-2) + allready evacuated Zavod No.45 from Sevastopol.

1294 LaGGs were produced at Tbilisi from 1942 till end of life in mid 1944. Comparing to output of gigants like Zavod No.21,153 or 292 it was more of a workshop manufacture than mass production.

Edited by Brano

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A LaGG 3 Pack as a collector plane would be interesting, i have always liked that plane. 

 

Lets say the early 4 series and the latest 66.

 

I know that topic is from 2017, but the des could provide us the planes and we can support them even more. And with the current base model it shouldnt be that difficult as to build a plane from scratch 

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The main and usually overlooked reason for LaGG-3 abysmal performance of early versions was a fact that it was initially designed to use the VK-106 engine, which was supposed to deliver about 1350 HP.

 

After design of 106 failed and was abandoned, they had to use significantly weaker VK-105 (1050 HP) with disastrous impact on flight characteristics. Plane could only prove that it's a good fighter design once it got the power it was designed for in form of an ASh-82.

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Wasn't the early LaGG also hampered by all the guns it had in the nose?

I seem to remember the early LaGGs in IL-2 and it really had a destroyer's worth of firepower, but no engine to haul all the weight around.

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I agree we really need more LaGG variants, we are currently missing a lot of relevant soviet fighters, we might have one mig and one lagg but we need very early and very late versions of both of these planes.
Right now in a moscow scenario we only have the least prevalent types the russians flew at that time, which makes the WoL admins force rockets onto these planes to bring them closer to the types that actualy flew then and there.

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In addition to early Yak and LaGG that would both be nice(against 109 E and F-2), I think the Soviets also need another early bomber, Il-4 or maybe DB-3.

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I’ll break down the important variants (from lavochkin fighters of the Second World War):

 

Series 4: This version had a ShVAK SP-20 20-mm cannon in the nose (introduced on the series 2), and the starboard UBS 12.7-mm (50-calibre) machine gun was removed to lighten the aircraft. The bottom rudder balance was removed. The shape of the metal exhaust shield on each side, which extended past the metal engine panelling to protect the finish from scorching, was also changed, with a pointed rather than rounded aft end, as on the earlier series. The lower rudder balance was deleted early on in the series 4 run, leaving only the top rudder balance. There was also now a small inlet in front of the main inlet on the underside of the nose. The wing root intakes were now rectangular. Although some of this series, perhaps only the early versions, may have had a retractable tail wheel, it appears that most had a fixed tail wheel, although it is unclear whether they were built this way or this was done in the field, although it is probable that the majority were delivered from the factory with the fixed tail wheel. A longer antenna mast was now used as opposed to the relatively small mast used on the series 1, probably for better radio reception. The series 4 also featured the M-105PA engine, which, while it had the same horsepower (1,100 hp at take-off) as the M-105P, featured an improved carburettor, the K-105PB.

 

Series 8: Most sources indicate that, in this series, both ShKAS 7.62-mm (30-calibre) machine guns were removed in an attempt to lighten the overweight LaGG-3 (though one source indicates that this was not done until the series 11). The series 8 was also apparently capable of mounting a VYa-23 23-mm cannon in the nose, in place of the standard ShVAK 20-mm cannon. It seems that subsequent series of LaGG-3 may have also been able to mount a VYa-23; however, this would probably not have been done very often, as the Il-2 had priority with this weapon. When it was fitted, the extended length of the 23-mm cannon barrel was visibly longer than the normal 20-mm cannon. The reason it was felt that the smaller machine guns could be dispensed with to lighten the airframe was that the guns jammed too often, and it was thought that they were relatively ineffective against the sturdy German aircraft on the Eastern Front. Allegedly, these smaller machine guns were derisively called ‘paint-scratchers’, because this was supposedly all they did to the Luftwaffe. In any case, Soviet aerial tactics now called for a few heavy calibre weapons, heavy machine guns and cannons, preferably grouped in the nose, firing explosive shells at close range for maximum damage. The Soviets preferred to keep the wings clear of guns, as this made the wings lighter, simpler to build, easier to maintain, and the aircraft more manoeuvrable. The first of the series 8 aircraft were completed in late 1941 and with the exception of the LaGG-3-37, all future LaGG-3s would be equipped with the 20-mm (or, more rarely, the 23-mm) cannon and 12.7-mm (50-calibre) machine gun in the nose. As with most of the series 4 aircraft, the tail wheel was fixed.

 

Series 29: The single engine exhaust tube on each side, present on all earlier LaGG-3s, was replaced by three exhausts per side, which probably added a small amount of thrust. In addition, the extended metal exhaust shield on each side, which had continued past the metal engine panelling, was now deleted. The engine was changed also; instead of the M-105PA, with 1,100 hp at take-off, the series 29 was equipped with the M-105PF, with 1,210 hp at take-off. Although the high altitude performance suffered, this was of little account as most combat on the Eastern Front took place at low altitudes, often well below 16,400 feet (5,000 m). The first of the new series were delivered from Zavodi 21 and 31 in June 1942. Only a few of the series 29 were produced at Z.21, as production there shifted to the new La-5 fighter. After this series, LaGG-3 production was limited to Z.31 in Tbilisi. Some late examples of the series 29 had the larger rectangular radiator intake associated with the series 35, and others the new VISh-105V propeller and bulbous spinner. Some were also fitted with skis that were now retractable, as opposed to the fixed skis fitted to some series 11 aircraft. The tail wheel remained non-retractable on all series 29 aircraft.

 

Series 34: It appears that this series number was used for the LaGG-3-37, with the NS-37 37-mm cannon installed between the engine cylinders and firing through the nose spinner. The NS-37 was equipped with twenty rounds and had a rate of fire of 250 rpm. This series had the three exhausts per side, the leading edge slats, and apparently a retractable tail wheel as well. In which case, it would have been very similar to the series 35, with the exception of the nose armament (the 37-mm cannon for the series 34 as opposed to the ShVAK 20-mm cannon for the series 35) and the larger rectangular under fuselage scoop of the series 35.

 

Series 35: This series reintroduced the retractable tail wheel into large-scale production (as only a relatively small batch of the series 34 were produced), in an effort to better streamline the LaGG-3. Metal leading edge slats, which helped with handling, were also present (these were also present on the LaGG-3-37/series 34, along with the retractable tail wheel). This necessitated moving the pitot tube from the leading edge of the wing to a position under the wing, a position which all subsequent wartime Lavochkin fighters featured. The propeller spinner was of a more bulbous profile than the series 29, as a new propeller had been fitted, the VISh-105V (‘VISh’ stood for vint izmenyayemovo shaga , ‘variable pitch propeller’). The under fuselage radiator scoop was larger than in previous series and was now made out of metal, as this was easier to repair than a wooden scoop; on the other hand, it was more likely to be damaged in the event of a wheels-up landing because of its larger size. The wing root intakes were rectangular, as on series 4 aircraft. From this series on the elevators were slightly enlarged, as well as the elevator trim tabs. From August 1942 until the spring of 1943, the series 35 was produced solely by Z.31, which by the time production had ended on the series 35 was the only zavod manufacturing the LaGG-3.

 

Series 66: This was the last main production series of the LaGG-3. It incorporated the various changes that had been made to lighten and improve the airframe, including the reduced armament, the leading edge wing slats, and the retractable tail wheel. All these changes had first been incorporated together in the series 35. The series 66 now introduced a flat (though still unarmoured) windscreen, which prevented distortion of the forward view for the pilot caused by the curved windscreen. This flat windscreen feature was taken from the La-5s that by 1943 were also in production. The sliding canopy was different also, with a framed clear strip behind the main rear frame (this was not present on the high-back La-5s, which had a sliding canopy like the series 35). Unlike the series 35, the series 66 featured four, not three, engine exhausts per side, and incorporated a shield above the exhausts to protect the pilot from the glare of the exhausts. Strangely, although none of my sources mention this, I have seen two photographs which clearly show a series 66 LaGG-3 with small gear doors attached to the fuselage. These would have served to cover the outer part of the main wheels, as on the La-7. Whether this was an experimental installation, or fitted to some production series 66, remains unclear. The under nose scoop was enlarged compared to the series 35, while the scoop for the under fuselage radiator was smaller and wooden, like those used on LaGG-3s before the series 35. The landing light on the port side was now removed, leaving this series with no landing light. The wing root intakes were oval as on series 1 aircraft, but larger. The series 66 was only built at Z.31 at Tbilisi, as by 1943 production had ceased at Zavodi 21 and 99. Since for a time both the La-5 and LaGG-3 were being produced simultaneously, some improvements, such as the flat windscreen, appeared on both the series 66 and the later high-back La-5s. However, only a few La-5s were actually built at Z.31, which concentrated its production on the LaGG-3, until it switched to producing the Yak-3 from 1944 on. The series 66 had a top speed of 336 mph (542 kph) at sea level, an improvement on the series 29’s 315 mph (507 kph) at sea level. The top speed for the series 66 was 367 mph (591 kph), which was better than the earlier series of LaGG-3s. As the above figures indicate, the series 66 was a much better aeroplane than the earlier LaGG-3s, with more speed and good manoeuvrability (including an excellent horizontal turning capability). Yet by the time the series 66 was introduced, there were better Soviet fighters available, including the LaGG-3’s development and successor, the radial-engined La-5. Because of this, its use was mainly limited to the southern part of the Soviet Union, near Z.31 at Tbilisi in Georgia. It was here that the very last LaGG-3s were produced into 1944, when 229 were built. This brought the total of all LaGG-3s built at all the factories to 6,528. Even with the cessation of production, the LaGG-3 continued to be used throughout 1944 and into 1945, and in the Manchurian Campaign, the final offensive of the entire Second World War.

 

Hopefully, we get some of these added in later. Especially the series 4 or 8 would make nice additions to the battle of Moscow setting.

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2 hours ago, No.615_Kai_Lae said:

. The series 66 had a top speed of 336 mph (542 kph) at sea level, an improvement on the series 29’s 315 mph (507 kph) at sea level. The top speed for the series 66 was 367 mph (591 kph), which was better than the earlier series of LaGG-3s. As the above figures indicate, the series 66 was a much better aeroplane than the earlier LaGG-3s, with more speed and good manoeuvrability (including an excellent horizontal turning capability). Yet by the time the series 66 was introduced, there were better Soviet fighters available, including the LaGG-3’s development and successor, the radial-engined La-5

 

542kmh is quite a respectable performance from the series 66 machines- faster than Yak 1b and even approaching LA5 series 2 speeds. 

Edited by Bilbo_Baggins

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Key takeaways: S4/S8 aircraft are early variants that would be nice in the BoM scenario, S34/35 are later period BoS aircraft (and very similar, so hopefully easy to get both) that added leading edge slats and retractable tailwheel, and S66 was, due to the fact the factory was in the region of the fighting, the most common combat aircraft fielded by the VVS in the Kuban theater. 

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Hello guys, I`v found information how many planes were equiped with 37mm, but can`t find the numbers for 23 mm cannon.
There is only marginal info that, some of them were equiped with Wja-23mm cannon.

Can you support me ?

As an example I`v found some data about LaGGs produced in factory nr 21, anyways it seems, that LaGG -3 with 23mm versions was around 10-15 % of total production. 

 

And when IL-2s were started to be equiped with 23 mm cannons ( and around which month of 1944 with 37mm ) ?

@Brano

@ACG_Kai_Lae @ShamrockOneFive
 

@CrazyDuck @Bilbo_Baggins


 

Edited by =LG=Blakhart
No double post

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If we could get it along with the early Yak-1s for BoM, I´d be a happy camper.

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:22 AM, =LG=Blakhart said:

Hello guys, I`v found information how many planes were equiped with 37mm, but can`t find the numbers for 23 mm cannon.
There is only marginal info that, some of them were equiped with Wja-23mm cannon.

Can you support me ?

As an example I`v found some data about LaGGs produced in factory nr 21, anyways it seems, that LaGG -3 with 23mm versions was around 10-15 % of total production. 

 

And when IL-2s were started to be equiped with 23 mm cannons ( and around which month of 1944 with 37mm ) ?

@Brano

@ACG_Kai_Lae @ShamrockOneFive
 

@CrazyDuck @Bilbo_Baggins


 

 

Production numbers are hard to come by for each individual series. I'm sure it's out there somewhere.

 

Several sources say only the Series 8 had the VYa-23mm in the nose. Others suggest that it was mixed and spread among different series.

 

http://ram-home.com/ram-old/lagg-3-more.html

 

I keep hearing that it was tested operationally in combat situations but in small numbers.

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@ShamrockOneFive 

Thx for reply!

Well, what I`v found is they suppose to load 23 mm to every IL-2 since the begin, but this gun production was probably limited in 1940-1941.
Also there was a great mess because of the factories evacuation.
So thats why it was so randomized...
Anyways looks like 20mm was a basic & most common loadout.

In total 10-15% of Laggs could be produced with 23mm after 1942-1943, when Vya-23 production  increased

Sources show:
1942 — 13,420

1943 — 16,430

1944 — 22,820

1945 — 873

1946 — 2,002

1947 — 1,247

 

But still Il-2s were priority because of the Stalin order. Even MiG-3 production was terminated at some point because those AM-38 engines were needed for IL-2`s  :)

Never found any info about 23mm in series 8 ( maybe except some testing aircraft )

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I think that in order to know what was fitted when, with regards to the 23mm, I'd probably need to be able to read Russian. 

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