By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on November 12, 2017
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:
LaGG-3 'white 932' from the 926 IAP at the airport "Pashkovskaya" or "Slavic", during the air battle in the Kuban, in spring - summer 1943.
This plane looks identical to the previous one, apart for the strange absence of the radio mast. Probably it's another plane, but the last digit of the bort number is hidden and we can't know for sure.
Many typical characteristics of of late production LaGG-3 are well apparent in this image: the Yak-like exhausts, yje conformation of the air intakes, the La-5 style windshield etc.
Note how the slogan appears much darker than the bort number; this could be an effect of the stains, but it could be due to the slogan being painted in silver, so its look can change by much with the perspective.
A detail of the starlet on the stabilizer of 932, partially hidden by the bort number.
|The slogan Sabchota Sakartvelo" ("Soviet Georgia") written in Georgian, is well visible on the side of this plane, that could be n.932; at least, it seems to show the same strange black repainting on the lower brace of the star.|
|On the other side, the slogan 'Soviet Georgia' is written in Russian.|
Plane 915 of the same unit. Apart for the bort number, this plane looks identical to the previous ones.
All photos suggest that the camo pattern is similar to the standard one of Zavod 21 (the main LaGG-3 producer up to 1942), but it lacks the black blotches on the sides of the nose.
Green paint looks darker on metal panels than on the wooden part; the panel behind the exhausts look even darker. This was observed on a lot of green/black LaGG-3s produced in Tbilisi.
this work collects a lot of photos from many sources, not always identified
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