Fatigue testing of the Aero L-39NG began on May 25 at the Czech Aerospace Research Center and will take almost two years. Aero Vodochody has committed to test the first two service lives, but anticipates a triple lifespan. (Photo VZLU)
Fatigue testing of the Aero L-39NG began on May 25 at the Czech Aerospace Research Center and will take almost two years. Aero Vodochody has committed to test the first two service lives, but anticipates a triple lifespan. (Photo VZLU)

Aero L-39NG Fatigue Test Should Confirm Triple Lifespan

The fatigue test of the L-39NG jet aircraft, proving the service life of the new airframe in the length of 5,000 flight hours, has started in the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLÚ). In total, up to five service lives will be tested, where 1 life (5,000 flight hours) will consist of at average 650,000 cycles. The number of proven service lives is in accordance with the European military regulation EMACC, which defines the rules for the L-39NG type certification. The process of airframe tests will be performed by fatigue load sequence simulating the real operating loads of the aircraft. The fatigue test at VZLÚ has begun on May 25, 2020 and will take almost two years.

Compared to its predecessor L-39 Albatros, the new-generation aircraft should have three times longer lifespan. Depending on how the aircraft is used, according to the loads on the structure during flights, the estimated life of the L-39NG is up to 15,000 hours, which is significantly higher than the lifespan of the L-39 Albatros. This is one of many arguments for potential customers, confirming that their investment in the new aircraft will bring them great benefit.For the purpose of the fatigue test, the company Aero Vodochody produced an aircraft with manufacturing serial number 7003. The aircraft 7003 was delivered to VZLÚ in several parts. It was assembled by experts from Aero.

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Aero L-39NG Military Trainer and Light Combat Aircraft
Aero L-39NG Military Trainer and Light Combat Aircraft

The Aero L-39NG (“Next Generation”) is a Czech turbofan-powered military trainer and light combat aircraft currently under development by Aero Vodochody. It is a successor of the Cold War era Aero L-39 Albatros. The aircraft is being developed in two versions (stages). While the L-39NG Stage 1 is an upgrade of original L-39 airframes with a new engine and avionics, the Stage 2 are newly-built aircraft with several design improvements such as a wet wing without the type’s distinctive wingtip fuel tanks. Serial production should begin in 2019. The first L-39NG prototype was rolled out in Odolena Voda on 12 October 2018, and conducted its maiden flight on 22 December 2018.

Aero Vodochody (commonly referred to as Aero) is a Czech (previous Czechoslovak) aircraft company. Its main production facilities are located at Vodochody Airport in the Prague-East District, on the territory between Vodochody and Odolena Voda region. During the Cold War era, the firm was well known for its range of jet-powered trainer aircraft, the L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros. It also developed derivatives of the L-39, the L-59 Super Albatros and the L-159 Alca military light combat jet. After Cold War, Aero Vodochody continues to manufacture both whole aircraft and aerostructures for the aerospace industry.

Fatigue testing of the Aero L-39NG began on May 25 at the Czech Aerospace Research Center and will take almost two years. (Photo VZLU)
Fatigue testing of the Aero L-39NG began on May 25 at the Czech Aerospace Research Center and will take almost two years. (Photo VZLU)
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