Lavochkin La-11


World War Two-Era Soviet Fighter Monument - Zaporozhye - Ukraine - 01 (43357309794).jpg
An La-11 mounted on a memorial in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.
Role Fighter
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Lavochkin
First flight May 1947
Introduction April 1950
Retired 1966 (PLAAF)
Primary users Soviet Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
Produced 1947-1951
Number built 1,232
Developed from Lavochkin La-130

The Lavochkin La-11 (NATO reporting name Fang) was an early post-World War II Soviet long-range piston-engined fighter aircraft.


One of the recommendations from the government testing of Lavochkin La-130 (Lavochkin La-9 prototype) was to further develop it into a long-range escort fighter. The resultant La-134 prototype (also sometimes referred to as La-9M) featured increased fuel and oil capacity. Armament was reduced to three cannons. The prototype flew in May 1947. The second prototype, La-134D had fuel capacity increased by an additional 275 l (73 US gal) with wing and external fuel tanks. The aircraft was fitted with larger tires to accommodate the increased weight and amenities for long flights such as increased padding in the seat, armrests, and a urinal. In addition, a full radio navigation suite was installed. Not surprisingly, combat performance with a full fuel load suffered. However, as the fuel load approached that of La-9, so did the performance. The aircraft was found to be poorly suited for combat above 7,000 m (23,000 ft). The new fighter, designated La-11 (OKB designation La-140[1]) entered production in 1947. By the end of production in 1951, a total of 1,182 aircraft were built.

Operational history

The first documented combat use of La-11 took place on April 8, 1950, when four Soviet pilots shot down a United States Navy Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer over the Baltic Sea, with all 10 of the Privateer's crew lost. Later the same year, two La-11 pilots shot down a USN Lockheed P2V Neptune over the Sea of Japan near Vladivostok; one USN crew member was killed.

From February 1950, the Soviet 106th Fighter Aviation Division moved to Shanghai to defend it against bombing by the ROCAF. The division included the 351st Fighter Regiment, equipped with the La-11. On March 7, the regiment claimed a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber, shot down near Nanjing.[citation needed] On March 14, 1950, a Martin B-26 Marauder bomber was claimed in Xuzhou.[citation needed] On March 20, 1950, five La-11 pilots encountered a group of North American P-51 Mustangs north-west of Shanghai, although the P-51 pilots immediately retreated.[citation needed] On April 2, 1950, two P-51s were claimed by La-11 pilots over Shanghai.[citation needed] After that, MiG-15s of the Soviet 29th Fighter Regiment took over the air defence role. The ROCAF stopped bombing Shanghai that June and the Soviet units left in October 1950.

By July 1950, La-11s were flying combat air patrol missions over North Korea.[citation needed]

On November 30, 1951, 16 La-11 fighter pilots of the 4th Fighter Aviation Regiment, Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) were escorting 9 Tu-2 PVA bombers to bomb the South Korean island of Taehwa-do (대화도/大和島), in the Pansong archipelago. They were attacked by more than 30 F-86 fighters of the United States Air Force: four Tu-2 bombers and three La-11s were shot down.[citation needed]

The main target of La-11 pilots during the Korean War was the Douglas A-26 Invader night bomber, although numerous skirmishes with P-51s also took place.[citation needed] Attempts to intercept Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers proved fruitless. An La-11 required 26 minutes to reach the B-29's cruising altitude, and, once there, had a speed advantage of only 20 km/h (12 mph).

On July 23, 1954, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster military transport aircraft, registration VR-HEU, operated by Cathay Pacific Airways on a civilian passenger flight en route from Bangkok to Hong Kong, was shot down by two La-11 fighters[citation needed] of the 85th Fighter Regiment, People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) off the coast of Hainan Island, killing 10 people in an incident that has become known as the 1954 Cathay Pacific Douglas DC-4 shootdown.

Although the four-engined propeller-driven Douglas (registered VR-HEU) was a C-54 Skymaster, the incident is known as "the DC-4 shootdown" because the C-54 is the military version of the Douglas DC-4, and the aircraft was flying a commercial passenger run.[2][3][4][5]

Three days later, near the same location, two La-11s of the same unit were shot down by 2 AD-4 airplanes of the US Navy.

During 1954–55, La-11 fighters of the PLAAF took part in the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands escorting the ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy and Tu-2 bombers.[citation needed]


Lavochkin La-11 in the Indonesian Air force Museum, Yoygyakarta
 Soviet Union
 People's Republic of China
 North Korea





United Kingdom

United States

  • La-11 10142/N2276Y, stored pending restoration with Kermit Weeks, Orlampa, Florida

Specifications (La-11)

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 8.62 m (28 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.47 m (11 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 17.6 m2 (189 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: TsAGI Laminar Airfoil[6]
  • Empty weight: 2,770 kg (6,107 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,730 kg (8,223 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,996 kg (8,810 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Shvetsov ASh-82FN 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine with 2-stage supercharger and fuel injection, 1,380 kW (1,850 hp)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 674 km/h (419 mph, 364 kn) at altitude
  • Range: 2,235 km (1,389 mi, 1,207 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,250 m (33,630 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 12.63[7] m/s (2,486 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 212 kg/m2 (43 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.37 kW/kg (0.23 hp/lb)


See also

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ Gordon, Yefim (2003). Lavochkin's Piston-Engined Fighters. Red Star. 10. Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-151-2.
  2. ^ Accident details - VR-HEU - Plane Crash Info
  3. ^ VR-HEU Account by passenger: Valerie Parish Archived 2009-01-27 at the Wayback Machine - Major Commercial Airline Disasters
  4. ^ VR-HEU Archived 2008-08-20 at the Wayback Machine - The Life & Times of James Harper
  5. ^ Hong Kong - Plane Survivors Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine - Movietone News
  6. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Lavochkin La-11 (Fang)".
  • Gordon, Yefim. Lavochkin's Piston-Engined Fighters (Red Star Volume 10). Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-85780-151-2.
  • Kopenhagen, W (ed.), Das große Flugzeug-Typenbuch (in German). Transpress, 1987, ISBN 3-344-00162-0

External links

  • Walkaround La-11 Fang

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