Create drones began in 1950 year on the orders of Marshal K. Vershinika, the project was entrusted to the designer S. Lavochkin. The main objective was to manufacture a target, which could be controlled remotely. Initially, the project was designated as the product «201», later it was named La-17.

When designing and designing, special attention was paid to reducing the cost of the device. This task was justified by the fact that this is a disposable device. It is for this reason that a gasoline engine of the RRRD type was used as the power plant. In this case, even a fuel pump was removed, which was replaced with an air pressure accumulator. The feather is made of the profile of CP-11, it was of direct type. When creating the most expensive was the control equipment and autopilot, all this was powered by electricity from the electric motor, which was installed in the bow of the device. Nevertheless, in case of repeated operation of La 17, a parachute and damping system was installed.

Originally planned to carry out with the launch of Tu-2, and the drone was attached to the back of the machine, this option is rejected because the machine could cause damage to the aircraft. Therefore decided as a launcher to use Tu-4 and mounting under the wing.

Tests of the La-17 apparatus began in May 1953. During the tests, two vehicles were launched at once, which were suspended from two wings of the Tu-4. The drones were dropped at an altitude of 8,5 kilometers and a speed of M = 0,42. At start-up, the design thrust of the engines was 900 kgf. The engine of the device and the fuel supply made it possible to fly for 40 minutes. It should be noted that the designers failed to create a high-quality parachute system that could preserve the integrity of the apparatus. Nevertheless, the designers did not abandon the idea of ​​a safe landing, because of this, an additional engine was installed under the hull, which made it possible to increase the angle of attack and reduce the speed during landing.

During the flight the autopilot and drove the car radio command system. With regard to the autopilot, it was originally set to AP-53, and when state tests was replaced by the type of autopilot AP-60.

After detaching from the carrier La-17 goes into a dive, which lasted up to an altitude 7 kilometers, it makes for a set rate to 850 km / h. After dialing the unit is transferred to horizontal flight for a signal from the ground control station and sent to the test site. All tests at the state level have been completed by the fall of 1954 years. They showed that the La-17 can rise to a height of 9,3 kilometer and develop speed 911km / h.

Unmanned aircraft La-17 was adopted, after which began large-scale manufacturing of the device at two plants in Gorky and Orenburg. Production lasted for two years, starting with 1956, for all the time 249 of such machines was manufactured. In general, it was a great machine, which had the only drawback, namely the need for the carrier, which was the Tu-4. Yet the maintenance of the aircraft and unmanned vehicles were quite expensive. Subsequently, a turbojet engine was installed on the La-17, which allowed more military operations to be carried out, while the device required more cash for fabrication and maintenance. Despite further upgrades, this machine was used for training purposes, and in the middle of the 70s, they were almost gone. 

La-17. Characteristics:

Modification   La-17
Wingspan, m   7.50
Length m   8.175
Height, m   2.98
Wing area, m   8.55
Weight, kg  
   empty   1044
   starting   1459
engine's type   1 TRD RD-900
Maximum speed km / h   905
Range, km   120
The flight duration, min   8,5


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