Lavochkin La-172


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Lavochkin La-172

In parallel with the specification to which the La-168 was to be developed, a requirement was formulated for a lighter "frontal fighter" powered by the Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet. To meet the latter demand, the Lavochkin bureau evolved two designs, the La-172 and the La-174TK. The former was effectively a scaleddown version of the La-168 tailored for the lower-powered, smaller engine and the latter featured exceptionally thin, unswept wings and a configuration generally similar to that of the earlier La-152 series of fighters. The La-172 was powered by an NII-1 turbojet (as the pre-series Soviet version of the Derwent was designated) rated at 1600kg, and entered flight test early in 1948, with armament comprising three 23-mm NS-23 cannon. Early in the test programme, while being flown by I Ye Fedorov, the La-172 suffered uncontrollable flutter at 8000m and entered a flat spin. Recovery was effected at 3000m, but the prototype was heavily damaged in a subsequent crash landing. Nevertheless, development was continued via the La-174D to result in the La-15.

  Take-off weight3708 kg8175 lb
  Empty weight2433 kg5364 lb
  Wingspan8.83 m29 ft 12 in
  Length9.56 m31 ft 4 in
  Wing area16.16 m2173.94 sq ft
  Max. speed1040 km/h646 mph
  Range1300 km808 miles

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