In March 1946, Yosif Stalin assigned the task of developing
advanced single-seat fighters around the
newly-acquired Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet to the design
bureaux of Semyon A Lavochkin, Artem Mikoyan
and Mikhail Gurevich, and Aleksandr Yakovlev on a
competitive basis. The Lavochkin contender, the
La-168, featured a shoulder-mounted wing sweptback
37° 20' at the leading edge and fitted with Fowler
flaps. An armament of two 23mm NS-23KM cannon
and one 37mm N-37 cannon was fitted and power was
provided by a 2268kg Nene R.N.2 turbojet.
The La-168 was first flown on 22 April 1948, subsequently
attaining 1084km/h at 2750m, representing Mach=0.914. During the test
programme, the cockpit canopy collapsed when all
three guns were fired simultaneously at 15000m, but the pilot succeeded in landing the aircraft.
The La-168 test programme continued until 19
February 1949, but the Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau's competitive I-310 (Type S) had meanwhile been
selected for large-scale production.