This is the Zvezda kit of the legendary La-5FN , the most mass produced of all Soviet fighters. A total of 10,000 La-5s were produced in all modifications!
As it is such an iconic aircraft, I felt I simply had to have one in my collection. However, building this kit turned out to be something of a nightmare! It has a full interior with engine detail but unfortunately, I was not able in the end to display it as I had trouble mating the fuselage halves. I then had problems with the paint job and in the end, I stripped it all off and started all over again!! That’s a first for me! Yes, even I make cock ups from time to time!
Actually even in real life they had problems with the aircraft in development so maybe it carried onto me! During some test flights the wings fell off! At first, sabotage was suspected but later they found out the problem was worn drill bits. The holes for the wing attachments were too small for the bolts and the workers used hefty hammer blows to get them in!
According to a modern Russian source: the front-line pilots liked the plane for its simplicity and reliability. They unanimously noted the high flight performance of the aircraft. The La-5 was one of the most easily controllable fighters, possessed exceptionally high manoeuvrability and had good speed. This aircraft, armed with two synchronous 20-mm ShVAK cannons, allowed Soviet pilots, for the first time since the beginning of the war, to fight on equal terms with any German fighter, changing the tactics of air combat from defensive to active offensive.Источник и подробности: http://www.airaces.ru/plane/voennye-samoljoty-sssr/la-5.html
The ‘FN’ meant it was fuel injected, the ‘F’ standing for ‘forced’.
The air-cooled engine possessed high reliability and survivability – it remained operational in the event of a shot or shrapnel damage even to several of the 14 cylinders. The instrumentation made it possible to pilot the fighter at night and in adverse weather conditions.Источник и подробности: http://www.airaces.ru/plane/voennye-samoljoty-sssr/la-5.html
The La-7 was produced in 1943 and was a redesigned and improved version of the La-5. It had a radial engine which gave it a power of 1800 h.p. and a speed of 420 m.p.h. It was the most advanced of all the Soviet fighters and Stalin was so impressed with it he awarded Lavochkin a special prize of 100,000 roubles! Buy a few tractors with that!!