Hello, I’m here to introduce to you my next creation – a semi-replica of the legendary WWII La5FN Fighter.
Of all Soviet WWII fighter planes, those designed by Lavochkin look really great to me. La-7 is a rather commonplace prototype, as it has been chosen by many RC model manufacturers. For this reason, I decided to build a La-5FN, as I like it for its signature air-intake system.
I started with a little shopping tour to find the right type of cowl. Soon I found a plastic plate of an appropriate shape and size. I chose commonly used materials – plywood, balsa and covering film. I downloaded a projection of the plane at three angles. Using it, I made drafts for CNC and began the sawing and shaping. I hadn’t planned to write a detailed account on the building process, so I chose not to post too many photos. This is for guys who know how it all works, and I hope this will make some of you want to build your own plane. The fuselage is constructed of plywood formers (down to the wing’s trailing edge) and balsa formers from the trailing edge to the fin. The stringers are made of 5x5 balsa planks. The whole thing is covered with 1.5mm thick balsa.

This is the plate for the cowl in its initial shape. I made a little space inside the fuselage for the battery, rudder and elevator servos mounts.

The stabilizer and the fin are made of balsa, they’re not flat and have a symmetrical 10%-thick airfoil. I reinforced the stabilizer with 4mm carbon tubes and used generic HobbyKing plastic hinges. The elevator is controlled by a pull rod placed inside the fuselage. The rudder and the tail wheel are controlled by aid of steel hooklinks. The tail wheel is not retractable - just another piece of bad news for the copying accuracy))).

The wing uses a similar technology: the root rib and those located close to the wheel retraction system are made of 3.5mm plywood. The rest of the ribs are made of 3mm balsa. The leading edge is covered with 1.5mm balsa up to the spar. I decided not to cover the entire wing, to reduce weight and simplify the structure. That could have impaired the copying accuracy a little, but there was no visible detriment to the flight. The wing airfoil is the tried-and-true half-symmetric 15%-thick Clark YM.

Here you can see the landing flap actuator. The servo is placed in the middle, and the flaps are driven by pull rods and servo arms.

I use generic plastic landing gear retracts driven by pull rods and a single servo. Later I replaced them with aluminum ones with built-in motors. The landing gear features telescopic gear legs with springs.

When I put the fuselage and the wing together, the fuselage looked a little short to me.

I had to add a bit of length before covering it.

I covered the plane with HobbyKing film, olive on top and gray at the bottom. I know I should have gotten blue film for the bottom, but only gray one was available at the moment.

Again I failed to resist the temptation of copying the cockpit interior, including the control panel, the aiming device, pedals, etc. Sadly, I couldn’t find a pilot qualifying to fly my La-5FN))).

The front and the rear parts of the canopy are made from plastic bottles. The middle part is a bent piece of plexiglass. The canopy is screwed to the fuselage by self-tappers from an old audio cassette.

The spinner is the gimmick. I made it from a big Kinder Surprise egg and screwed it to the hub, which I had cut out of a piece of plywood, by small self-tappers. Then I painted it all white.

This is the flight stabilizer, which I installed on my plane: OrangeRX RX3S 3-Axis Flight Stabilizer V2 (V2.1 firmware) (V-tail/Delta/AUX)
Product http://www.rcfair.com/en/product/999438/

After I upgraded it, the plane began to fly amazingly smooth. What you can see in the vid below is the plane flying when the stabilizer not installed yet, and that is one of my first springtime test-flights. Look at the attempted attack against enemy planes. I should say, none of those was lost or damaged))).

There was not a single accident over the season. In general, the airplane is stable, unflinching and very eager to fly. As you can see in the video, it is slow and genuine. I flew it at half-throttle and I’d push only when doing aerobatics. Stunts are smooth and light. However, landings were a little tough, just like in the video. It did much better after I replaced the retraction system and the landing gear.

Wingspan - 1.4m
Air-borne weight - 2.5kg
ZIPPY Flightmax 4000mAh 5S1P 20C
Product http://www.rcfair.com/en/product/9365/
Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 4240-620kv Brushless Outrunner Motor
Product http://www.rcfair.com/en/product/185973/
[/b] TURNIGY TRUST 70A SBEC Brushless Speed Controller
Product http://www.rcfair.com/en/product/102465/
[/b] Turnigy™ TGY-50090M Analog Servo MG 1.6kg / 0.08sec / 9g
Product http://www.rcfair.com/en/product/529858/

That should be it. You can download my drafts here (La-5.dxf)

Happy landings!
This is the translated version. You can read the original Russian article here.