Grey La-5 white 26
by Massimo Tessitori

Updated on April 17, 2019

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This image of La-5 of 159 IAP was presumably taken in winter 1943/44.

Its main interest is that the camouflage shown is not the green-black one, that was standard when the type was built: not for the contrast of the colors, nor for the pattern. This is the only photo of a La-5 known to me that shows similar pecularities.

Probably the plane was repainted with the AMT-11/12 camouflage that had become standard in August 1943, when the production of this type was already end. The red stars with white-red outline are coherent with this assumption. The repainting had to be recent, because the steel plate on the fuselage sides still preserved its paint.

The pattern is broadly compatible with the NKAP template of 1943; probably the upper surfaces of wings and tail were based on the same template, but without hard edges.

Another reason of interest is that both the spinner and the rudder of this plane seem painted silver; this paint was often used as an alternative to white. The silver paint is extended to the outline of the red star on the rudder, while the part on the fin was standard white, as that of the star on the fuselage and of the number 26, that is not made with factory fonts.

The frames of the canopy appear dark; they likely preserved the previous black-green livery.

The comparison to the plane on the background, that looks to have the old green-black camouflage and a white spinner, confirms the peculiarities of plane 26.



Left: a reconstruction of the look of this plane.

The top view is based on the usual camouflage of La-5 F and FN.



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