|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Lavochkin|
Owing little or nothing to earlier fighters from the Lavochkin design bureau, the La-190 was conceived to meet the demand of Yosif Stalin for the "fastest fighter in the world''. Other contenders were the I-350, progenitor of the MiG-19, and the Yak-1000, which, in the event, was to be abandoned before flight testing. The requirement called for use of the new Lyulka AL-5 turbojet which had an initial rating of 4600kg. The La-190 featured a tapered wing sweptback 55° at the leading edge, bicycle-type main undercarriage members with wingtip outrigger stabilising wheels, and an armament of two 37mm N-37 cannon. Innovations insofar as Soviet design was concerned included integral fuel tankage occupying virtually the entire interspar box of the 6.1% thickness wing which featured machined upper and lower skins. All control surfaces were powered by irreversible actuators. The sole prototype La-190 was completed in February 1951. The AL-5 engine offered less thrust than predicted and its unreliability led to cancellation of the development programme after only eight flights. However, a speed of 1190km/h at 5000m, or Mach=1.03, was attained in level flight during one test in March 1951.