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from white 57 to LG-3
an aircraft captured and reutilized by Finnish AF - part 2
By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on November 25, 2004
go to LaGG-3 main page

 
White 57 was a LaGG-3 captured during the Continuation War.
It made a forced landing near Ala-Sedoksa on 14 September 1942, and was recovered by Finns.

go to white 57 page


 
The aircraft became LG-3 in Finnish service, and was assigned to LeLv 32 during winter1942/43; this unit was based based at Nurmoila, on the Olonets isthmus.

 
LG-3 followed other two aircrafts, LG-1 and LG-2; all these were intended to intercept the fast Pe-2s bombers often penetrating the Finnish air space.
These missions were usually conducted by one LaGG only.
A mission with two LaGGs (LG-1 and LG-3) was performed only on 27 October 1943, when a combat with a Pe-2 and two MiG-3s ended without any loss on both sides.

 

The aircraft was of 35th series and its characteristics are:
  • rounded prop spinner for VISh-105SV propeller;
  • triple exhaust stacks;
  • 1 ShVAK 20 mm firing through the propeller shaft;
  • 1 12,7 UB machine gun guns on the left side of the engine cowling, and relative holes on the left side of the cowling;
  • engine cowling with fast lock and merged intake profile;
  • engine side cowling panels divided by a vertical line under exhaust stacks front;
  • no side protection plates behind the exhaust stacks;
  • vertical slots in front of the windscreen;
  • rectangular supercharger intakes;
  • long radio mast;
  • angled rudder hinging line;
  • modified elevators with modified hinge line and wider trimmers;
  • wider water cooler inlet;
  • water cooler outlet on the fuselage without any step;
  • retractable tail wheel with bulged doors;

  • wing slats, pitot on the lower wing surface.

 
  • The aircraft was painted with olive and black splinter camouflage; 
  • if seen from very close, the camo demarcation lines appeared slightly soft and not perfectly straight;
  • the LG-1 code on the left side is black;
  • Finnish svastikas were on 6 positions; the ones on the wings are larger than those on the fuselage;
  • yellow identification bands were typical of Axis aircrafts on the Eastern front;
  • the code on the right side was olive to contrast on the black camo band;
  • some white stenciling was visible;
  • propeller blades were black with yellow tips.

The camouflage was nearly identical to that of LG-1.
Yellow bands under the wings arrive slightly inward the pitot probe.
The swastikas on the wings are larger than those on the fuselage.
click  the photos to see larger ones.

 


 
Intermediate configuration (summer 1944-April 1945)

 
  • During the summer of 1944, LG-3 was slightly modified:
    • the antenna mast was shortened;
    • the tail wheel was made fixed, and its doors were locked in closed position; this could have been done because of the unreliability of the mechanism; the doors were slightly cutten to fit the leg;
    • the upper part of the yellow band on the nose was repainted olive green for reducing its evidence from above.


     
     
     
    This image allows to see the effect of exhaust hot fumes on the paint: it looks lightened instead than turned to black.

     
    Here LG-3 is on a wooden platform repaired in a wood. 
    The vegetation shades let us understand that the recovey  was well hidden.
    Note the low tyres: the aircraft was not ready to take off.

     
    Last configuration (after April 1945)

     
    On 4 September 1944, Finland made an armistice with Soviet Union.
    On 1 April 1945, blue svastikas were replaced by small white-blue-white roundels and yellow bands were deleted, but the LaGGs never flew with such markings.

     
    In this configuration, the yellow bands were completely repainted with camo colors. The left side of the tail looks repainted green too, without the black triangle.
    Again, we see the shorter antenna mast and the tail wheel doors locked in closed position.

     

    Both remaining LaGG-3s (LG-1 and LG-3; LG-2 was already written off because of a bad landing) were scrapped after the war.
    The image looks to show a P-40 and a pair of SB too.

    A special thank to Jouni Ronkko for his collection of scans, that are the base for this research.
    All these photos, scanned from many publications (including LaGG fighters in action) come from Keski-Suomen Ilmailumuseo.
     
    go to LaGG-3 main page