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Lavochkin La 176 - a more significant a/c than you might think

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What's so significant about this a/c? Well it was the first Russian a/c to go supersonic.

I picked up a kit of this a/c at Southern Expo a couple of years ago marked down from £2 to £1. As a sucker for anything with a Red Star and as I had never heard of this a/c I thought that it was worth a punt. Even if it was crude I could put it together quickly and it would sit on the back of the shelf until something better came along.


When I got home and did some research I found out about its significance and made a start. The first thing I found was that the fuselage was much too fat and this brought the project to a halt. I then did some further research using the book 'Lavochkin's Last Jets' and found that there was almost nothing right about the kit apart from the overall dimensions and the size of the mainwheels! I couldn't bring myself to do any more but my interest was aroused and I didn't want to leave it. The thought of a scratchbuilt fuselage was too daunting but then the thought occurred that as it had the Russian version of the Nene engine a modfied Mig fuselage might be suitable. I had an old and somewhat unsatisfactory Mig 15 on the shelf so this was cannibalised.


It had to be extended by fitting a cruciform centre section


It was then planked and the fin reshaped


U/c bays were cut out


The u/c doors were reshaped - original on the right


The next step was to try to get the wings right. the chord was increased by adding strips to the trailing edge. It might have been more intelligent to have added to the leading edge but...


These were then added to the fuselage. This involved much fiddling and bad language followed by copious amounts of filler.


The tailplanes were reshaped and added together with a new canopy and new wing fences (six of them - what fun!)


Edited by John R
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Rear of the canopy faired in, pitot on fin added, sprayed with Alclad Dark Aluminium and u/c added.

I just used the kit components although there was some packing out of the main wheel wells as the

kit legs were a bit short.



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Great work John - it looks like a La-176 and that's the main thing.

I also have a thing for early Soviet jets and have accumulated a few over the years.....

La-15 (Russian vacform)....


Su-9 (Vacform)....


Sukhoi 'Type R' / Su-17.... Legato kit...


Lavochkin's last jet - the La-250 'Anaconda'...


As well as Yak-15/17/23 models.

I'll be adding the P&J Yak-50 & La-150 as soon as I get round to building them.....


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I have several 'dodgy' kits of Russian a/c in the stash.

At the moment I have an A-model Tu 128 looking at me from the back of the workbench saying

'I thought That I was going to be your winter project'

I started it last summer and after spending an evening trying, and failing, to get the bottom of one wing panel to fit the top I put it aside until I had less pressing matters to deal with.

I saw a selection of your builds in another post and was most impressed


Edited by John R
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Very nice work, John! I must say I also like early Soviet jets, although at the moment I seem to be stuck on an extended GPW phase, buildwise. If I ever finish those (or get tired of building them, whichever comes first), then I think it's on to the jets (and mixed propulsion - let's not forget the MiG I-250 and the Su-5). Ken, lovely work as always; I especially like that Su-9. That's one (and the Su-11) I'd love to see in injection-moulded form. Maybe Amodel will get around to them someday.



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