Aerial Warfare

Aero Vodochody Achieves Milestone in L-39NG Trainer Jet Development

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Aero Vodochody Achieves Milestone in L-39NG Trainer Jet Development

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Aero Vodochody AS Achieves Milestone in L-39NG Trainer Jet Development
Aero Vodochody AS Achieves Milestone in L-39NG Trainer Jet Development

The Czech L-39NG trainer jet, developed and series-produced by Aero, has come a long way in the last five years. The first take-off of the L-39NG prototype, with serial number 7001 and registration number 0475, took place on 22 December 2018. In 2020, the aircraft underwent a series of flight tests at the Vodochody airport, where it reached the full range of planned altitudes and speeds, thus demonstrating the reliability and durability of the aircraft’s design. Subsequently, L-39NG received a type certificate, which confirmed its capability for international flight operations and met all safety requirements. The Czech jet was also one of the first to be certified according to the new international military standards (EMAR 21, EMACC). Pilots of the Czech Army from the 21st Tactical Air Force Base in ?áslav and the Pardubice Airport Administration tested the L-39NG for the first time in 2021. The first Czech military pilot in the cockpit of the L-39NG was Commander of the 213th Training Squadron Martin Pelda. In the same year, the new trainer from Aero was first shown to the Czech public in a dynamic presentation at the NATO Days in Ostrava.

“Today, the L-39NG is a versatile platform combining modern avionics systems, an efficient jet engine and excellent flight characteristics. It meets the conditions for comprehensive and cost-effective training of future fighter pilots, and is suitable for performing reconnaissance and light combat missions,” says Viktor Sotona, President and Chairman of the Board of Aero.

Aero L-39NG turbofan-powered military trainer and light combat aircraft.
Aero L-39NG turbofan-powered military trainer and light combat aircraft. (Photo by Aero Vodochody)

In 2022, Aero signed a contract with the Hungarian Defence Forces Command for the delivery of 12 L-39NG aircraft and related support services. In that year, the L-39NG aircraft received unrestricted type certification after a five-year certification process, which is the main condition for registering individual aircraft with customers. The certificate confirmed the L-39NG’s compatibility with all EU and NATO requirements and systems. An important step towards the completion of the aircraft and its flight, which is the fuselage-to-wing connection, took place at Aero on November 29, 2022. L-39NG became the first series-produced aircraft at Aero within 20 years. Its features were tested by Aero pilots as part of the standard factory flyby program, from engine verification to handling to aircraft behavior in all phases of flight.

Last year, the serial production of four L-39NG aircraft for the state company LOM Praha was launched. These aircraft will be used to train Czech military pilots at the Air Training Centre in Pardubice. The L-39NG has also been certified for the so-called Eastern configuration, including the avionics system, so that it can perform light combat missions in addition to training tasks. The traditional Czech manufacturer can test the aircraft’s potential armament on its own tunnel firing range at its facility in Vodochody. Aero has also increased production capacity and added second shifts on assembly lines dedicated to L-39NG production in 2023. Further development of avionics systems and interactive interface documentation for the L-39NG trainer aircraft began at the newly opened development centre in Brno.

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