Aero Vodochody has rolled out the first pre-production L-39NG trainer in preparation for the maiden flight planned before the end of the year.
Aero Vodochody has rolled out the first pre-production L-39NG trainer in preparation for the maiden flight planned before the end of the year. The ceremony took place on 12th October.
It is the first time in more than 20 years that the Czech company — historically Europe's largest producer of light jets — has rolled out a new jet aircraft. Certification is targeted for the end of 2019.
Acquired by Penta Investments in 2006, the company launched a strategic plan in 2016 to restore its position as a leading producer of jet trainer and light attack aircraft, with a primary focus on a next-generation version of the legendary L-39 Albatros. The programme is supported by strategic partner Omnipol.
The L-39NG is a single-engine two-seater with a full glass cockpit, on-board virtual training system and a Helmet-Mounted Display. The aircraft is part of an innovative training concept developed by Aero that includes state-of-the-art ground-based training devices, new learning methods and environment and extensive use of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies.
In April, Aero Vodochody and Israel Aerospace Industries signed a partnership agreement covering integration of IAI's virtual training solutions as part of the overall L-39NG training system.
Aero Vodochody estimates the potential demand in the next 10–15 years for trainer aircraft will be up to 3,000 units. Aero expects to deliver 150 aircraft in the next 10 years.
Power is provided by the Williams International FJ44-4M engine. The aircraft's avionics are prepared 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 hard-points for weapons.
The Czech firm is also developing the L-39CW featuring the FJ44-4M engine and upgraded avionics; this version is seen as an intermediate step towards the L-39NG.