Perhaps not as well known or as fast as it's Yak & Mig rivals the Lavochkin series of Piston Engined Single Seat Fighters none the less earned a reputation for good manoeverablitiy and excellent durability when they were introduced in 1940. The 1st major Production Model was the LaGG-3 which entered service in 1941 and was largely made of wood. Improvements were made and a Radial Engine added which boosted performance still further especially at High Altitude and the new Model was named the La-5, La-5F & La-5FN after more engine modifications. This was dubbed "The Wooden Saviour of Stalingrad" after it dominated the air battles over the beleagured city. The next major Model was the La-7 introduced in 1943 which by now had replaced the wood with light alloys in it's construction and was arguably one of the best dogfighters of WW2 being flown by nearly all the top Russian Aces. Up next came the La-9 which by now was almost 100% alloy construction and was virtually a new aircraft. These came on stream in 1944 but saw only limited action before VE Day. After the war many of these aircarft saw service with various Communist Air Forces in the Soviet Block.