The Lavochkin bureau's response to Yosif Stalin's order of February 1945 to design and build a single-seat jet fighter around a Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet, was the La-150 of pod-and-boom layout with a shoulder-mounted wing.
Like the competitive designs from the Mikoyan-Gurevich and Yakovlev bureaux, the La-150 was awarded a prototype/pre-series aircraft order, the first of the prototypes flying in September 1946 powered by the Soviet derivative of the Junkers Jumo 004B axial-flow turbojet engine, the RD-10 rated at 900kg.
The February 1945 Soviet requirement for a jet-powered fighter specified a single 1984-lb (900-kg) thrust RD-10, and the limited power of this engine dictated that the designers had to exercise considerable ingenuity in keeping down weight and optimizing the engine installation. The Lavochkin team’s response was a small machine and a pod-and-boom fuselage allowing the use of an efficient straight-through design from the circular nose inlet to the nozzle under the boom. Five prototypes were built for trials from late 1946, but the type was beset by problems including a high structure weight and sluggish performance. Excessive dihedral effect resulting from the wing positioning was rectified on the second prototype by drooping the wingtips, but excessive oscillation of the tail surfaces at high speeds resulting from inadequate stiffness of the tailboom could not be overcome.
The Yak-17 Feather was slightly faster and lighter than its competitor, the La-150, and was substantially superior in range; rough-field performance of the Yak-17 was very much better than that of the Lavochkin design, which had a heavy narrow-track undercar-riage. The La-150 was abandoned in April 1947 and the Yak-17 was ordered into production.
Max take-off weight: 2961 kg / 6528 lb
Empty weight: 2059 kg / 4539 lb
Wingspan: 8.20 m / 26 ft 11 in
Length: 9.42 m / 30 ft 11 in
Wing area: 12.15 sq.m / 130.78 sq ft
Max. speed: 805 km/h / 500 mph
Range: 500 km / 311 miles
Armament: 2 x 23mm NS-23 cannon.