Aero launches production of first L-39NGs
Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody and its partner Omnipol have launched production of new parts for the new-generation L-39NG, under a plan to produce an initial total of four aircraft.
Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody and its partner Omnipol have launched production of new parts for the L-39NG, the new-generation version of the L-39 Albatros. The companies plan to produce a total of four L-39NGs at this stage – three prototypes and one pre-production aircraft. An L-39NG technology demonstrator made its first flight in September 2015.
The partners hope to complete the first fully certified L-39NG aircraft by the end of 2019, paving the way for the first customer deliveries in 2020.
Aero president Giuseppe Giordo notes that there are still about 600 L-39s in operation, which “will need to be gradually replaced by the new ones.” He says a number of existing users have shown interest, along with other countries looking for a new-generation replacement for their existing trainer fleets over the coming years.
According to the manufacturer, the NG version retains the best features of its predecessor — low operating costs, high reliability, easy logistics and good flying capabilities — combined with modern avionics, new Williams International FJ44-4M engine and other enhancements.
There are about 800 new parts of L-39NG currently in production; a further 800 parts come from the original Albatros.
Out of the four aircraft built during this production phase, the first one will serve as a flight prototype, two are designed for structural and fatigue tests, and the fourth one should be delivered to the first customer.
The aircraft's avionics are designed to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer's requirements. The L-39NG is equipped with five mounting points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centres for increased training efficiency.