LaGG - Russian military aircraft design bureau, named after its founders S. A. Lavochkin, V. P. Gorbunov and M.I. Gudkov.
The LaGG group have been one of the most successful and best established of the several Russian aviation design bureaux, but have recently been in the shadow of the younger Yankov bureau due to that group's successful Yan-22 Orel jet fighter having no direct competitor from LaGG. LaGG's own initial jet design was lost in the upheavals following the fall of the SNOR regime, but they have recently made steps to return to their former heights with the new LaGG-197 jet prototype.
The LaGG-197 is a twin-engined jet fighter with the unusual configuration of having the engines in tandem, but slightly offset for the sake of unobstructed air intakes. It is a two-seater fighter, and much heavier than most other fighter aeroplanes of similar performance, but the thrust able to be generated by the two massive engines more than offsets the additional mass; the LaGG-197 may well become the fastest aeroplane in the world when it enters service.
The aeroplane incorporates several advanced design features not seen on most other jet fighters currently in service. It has swept-back wings, as does the Oltenian V-15 Firebolt – a feature allowing greater speeds. A straight wing gives greater manoeuverability at low speeds, but a swept wing is more stable at high speeds at which a straight wing would begin to shear from the aircraft's body.
The other major advance, aside from the new, powerful Klimov engines, is the reconfigured nose section. Wind tunnel tests have consistently shown that above a certain speed, air was inclined to flow around the jet intake rather than into it, causing highly dangerous high-speed engine stalls. The cone-shaped fairing inside the intake directs the air flow into the jet turbine even at high speeds. The LaGG-197 shares this feature with the Turkestani T-11 Davul, and as there was no collaboration, it appears that the same solution was discovered independently.
The Russian military plan to introduce the new fighter in 2010, assuming flight tests go as expected.
Specifications (as designed)
- Engine: 2x 6870 lb thrust Klimov VS-1A turbo-jets
- Wing-span: 56'10"
- Length: 42'6"
- Height: 17'4"
- Weight: Empty 19382 lb / Loaded 25432 lb
- Maximum Speed: 642 mph
- Ceiling: 46330'
- Range: 599 miles
- Crew: 2
- Armament: 3x 37mm espingol cannon, 2x underwing hardpoints