World of Warplanes Update 1.8.0 will include three new Premium aircraft from USSR, Germany and Japan national trees. Every one of them has their own unique character and will suit different players — some of you will like dogfighting in a La-11, some would prefer laying waste to targets on the ground and in the air flying Messerschmitt Me 109 TL, while the true aces should take a look at something completely different — a rocket-powered J8M1 straight from the coast of Japan.
This aircraft was designed as a long range escort fighter according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated from October 18 1946. It was a further development from Lavochkin La-9. The machine performed its maiden flight as soon as May 1947. After a series of improvements that included changes to several mechanisms, the fighter entered production in August 1947. Nevertheless only in 1948 the plane had over 200 changes made into its design. La-11 was constructed as a full-metal classic low-wing monoplane. It was armed with three 23 mm NS-23 cannons with a 75 rounds of ammunition per gun. The fighter had 2235 km operational range.
La-11 fighters took part in patrols over the Northern Pole regions and fought in the skies of China and North Korea. First battle of the La-11 took place on April 8 1950 when a fighter flight of the GIAP 301 (Guard Fighter Aviation Regiment) intercepted and shot down a US Navy reconnaissance plane. The last flight-worthy La-11 was used in shooting of the Soviet aviation-themed movie “Hunt for the Unicorn” in 1989 and was shipped to UK afterwards to stay as a part of a private collection up till today.
La-11 in World of Warplanes is a classic example of later piston-powered USSR aircraft. It has good armament, speed and maneuverability characteristics that allow it to engage in active dogfight with any enemy in low and medium altitude ranges. You should avoid head on attack on heavily armed aircraft though.
Messerschmitt Me 109 TL
Project Me 109 TL was proposed as a possible alternative to the Me 262 in case the main branch of the development program for the jet-powered fighter failed or was delayed. For the purposes of time saving it was supposed to utilize already existing aircraft components, both accepted into production and experimental. Several variants of the overall concept and armament were assessed, but the project did not enter active development stage after all.
In World of Warplanes Me 109 TL shows itself to be a universally capable fighter that can find right tactics for virtually any situation. Its powerful forward-facing armament enables it to shoot down planes effectively, while outboard rockets and bombs pose great threat to ground targets. Its flight characteristics are tailored for best performance at medium altitude but even in sub-optimal conditions Me 109 TL flies quite comfortably.
Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui
Messerschmitt Me 163 fighter was demonstrated to Japanese military in Germany in autumn 1943. The Luftwaffe nursed an opinion that this aircraft could become a panacea against relentless raids the US strategic aviation was performing against Japan. After prolonged series of negotiations Japan purchased a license to manufacture the Me 163B and the Walter HWK 109-509A motor. Partially delivered via submarine (one of which was sunk in transit), the set of technical information was immediately accepted into production. Mitsubishi company used it as a basis to construct a fighter-interceptor that was named Shusui and designated its codename J8M1. The changes to construction were focused mainly on armament – instead of the MK 108 cannon the Shusui was equipped with Type 5 cannon which forced the engineers to widen the wing by 100 mm at its roots and increase its span by 200 mm. Due to difficulties in production of the motor and overall decline in Japanese manufacturing industry the J8M1 performed its maiden flight only on July 7 1945. The machine suffered an engine failure and was completely destroyed during landing, next day its pilot succumbed to resulting injuries. Ground testing of the second engine also turned out to be a failure. In the end J8M never saw battle. By the end of the war Japan had 10 machine in varying states of readiness.
J8M1 in game is a unique machine. It is unsurpassed in terms of maximum speed in boost mode by any rival of the same Tier. Yet it is weaker than most its tier-mates in terms of maneuverability and has armament that shows maximum effectiveness only at short range. This formulates the optimum tactics for J8M1 pilots: lightning strikes with fast withdrawal using boost. You can use this approach effectively at any altitude because the Shusui doesn’t suffer from maneuverability and thrust degradation as normal planes do – it’s essentially a winged rocked, after all.