Lavochkin produced two famous fighter jets, the La-5 and La-7 series, during the defense of the Soviet Union during World War II (1939-1945). The La-9 was in development at the end of the war and became a direct evolution of the La-7 through the La-126, the later prototype of the war. The Lavochkin La-9 was eventually adopted by the Soviet Air Force under the NATO codename "Fritz". Compared to the previous La-7, the La-9 represents the same aircraft, but with all-metal construction and slightly larger dimensions.
The aircraft entered service in 1946too late for action in World War IIand subsequently entered service in the stockpiles of some Soviet-backed countries, including China, Romania and North Korea. Production took two years and included 1,500 copies.
The La-9 was also one of Lavochkin's last piston fighters, before switching to jet fighters in subsequent years.
The La-9 has a traditional layout with low wings and a single-seat cockpit. The fuselage is nicely streamlined, and its rear traction unit is retractable (including the tail wheel). Armament includes 4 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons with 50 projectiles per cannon.
The aircraft's all-metal construction has allowed engineers to reduce structural weight, resulting in increased fuel capacity and longer range. The reduction in weight also allows for the installation of a large-caliber 23mm gun in the nose.
Power comes from an air-cooled Shvetsov ASh-82FN radial piston engine (driving a three-bladed propeller) with a two-stage supercharger and fuel injection for added power. Output is 1,850 horsepower, propelling the La-9 to a speed of 430 mph and a range of 435 miles.
Service is capped at 35,400 feet with a climb rate of 3,510 feet per minute.
28.31 ft (8.63 m)
32.15 ft (9.8 m)
11.68 ft (3.56 m)
12,822 lb (5,816 kg)
429 mph (690 km/h; 373 knots)
35,433 ft (10,800 m; 6.71 mi)
672 miles (1,082 km; 584 nautical miles)
1,063 m/min (3,489 ft/min)
4 x 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 guns
La-130 - Prototype
La-9 - basic fighter model designation
La-9UTI - two-seat modified trainer
La-132 - Proposed prototype variant with Shvetsov M-93 engine; never produced.
La-9M - Prototype of long-range variant