Engineers at the Czech Aerospace Research Centre in Prague have successfully completed a third phase of fatigue testing on the next generation L-39 fighter jet, proving its operational lifespan will exceed that of its predecessor’s. The prototype with manufacturing serial number 7003 completed the third life cycle ground test which confirmed that the lifespan of the new aircraft will be significantly longer than of its predecessor L-39 Albatros.The fatigue test of the L-39 NGat the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLÚ) started on May 25, 2020 and is scheduled to last for two years. Aero Vodochody has already completed two life cycles of ground fatigue testing on the prototype with manufacturing serial number 7003 to obtain type certification.
These first two cycles of fatigue testing, which subjected the prototype to loading compared to 10,000 flight hours, were completed on time and with the necessary proof of test parameters and results in cooperation with VZLÚ. On September 18, 2020, the L-39NG aircraft received a type certificate which means it is eligible to operate in international air space and meets all safety requirements. The fatigue test at VZLÚ has started on May 25, 2020 and is scheduled for two years. In order to obtain type certification, Aero had pledged to complete two life cycles in the ground fatigue test (i.e. loading compared to 10,000 flight hours), which was met on time and with the necessary proof of test parameters and results in cooperation with VZLÚ.
The recent completion of the third life cycle ground test confirms that the lifespan of the new aircraft will be significantly longer than of its predecessor. The entire fatigue test is scheduled to be completed by April 2022. The L-39NG aircraft should have three times longer lifespan than the original Albatros. The fourth fatigue life cycle of the L-39NG is now starting, and the entire completion of the fatigue test is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022. Depending on the way the aircraft is used, the service life of the L-39NG is up to 15,000 flight hours. The project of the L-39NG fatigue test is financed with the state subsidy from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the TREND Programme.
The L-39NG (next generation) is made by the Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody and is used for light attack and / or pilot training for fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft. The L-39NG, which received its type certificate in September 2020, is powered by the FJ44-4M engine and features optimized aerodynamics and materials, modern avionics, five hard-points for weapons and is compatible with a range of simulation technologies. The L-39 Albatros has been upgraded several times with a number of variants since its introduction in 1972. Around 2,900 L-39s have been built and served with over 30 air forces around the world, with the latest version, the L-39NG, launched in 2014.