LaGG-3 'white 38' with curved arrow emblem

By Massimo Tessitori

File updated on November 12, 2017

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Zavod 31 in Tbilisi was the only one that continued the production of LaGG-3 in 1943 and early 1944 after that Zavod 21 in Gorky, the main LaGG-3 producer, has switched to La-5 in late 1942.

The planes built in Z.31 corresponded to series 60 to 70, but they are often unproperly referred as 'series 66' on bibliography.

The most part of them was utilized on the South front, not too far from the factory and the maintenance facilities.

The version built on Tbilisi was a lightened version, easily distinguishable from earlier LaGG-3s because of:


Late production LaGG-3 'white 38' of unknown unit, presumably on the southern front in mid 1943, after a belly landing.


The most visually interesting characteristic of plane 28 is the white curved arrow painted on its rudder, certainly a regimental mark;

The light rectangle close to the canopy is probably due to stripping by some German souvenir hunter.

A similar curved arrow on the tail has already been seen: this is a detail of a La-5 F or FN on the background of the La-5FN of the ace Vitalii Popkov , 5 GIAP. Anyway this unit was reequipped with La-5s in late 1942, before the start of production of late type LaGG-3, so the hypothesis of 5 GIAP is unlikely for plane 38.


The strange, angular shape of the bort number is clearly visible, as the retouched camouflage.

The metallic panels of the nose seem painted with a darker shade of green than the wooden parts, probably A-24m. The panel directly behind the exhaust stacks appear darker, a characteristic seen on many green/black LaGG-3 built in Tbilisi.

It's unclear if the black blotch usually visible on both sides of the nose of the LaGG-3s built in Z.21 was preserved on those of Z.31, apparently not but this could be due to frequent repainting of the side panels.

Photos: from the web





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