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Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7)

Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7)


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Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7)

Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer, seen at an airshow in the 1980s


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

Photograph:

Aero L-39C Albatros VH-EKI At Camden, NSW in 2012 (David C Eyre)

Country of origin:

Description:

Two-seat military trainer and light attack aircraft

Power Plant:

One 3,792 lbst Ivchenko AI-25TL twin-shaft turbofan

Specifications:

Armament:

One 23 mm GSh-23 cannon in under fuselage gun pod four hardpoints on ground attack variant for light bombs or fuel tanks

History:

The L-39 Albatros series of trainer and light attack aircraft was designed and produced by Aero Vodochody in Czechoslovakia (later Czech Republic), this Company producing some 10,000 jet trainers for the world’s markets over the years. Three prototypes were constructed, the second of these being the first to fly on 4 November 1968, the first and third being for structural testing. Four further prototypes were constructed for the test flying programme, and in late 1972 approval was given to commence production for the air forces of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. Seating was in tandem in zero-height ejection seats, the instructor’s seat being elevated to improve forward view. Construction was modular, being in three major sub-assemblies: wing, fuselage and rear fuselage/tail unit.

Between 1973 and 1990 Aero delivered 2,094 L-39s to the Soviet Union, 12 L-39Cs to Afghanistan in 1977, 24 to Ethiopia in 1980, 10 more to Ethiopia in 1983, 24 to Vietnam in 1980, and 30 to Cuba in 1982. The type was unusual in that, because of the location of the air intakes over the wings, virtually the chances of debris ingestion was almost eliminated, and it was able to, and routinely was, flown from grass strips. Further, the L-39 was the world’s first high-performance trainer with a turbofan engine, the AI-25TL also being used in the Soviet Yak 40B transport. A small auxiliary power unit (APU) made the aircraft independent of ground power for engine starting and other services.

The type has become quite popular in the west as a warbird, with examples privately owned in the United States and Great Britain, a few being used on film work, including a “James Bond” film. Variants included the L-39V for target towing and the L-39ZO with simple ground-attack capabilities, including provision for a 23 mm GSh-23 cannon, and underwing pylons. The L-39ZO was supplied to Iraq (81), East Germany (52), Libya (181) and Syria (55).

Next variant was the L-39ZA, a dedicated light attack aircraft with a stronger undercarriage and empty weight increased to 3,656 kg (8,060 lb). Examples were supplied to Syria (4), Romania (32), Nigeria (24), Bulgaria (36), Algeria (32) and Thailand (36). By the end of 1994 2,828 examples of the L-39 series had been built when production switched to the L-59 series, and later the L-139 series, the latter being fitted with a Garrett AiResearch TFE73-4 turbofan to make it more attractive to western orientated air forces. Final variant was the L-39MS with a 4,850 lbst Ivchenko/Lotaev DV-2 turbofan. Examples of this model were supplied to Egypt (48) and Tunisia (23).

A number of examples of the type have been imported for private operators in this region, the first being assembled at Bankstown, NSW in early 1999 as VH-ATD (c/n 432909), registered to Sterling Aviation of Georges Hall, NSW, this aircraft being badly damaged in an accident at Goulburn in 2005 and being converted to components.

Further examples later arrived in Queensland and Western Australia, becoming VH-SIC (c/n 433144) registered to Flying Fighters of Sunnybank, QLD VH-HOT (332516) registered to Wyllie of Cloisters Square, WA VH-VRO (c/n 834424) registered to Warbird Aviation of Brookfield, QLD.

First of the type in New Zealand became ZK-LLR which in November 2004 became ZK-WLM (c/n 332701 – ex-N39AQ) with B-B Aviation Limited of Wanaka followed by ZK-VLK (c/n 332630 – ex N139POV) with Oilfield Equipment Rentals Ltd of New Plymouth in November 2004 ZK-TCS (c/n 131848) in January 2007 with the Copter Shop Ltd of Nelson and ZK-KEE (c/n 834408) with Air Action Pty Ltd of Wanaka, which in May 2007 crossed the Tasman to become VH-KEE.

L-39C VH-LCJ (c/n 232155) was registered tp Charles Camilleri of Bathurst, NSW L-39C VH-NLD (c/n 132037) to Flycom Rentals in October 2007, and another at that time was awaiting restoration at Cowra, NSW. Another became VH-TNW (c/n 792329), and in late 2011 a further example became VH-JTS (c/n 131911 – N39P, N95BF) on 9 December 2011 to its owner in Queensland.

Three are operated by Air Combat Australia from Camden, NSW on joy flights, including VH-NCI (c/n 232201), VH-EKN (c/n 232206) and VH-VOD (33251 – ex N54XX), which was imported from the US and registered in November 2012 to Reha and Jai Ekinci, becoming the company’s third example of the type. VH-IOT (c/n 332516) is operated from Cessnock in the Hunter Valley on similar flights.

Another L-39C became VH-JTS (c/n 131911) on 9 December 2011 in Queensland. In February 2012 VH-KVZ (c/n 630640) was registered to K Warren of Port Lincoln, SA.

Examples of the type continue to be imported, one being registered as VH-ITN (c/n 630638 – ex N139LB, N90510) on 30 October 2012 to HFAT of Queens Park, WA. By late 2019 some 16 examples have appeared on the Australian Civil Aircraft Register and five on the New Zealand Register.

More than 140 examples appear on the US Civil Register and at the 2003 Reno Air Races a special race has Been held for the L-39 Albatros.


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

by MOJO » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:24 am

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by scifi1972 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:42 am

I found this interesting document about the ASP-3NMU 39, an optical-gyroscope gun sight developed in the 50ies.
http://www.l39.com/docs/files/Demil%20Verification%20Instruction%20L-39.pdf


Source: VOJENSKO HISTORICKO TECHNICKÉ MUZEUM - VLADEK VÁCHA

[EDIT]Finally, I decided to include a gun sight in this model. It will be removable by using the top menu bar.

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by scifi1972 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:38 am

The nav lights, beacons and strobe have been added. This is also the first time I tested the L-39 under FlightGear 2.0-RC4, just to check that I have no problems with the ambient lights (as reported by many users).


The new clouds textures rocks!

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by eeK » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:04 pm

OMG Fabrice, your model is exquisite!. You're in An-2, 1049h, Tu-154B territory

I suspect you've probably seen this, but there exists a text from the magazine "Pilot" (UK) regarding a flight test of the L-39 (Z I think), from years ago. If you don't have it (you probably won't learn a great deal from it), let me know, I'll scan it and PM a link.

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by DarthChocolate » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by simbabeat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:11 pm

Re: Aero L-39 Albatros

by scifi1972 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:43 pm

Don't hesitate to send me your comments. Any help to improve the FDM is welcome.


The VC is far from being finished, but it already includes the most important instruments.


Nice water reflection effects in FGFS 2.


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

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  • Re-delivery of two exotic Aero L-39 Albatros


Re-delivery of two exotic Aero L-39 Albatros training aircraft

Just recently, some nice photos emerged on the internet from two exotic L-39s in Czechia. The aircraft were recently upgraded and overhauled at Aero Vodochody (Czechia). The company, commonly referred to as Aero, is a Czech aircraft manufacturer. Its main production facilities are located at Vodochody airport in the Prague-East District.

On 7 February 2021, the Uzbekistan Air Force (Uz Air Force) took over the last of six Aero L-39C Albatros aircraft, serial 14 bl (construction number 633840), which underwent general overhaul in Aero Vodochody. Part of the overhaul of the aircraft was also a modernization update of the on-board equipment.

The Uz Air Force L-39s are operated by the Jizzax Oliy Harbiy Aviatsiya Bilim Yurti (Higher Military Aviation School) at Jizzax, which is located 175 km southwest of the capital Tashkent.

In the second week of March 2021, the Kazakhstan Air Defence Force (KADF) took over the first two modernized Aero L-39Cs. The Kazakhstan serial of aircraft on the photo is reported as 02 ye, with construction number 633818. The other one is reported as 01 ye (c/n 633806). Both aircraft were airfreighted out on 8 March 2021. Aero Vodochody has been contracted for overhaul and modernization of an unknown number of Kazakh L-39s.

The KADF L-39s are operated by the air force training centre at Balkhash, also known as the 609th Air Base. Balkhash is located in the centre of the country on the north side of Lake Balkhash.

The Scramble databases for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan show the following L-39s in the inventory:

Uzbekistan L-39C1:
06 bl, 07 bl, 08 bl, 09 bl, 11 bl, 12 bl, 14 bl, 15 bl and 16 bl
Kazakhstan L-39C
01 ye, 02 ye, 03 ye, 04 ye, 14 ye, 15 ye, 16 ye, 18 ye, 19 ye, 20 ye, 21 ye, 26 ye and 44 ye

If you have any updates on the L-39s, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History



























Aero Vodochody L-39ZO &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo
Czechoslovak, Two-seat Basic and Advanced Jet Trainer

Aero L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo Series Overview ²

The Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo basic and advanced jet trainer was developed in the Aero works at Vodochody by a team led by the chief designer, Dipl Ing Jan Vlcek, working in close cooperation with the USSR. Two prototype airframes were built initially, of which the first was used for structural testing. The first flight, on 4 November 1968, was made by the second aircraft. By the end of 1970, five flying prototypes and two for ground testing had been completed. Slightly larger and longer intake trunks were fitted after preliminary flight tests.

The L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo forms part of a comprehensive training system which includes a specially designed pilot training flight simulator (TL-39), a pilot ejection ground training simulator (NK-TL-29/39), and vehicle-mounted mobile test equipment (AKC-KL-39). The aircraft is capable of operation from grass strips (with a bearing strength of 6 kg/cm² 85 psi) up to 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs) T-O weight, or from unprepared runways.

By May 1977, when the Aero L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo made its first appearance in the West, at the Paris Air Show, some 400-500 were in service with several air forces. Production had totaled almost 1,000 by the early 1981. The Aero L-39 Albatross is used in Czechoslovakia for all pilot training, including that of helicopter pilots. On average, pupils solo after approximately 12 hours' dual instruction on the Aero L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo.

Official Czechoslovak designations for the different Aero L-39 versions are as follows:

Aero L-39C Albatros: ('C' for Cvicný training). Basic and advanced flying training version, to which the following detailed description chiefly applies. In service with the air forces of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, Germany (Democratic Republic) and the USSR.

Aero L-39Z0 Albatros: ('Z' for Zbrojní: armed). Jet trainer with four underwing weapon stations and reinforced wings. Export customers include the air forces of Iraq and Libya.

Aero L-39Z Albatros: ('Z' for Zbrojní: armed). Weapon system training, ground attack and reconnaissance version, with under-fuselage gun and four underwing weapon stations reinforced wings and landing gear.

Aero L-39ZO &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo Specifications ³

The following description applies to the production L-39ZO trainer version, except where indicated:

  • Jet trainer with four underwing weapon stations (Z = Zbrojni: armed) and reinforced wings.
  • Prototype (X-09) first flown 25 August 1975.
  • Customers include the air forces of Germany (52 aircraft), Iraq (80 aircraft), Libya (170 aircraft) and Syria (100 aircraft).
  • Some Libyan aircraft reportedly transferred to Egypt.
  • In production.
  • Cantilever low-wing monoplane, with 2° 30' dihedral from roots.
  • Wing section NACA 64A012 mod. 5. Incidence 2°.
  • Sweepback 6° 26' on leading-edges, 1° 45' at quarter-chord.
  • One-piece all-metal stressed-skin structure, with main spar and auxiliary spar four-point attachment to fuselage.
  • All-metal double-slotted trailing-edge flaps, operated by push/pull rods actuated by a single hydraulic jack.
  • Flaps retract automatically when airspeed reaches 167 kn (310 km/h 193 mph).
  • Small fence above and below each trailing-edge between flap and aileron.
  • Electronically-operated servo tab in each aileron port tab, used also for trim, is operated by electromechanical actuator.
  • Flaps deflect 25° for take-off, 44° for landing aileron's deflect 16° up or down air brakes deflect 55° downward.
  • Non-jettisonable wingtip fuel tanks, incorporating landing/taxiing lights.
  • Metal semi-monocoque structure, built in two portions.
  • Front portion consists of three sections, the first of which is a laminated glass-fibre nose cone housing avionics, antenna, battery, compressed air and oxygen bottles for the nose landing gear.
  • Next comes the pressurized compartment for the crew.
  • The third section incorporates the fuel tanks, air intakes and the engine bay.
  • The rear fuselage, carrying the tail unit, is attached by five bolts and can be removed quickly to provide access for engine installation and removal.
  • Two air brakes side-by-side under fuselage, just forward of wing leading edge, Actuated by single hydraulic jack these are lowered automatically as airspeed nears a maximum of Mach 0.8.
  • Conventional all-metal cantilever structure, with sweepback on vertical surfaces.
  • Variable-incidence tailplane.
  • Control surfaces actuated by pushrods.
  • Electrically-operated trim tab in each elevator servo tab and rudder.
  • Elevators deflect 30° up, 20° down rudder 30° to right and left.
  • Retractable tricycle type, with single wheel and oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber on each unit.
  • Gear is designed for touchdown sink rate of 3.4 m/s (11.15 ft/s at AUW of 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs).
  • Retraction/extension is operated hydraulically, with electrical control.
  • All wheel-well doors close automatically after wheels are lowered, to prevent ingress of dirt and debris.
  • Main wheels retract inward into wings (with automatic braking during retraction), nosewheel forward into fuselage.
  • K24 main wheels, fitted with Barum tubeless tires size 610 × 215 mm (610 × 185 mm on early production aircraft), pressure 5.88 bars (85.34 psi).
  • K25 castoring in self-centering nosewheel, fitted with Barum tubeless tire size 450 × 165 mm (430 × 150 mm on early production aircraft), pressure 3.92 bars (56.89 psi).
  • Hydraulic disc brakes and anti-skid units on main wheels shimmy damper on nosewheel leg.
  • One 16.87 kN (3,792 lb st) Ivchenko AI-25-TL turbofan engine mounted in rear fuselage, with semi-circular lateral air intake, fitted with splitter plate, on each side of fuselage above wing center-section.
  • Fuel in five rubber bag-type main tanks aft of cockpit, with combined capacity of 1,055 L (232 Imp gallons), and two 100 L (22 Imp gallons) non-jettisonable wingtip tanks.
  • Total internal fuel capacity 1,255 L (276 Imp gallons).
  • Gravity refueling points on top of fuselage and on each tipped tank.
  • Provision for two 150 or 350 L (33 or 77 Imp gallons) underwing drop-tanks, increasing total overall fuel capacity to 1,955 L (430 Imp gallons).
  • Fuel system permits up to 20 seconds of inverted flight.
  • Crew of two in tandem, on VS-1-BR1 rocket-assisted ejection seats, operable at zero height and at speeds down to 81 knots (150 kph 94 mph), beneath individual transparent canopies which hinge sideways to starboard and are jettisonable.
  • One-piece windscreen hinges forward to provide access to front instrument panel.
  • Internal transparency between front and rear cockpits.
  • Dual controls standard.
  • Cabin pressurized (max differential 0.23 bars 3.34 psi) and air-conditioned, using engine bleed air and cooling unit.
  • Air-conditioning system provides automatic temperature control from 10° to 25°C at ambient air temperatures from -55°C to +45°C.
  • Main and standby interconnected hydraulic systems, the main system having a variable-flow pump with an operating pressure of 147 bars (2,133 psi) for actuation of landing gear, flaps, air brakes, ram-air turbine and wheel brakes.
  • Emergency system, for all of the above except air brakes, incorporates three accumulators.
  • Pneumatic canopy seals supplied by one 2 liter compressed air bottle in nose (pressure 147 bars 2,133 psi).
  • Electrical system (28.5 V DC) is powered by a 9 kW VG 7500JA engine-driven generator.
  • If primary generator fails, a V 910 ram-air turbine is extended automatically into the airstream and generates up to 3 kW of emergency power for essential services.
  • 12V 28 Ah lead-acid battery for standby power and for APU starting.
  • Two 800VA static inverters (the first for radio equipment, ice warning lights, engine vibration measurement and air-conditioning, the second for navigation and landing systems, IFF and air-to-air missiles) provide 115 V single-phase AC power at 400 Hz.
  • A second circuit incorporates a 500 VA rotary inverter and 40 VA static inverter to provide three-phase AC power, also a 400 Hz.
  • Sapphire 5 APU and SV-25 turbine for engine starting.
  • Air intakes and windscreen anti-iced by engine bleed air normally, anti-icing is sensor-actuated automatically, but a manual standby system is also provided.
  • Six-bottle oxygen system for crew, pressure 147 bars (2,133 psi).
  • For underwing hard points, the inboard pair each stressed for loads of up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) and the outer pair for loads of up to 250 kg (551 lb) each.
  • Maximum underwing stores load 1,100 kg (2,425 lb).
  • Non-jettisonable pylons, each comprising a D3-57D stores rack.
  • Typical underwing stores can include various combination of bombs (two 500 kg, four 250 kg, or six 100 kg four UB-16-57 M pods each containing sixteen S-5 57 mm air-to-surface rockets.
  • Infra-red air-to-air missiles (outer pylons only).
  • A five camera day reconnaissance pod (port inboard pylon only).
  • Or (on inboard stations only) to 350 L (92.5 US gallon: 77 Imp gallon) drop tanks.

Standard Electronics include:

  • R-832 M two-band radio (VHF 118-140 MHz
  • UHF 220-389 MHz)
  • SPU-9 crew intercom
  • RKL-41 ADF (150-1,800 kHz)
  • RV-5 radio altimeter
  • MRP-56 P/S marker beacon receiver
  • SRO-2 IFF
  • RSBN-5S navigation and landing system.
  • VOR/ILS system available at customer's option.
  • Landing and taxiing light in forward end of each tip-tank.
  • Wing span: 31 ft 0.5 in (9.46 m)
  • Wing chord (mean): 7 ft 0.5 in (2.15 m)
  • Wing aspect ratio (geometric): 4.4
  • Length overall: 39 ft 9.5 in (12.13 m)
  • Height overall: 15 ft 7.75 in (4.77 m)
  • Tailplane span: 14 ft 5 in (4.40 m)
  • Wheel track: 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)
  • Wheelbase: 14 ft 4¾ in (4.39 m)
  • Wings, gross: 202.36 ft² (18.80 m²)
  • Ailerons (total): 13.26 ft² (1.23 m²)
  • Trailing-edge flaps (total): 28.89 ft² (2.68 m²)
  • Airbrakes, total: 5.38 ft² (0.50 m²)
  • Vertical tail surfaces: 37.78 ft² (3.51 m²)
  • Tailplane: 42.30 ft² (3.93 m²)
  • Elevators, including tabs: 12.27 ft² (1.14 m²)
  • Weight empty: 7,672 lb (3,480 kg)
  • Crew: 352 lbs (160 kg)
  • Fuel load: 1,816 lbs (824 kg)
  • Max T-O weight (clean): 10,031 lbs (4,550 kg)
  • Max T-O weight: 12,346 lbs (5,600 kg)
  • Max wing loading: 61.01 lb/ft² (297.9 kg/m²)
  • Max landing weight: 9,480 lbs (4,300 kg)
  • Power loading: 3.25 lbs/lb st (332.0 /kN)
  • Max level speed at S/L: 329 knots (610 km/h, 379 mph)
  • Max level speed at 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 340 knots (630 km/h, 391 mph)
  • Stalling speed: 103 knots (190 km/h, 118 mph)
  • Max rate of climb at S/L: 2,657 ft/min (810 m/min)
  • Time to 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 10 min
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,600 ft)
  • T-O run (concrete): 970 m (3,182 ft)
  • Landing run (concrete): 800 m (2,625 ft)
  1. Shupek, John. &ldquoAero: Aero L-39 Albatros&rdquo, The Skytamer Archive. Copyright © 1987, 2000, 2003 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Lambert, Mark. &ldquoAero: Aero L-39 Albatros&rdquo Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1991-92. Jane's Information Group, Alexandria, VA, ISBN 0-7106-0965-5, 1992, pgs. 50-51 Print

Copyright © 1998-2020 (Our 22 nd Year) Skytamer Images, Whittier, California
All rights reserved


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

A new type was needed to bridge the gap between the L-29 and the more modern jet fighters of the day. As the Soviet Air Force, Aero’s largest customer at the time, was looking for just such an aircraft for advanced jet trainer, it once again joined forces with the VZLÚ (Aeronautical Research and Test Establishment) to propose a solution. In addition, during February 1964, the Czech Ministry of Defence also issued a preliminary technical specification setting out the requirements for developing a new jet trainer.

While development continued and series production started, in late 1971 the training of Czech Air Force instructors on the new type began at the Vodochody factory. An initial five pre-production airframes, still fitted with the initial AI-25W powerplant, were handed over on March 28, 1972, to the Military Aviation School at Košice. This enabled development of new pilot training programmes for the aircraft, which was planned to act as a more advanced follow-on from basic training in the L-29 Delfin. As it turned out, the excellent handling qualities of the aircraft in all training regimes meant that it could also perform the basic role. It would eventually also replace the L-29, cutting costs by making it necessary to provide maintenance and support for only a single aircraft type instead of two. By this time the name Albatros had been adopted for the L-39.


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

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Aero L-59 Super Albatros

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Aero Vodochody was established in post-war Europe during early 1919 and made a name for itself as a developer of capable Czech-originated aircraft. Its line included the A.11 series biplane of 1921 all the way to the popular jet-powered L-39 "Albatros" two-seat trainer of 1972. From the latter spawned a series of similar aircraft that included the improved L-59 "Super Albatros" of 1986 and the more modern L-159 ALCA. The L-59 was eventually adopted by Czechoslovakia, Egypt, and Tunisia.

The L-59 was developed along the same jet-powered, twin-seat trainer lines as the L-39 before it. The aircraft incorporated a tandem two-seat configuration (student in front, instructor in rear) with a single Progress DV-2 turbofan engine developing 4,850lbs of thrust. Compared to the L-39, the L-59 received a lengthened, reinforced fuselage structure, modernized avionics and a more powerful engine fitting. HUD (Head-Up Display) was added in the cockpit for improved situational awareness and mission support. Dimensions included a length of 12.2 meters, a wingspan of 9.5 meters, and a height of 4.7 meters. Empty weight was 8,865lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 15,435lbs. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 535 miles per hour with a range out to 1,245 miles and service ceiling of 38,785 feet. Rate-of-climb neared 5,510 feet per minute.

First flight of a prototype form occurred on September 30th, 1986. Production then spanned from 1986 to 1996 to which the L-59 was adopted by the Czechoslovak Air Force as the L-39MS in a batch of six aircraft. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, four of the aircraft fell into service with the new Czech Air Force and the remaining aircraft went to the Slovak Air Force. Two slightly different export marks were then delivered as the L-59E to Egypt (49 examples) and the L-59T to Tunisia (12 examples). These were all that were produced from Aero Vodochody signifying the end of manufacture for the L-59 series (67 were built in all). Its replacement became the L-159 ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft) which saw production reach 72 and deliveries to the Czech Republic and Iraq.

Though a trainer by design, the L-59 retained certain combat capabilities about her. It was not a 4th Generation frontline multi-role fighter as found in the West or Russia but its airframe proved suitable for the light strike role, allowing it to become something of a tempting purchase to more budget-conscious nations requiring the dual-role service of a single airframe that trained pilots and also offered inherent Close-Air Support (CAS) or low-level strike functionality. As such, when armed for combat (or even weapons training), armed versions carried a single Soviet-inspired GSh-23L cannon in a pod mounted under the fuselage for short-range work. Four underwing hardpoints also supported up to 2,200lb of externally-held ordnance which allowed the L-59 to be outfitted with standard conventional drop bombs, rocket pods, or gun pods as required.


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History



























Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo
Czechoslovak, Two-seat Basic and Advanced Jet Trainer

Archive Photos 1,2

1987 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (N139JT, s/n 734156) on display (6/25/2000) at the 2000 Aviation Expo, Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, California (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images) ¹

1979 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (N39DF, s/n 931320) on display (4/8/2000) at the 2000 NAS Point Mugu, California (Photos by John Shupek copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images) ¹

1979 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (N239BJ, s/n 931510) on display (c.1987) at the Mojave Airport, Mojave, California (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images) ¹

1979 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (N4679B, s/n 931332) on display (9/29/2003) at the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, Portage, Michigan (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2003 Skytamer Images) ¹

1976 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (NX143XX, s/n 630648) photographed on (1/5/2012) at the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (Photos copyright © 2012 AFIA) ²

1980 Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo (NX151XX, s/n 031616) photographed on (1/5/2012) at the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (Photos by AFIA) ²

Aero L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo ³

The Aero Vodochody L-39C &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo basic and advanced jet trainer was developed in the Aero works at Vodochody by a team led by the chief designer, Dipl Ing Jan Vlcek, working in close cooperation with the USSR. Two prototype airframes were built initially, of which the first was used for structural testing. The first flight, on 4 November 1968, was made by the second aircraft. By the end of 1970, five flying prototypes and two for ground testing had been completed. Slightly larger and longer intake trunks were fitted after preliminary flight tests.

The L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo forms part of a comprehensive training system which includes a specially designed pilot training flight simulator (TL-39), a pilot ejection ground training simulator (NK-TL-29/39), and vehicle-mounted mobile test equipment (AKC-KL-39). The aircraft is capable of operation from grass strips (with a bearing strength of 6 kg/cm² 85 psi) up to 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs) T-O weight, or from unprepared runways.

By May 1977, when the Aero L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo made its first appearance in the West, at the Paris Air Show, some 400-500 were in service with several air forces. Production had totaled almost 1,000 by the early 1981. The Aero L-39 Albatross is used in Czechoslovakia for all pilot training, including that of helicopter pilots. On average, pupils solo after approximately 12 hours' dual instruction on the Aero L-39 &ldquoAlbatros&rdquo.

Official Czechoslovak designations for the different Aero L-39 versions are as follows:

Aero L-39C Albatros: ('C' for Cvicný training). Basic and advanced flying training version, to which the following detailed description chiefly applies. In service with the air forces of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, Germany (Democratic Republic) and the USSR.

Aero L-39Z0 Albatros: ('Z' for Zbrojní: armed). Jet trainer with four underwing weapon stations and reinforced wings. Export customers include the air forces of Iraq and Libya.

Aero L-39Z Albatros: ('Z' for Zbrojní: armed). Weapon system training, ground attack and reconnaissance version, with under-fuselage gun and four underwing weapon stations reinforced wings and landing gear.

Aero L-39C Albatros Specifications ³

The following description applies to the production L-39C trainer version, except where indicated:

  • Two-seat basic and advanced jet trainer.
  • Cantilever low-wing monoplane, with 2° 30' dihedral from roots.
  • Wing section NACA 64A012 mod. 5. Incidence 2°.
  • Sweepback 6° 26' on leading-edges, 1° 45' at quarter-chord.
  • One-piece all-metal stressed-skin structure, with main spar and auxiliary spar four-point attachment to fuselage.
  • All-metal double-slotted trailing-edge flaps, operated by push/pull rods actuated by a single hydraulic jack.
  • Flaps retract automatically when airspeed reaches 167 kn (310 km/h 193 mph).
  • Small fence above and below each trailing-edge between flap and aileron.
  • Electronically-operated servo tab in each aileron port tab, used also for trim, is operated by electromechanical actuator.
  • Flaps deflect 25° for take-off, 44° for landing aileron's deflect 16° up or down air brakes deflect 55° downward.
  • Non-jettisonable wingtip fuel tanks, incorporating landing/taxiing lights.
  • Metal semi-monocoque structure, built in two portions.
  • Front portion consists of three sections, the first of which is a laminated glass-fibre nose cone housing avionics, antenna, battery, compressed air and oxygen bottles for the nose landing gear.
  • Next comes the pressurized compartment for the crew.
  • The third section incorporates the fuel tanks, air intakes and the engine bay.
  • The rear fuselage, carrying the tail unit, is attached by five bolts and can be removed quickly to provide access for engine installation and removal.
  • Two air brakes side-by-side under fuselage, just forward of wing leading edge, Actuated by single hydraulic jack these are lowered automatically as airspeed nears a maximum of Mach 0.8.
  • Conventional all-metal cantilever structure, with sweepback on vertical surfaces.
  • Variable-incidence tailplane.
  • Control surfaces actuated by pushrods.
  • Electrically-operated trim tab in each elevator servo tab and rudder.
  • Elevators deflect 30° up, 20° down rudder 30° to right and left.
  • Retractable tricycle type, with single wheel and oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber on each unit.
  • Gear is designed for touchdown sink rate of 3.4 m/s (11.15 ft/s at AUW of 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs).
  • Retraction/extension is operated hydraulically, with electrical control.
  • All wheel-well doors close automatically after wheels are lowered, to prevent ingress of dirt and debris.
  • Main wheels retract inward into wings (with automatic braking during retraction), nosewheel forward into fuselage.
  • K24 main wheels, fitted with Barum tubeless tires size 610 × 215 mm (610 × 185 mm on early production aircraft), pressure 5.88 bars (85.34 psi).
  • K25 castoring in self-centering nosewheel, fitted with Barum tubeless tire size 450 × 165 mm (430 × 150 mm on early production aircraft), pressure 3.92 bars (56.89 psi).
  • Hydraulic disc brakes and anti-skid units on main wheels shimmy damper on nosewheel leg.
  • One 16.87 kN (3,792 lb st) Ivchenko AI-25-TL turbofan engine mounted in rear fuselage, with semi-circular lateral air intake, fitted with splitter plate, on each side of fuselage above wing center-section.
  • Fuel in five rubber bag-type main tanks aft of cockpit, with combined capacity of 1,055 L (232 Imp gallons), and two 100 L (22 Imp gallons) non-jettisonable wingtip tanks.
  • Total internal fuel capacity 1,255 L (276 Imp gallons).
  • Gravity refueling points on top of fuselage and on each tipped tank.
  • Provision for two 150 or 350 L (33 or 77 Imp gallons) underwing drop-tanks, increasing total overall fuel capacity to 1,955 L (430 Imp gallons).
  • Fuel system permits up to 20 seconds of inverted flight.
  • Crew of two in tandem, on VS-1-BR1 rocket-assisted ejection seats, operable at zero height and at speeds down to 81 knots (150 kph 94 mph), beneath individual transparent canopies which hinge sideways to starboard and are jettisonable.
  • One-piece windscreen hinges forward to provide access to front instrument panel.
  • Internal transparency between front and rear cockpits.
  • Dual controls standard.
  • Cabin pressurized (max differential 0.23 bars 3.34 psi) and air-conditioned, using engine bleed air and cooling unit.
  • Air-conditioning system provides automatic temperature control from 10° to 25°C at ambient air temperatures from -55°C to +45°C.
  • Main and standby interconnected hydraulic systems, the main system having a variable-flow pump with an operating pressure of 147 bars (2,133 psi) for actuation of landing gear, flaps, air brakes, ram-air turbine and wheel brakes.
  • Emergency system, for all of the above except air brakes, incorporates three accumulators.
  • Pneumatic canopy seals supplied by one 2 liter compressed air bottle in nose (pressure 147 bars 2,133 psi).
  • Electrical system (28.5 V DC) is powered by a 9 kW VG 7500JA engine-driven generator.
  • If primary generator fails, a V 910 ram-air turbine is extended automatically into the airstream and generates up to 3 kW of emergency power for essential services.
  • 12V 28 Ah lead-acid battery for standby power and for APU starting.
  • Two 800VA static inverters (the first for radio equipment, ice warning lights, engine vibration measurement and air-conditioning, the second for navigation and landing systems, IFF and air-to-air missiles) provide 115 V single-phase AC power at 400 Hz.
  • A second circuit incorporates a 500 VA rotary inverter and 40 VA static inverter to provide three-phase AC power, also a 400 Hz.
  • Sapphire 5 APU and SV-25 turbine for engine starting.
  • Air intakes and windscreen anti-iced by engine bleed air normally, anti-icing is sensor-actuated automatically, but a manual standby system is also provided.
  • Six-bottle oxygen system for crew, pressure 147 bars (2,133 psi).
  • R-832 M two-band radio (VHF 118-140 MHz
  • UHF 220-389 MHz)
  • SPU-9 crew intercom
  • RKL-41 ADF (150-1,800 kHz)
  • RV-5 radio altimeter
  • MRP-56 P/S marker beacon receiver
  • SRO-2 IFF
  • RSBN-5S navigation and landing system.
  • VOR/ILS system available at customer's option.
  • Landing and taxiing light in forward end of each tip-tank.
  • Wing span: 31 ft 0.5 in (9.46 m)
  • Wing chord (mean): 7 ft 0.5 in (2.15 m)
  • Wing aspect ratio (geometric): 4.4
  • Length overall: 39 ft 9.5 in (12.13 m)
  • Height overall: 15 ft 7.75 in (4.77 m)
  • Tailplane span: 14 ft 5 in (4.40 m)
  • Wheel track: 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)
  • Wheelbase: 14 ft 4¾ in (4.39 m)
  • Wings, gross: 202.36 ft² (18.80 m²)
  • Ailerons (total): 13.26 ft² (1.23 m²)
  • Trailing-edge flaps (total): 28.89 ft² (2.68 m²)
  • Airbrakes, total: 5.38 ft² (0.50 m²)
  • Vertical tail surfaces: 37.78 ft² (3.51 m²)
  • Tailplane: 42.30 ft² (3.93 m²)
  • Elevators, including tabs: 12.27 ft² (1.14 m²)
  • Weight empty: 7,859 lb (3,565 kg)
  • Crew: 352 lbs (160 kg)
  • Fuel load: 1,816 lbs (824 kg)
  • Max T-O weight: 10,028 lbs (4,549 kg)
  • Max landing weight: 9,480 lbs (4,300 kg)
  • Wing loading (clean): 49.77 lbs/ft² (243 kg/m²)
  • Power loading (clean): 2.65 lbs/lb st (270.9 kg/kN)
  • Max limiting Mach number (VNE) above 1,300 m (4,265 ft): 0.82
  • Max permitted diving speed (VD): 491 knots, 910 km/h, 565 mph
  • Max level speed at S/L ('C'): 378 knots, 700 km/h, 435 mph
  • Max level speed at altitude ('A' at 6,000 m, 19,685 ft): 421 knots, 780 km/h, 485 mph
  • Max level speed at altitude ('C' at 5,000 m, 16,400 ft): 405 knots, 750 km/h, 466 mph
  • Cruising speed at altitude ('C' at 5,000 m, 16,400 ft): 367 knots, 680 km/h, 423 mph
  • Stalling speed, 'C', flaps up: 97 knots, 180 km/h, 112 mph
  • Stalling speed, 'C', 25° flap: 90 knots, 165 km/h, 103 mph
  • Stalling speed, 'C', 44° flap: 84 knots, 166 km/h, 97 mph
  • Touchdown speed, 'A' at 4,500 kg (9,920 lbs) AUW: 95.5 knots, 175 km/h, 109 mph
  • Max rate of climb at S/L for configuration 'A': 4,330 ft/min, 1,320 m/min
  • Optimum climbing speed, configuration 'C': 210 knots, 390 km/h, 242 mph
  • Service ceiling, configuration 'A': 37,730 ft (11,500 m)
  • T-O run, 25° flap, ISA, at 4,300 kg (9,480 lbs) AUW, concrete: 1,575 ft (480 m)
  • T-O run, 25° flap, ISA, at 4,300 kg (9,480 lbs) AUW, grass: 2.067 ft (630 m)
  • T-O run, 25° flap, ISA, at 4,570 kg (10,075 lbs) AUW: 1,640 ft (500 m)
  • T-O run, 25° flap, ISA, at 5,270 kg (11,618 lbs) AUW: 2,625 ft (800 m)
  • T-O to 25 m (82 ft), at 4,300 kg (9,480 lbs) AUW: 2,067 ft (630 m)
  • Landing from 25 m (82 ft) at 4,300 kg (9,480 lbs) AUW: 3,675 ft (1,120 m)
  • Landing run 44° flap, ISA, at 4,100 kg (9,039 lbs) AUW: 2,034 ft (620 m)
  • Landing run 44° flap, ISA, at 4,300 kg (9,480 lbs) AUW: 2,264 ft (690 m)
  • &ldquog&rdquo limits at 4,200 kg (9,259 lbs) AUW: +8 -4
  • &ldquog&rdquo limits at 4,400 kg (9,700 lbs) AUW: +7.5 -3.75
  • &ldquog&rdquo limits at 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs) AUW: +7 -3.5
  • &ldquog&rdquo limits at 5,500 kg (12,125 lbs) AUW: +5.2 -2.6
  • Max permissible Mach No.: 0.80
  • Max level speed at S/L: 378 knots 700 km/h 435 mph
  • Max level speed at 3,000 m (9,845 ft): 399 knots 740 km/h 460 mph
  • Max level speed at 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 405 knots 750 km/h 466 mph
  • Max rate of climb at S/L: 1,230 m/min 4,035 ft/min
  • Max rate of climb at 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 690 m/min 2,264 ft/min
  • Time to 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 5 min 30 sec
  • Time to 8,000 m (26,259 ft): 11 min 0 sec
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 m 36,100 ft
  • T-O run (concrete): 530 m 1,739 ft
  • Landing run (concrete): 660 m 2,165 ft
  • Max range, 5% reserves: 593 nm 1,100 km 683 miles
  • Max endurance at economy speed, 5% reserve: 2 h 0 min
  1. Shupek, John. Photos copyright © 1987, 2000, 2003 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. AFIA (Lt. Col. Dr. Marc Matthews, M.D., USAF (retired). Photos by AFIA copyright © 1/5/2012
  3. Taylor, John W.R., Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1981-82. Jane's Yearbooks, ISBN 0 531-03975-7, 1981

Copyright © 1998-2020 (Our 22 nd Year) Skytamer Images, Whittier, California
All rights reserved


Aero L-39 Albatros (5 of 7) - History

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