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L-39 Operators Met in the Czech Republic


Representatives of fifteen states where air forces have experience in operating legendary L-39 jet trainers met on the 2nd L-39 Users’ Group Conference. The Czech Air Force together with leading Czech aviation company Aero Vodochody Aerospace and arms trading company OMNIPOL invited L-39 operators to the Czech Republic for 13th and 14th September. 

The meeting built on the successful first conference that took place in 2016 in Aero Vodochody. This year, the Czech Air Force took the lead in organisation of the event. 

“Czech Air Forces are the traditional users of Aero Vodochody products. We have big experience with L-39 Albatros. I am glad that this aircraft has huge potential to be successful trainer in next generation version. I believe, that this symposium will meet the expectations of all participants,” said Chief of Staff of the Czech Air Force Jaromír Šebesta at the beginning of the conference. 

The group of 15 states joined also representatives of American companies Draken International and Williams International and Latvian acrobatic group Baltic Bees. The main aim of the conference is to share experience with the L-39 Albatros aircraft among the operators but also with the original manufacturer – Aero Vodochody. 

“Second Users Group Conference is another step in building long-lasting and closer relationship with users of our aircraft. We focused on specific needs and ideas of the participants,” described Giuseppe Giordo, president and CEO of Aero Vodochody Aerospace. “The customer side is a key element in our strategy. I am convinced, that we sent strong message, that Aero is reliable partner for pilots training and air missions,” added Giordo. 

Two years ago, Aero successfully performed first flight of the L-39 powered by the FJ44-4M Williams engine instead of the original Ukrainian Ivchenko AI-25TL. The re-engined Albatros is currently finishing certification process so Aero will be able to provide this upgrade to L-39 operators already next year. Moreover, Aero and its partner Omnipol, introduced new jet training aircraft L-39NG, successor of the Albatros. Omnipol half funds development of the new aircraft and it is also involved in marketing and sales of the L-39NG. Assembly of the first aircraft of this type has already begun in Aero. 

"In terms of our long-standing experience with the export of L-39s in the past, it has been a logical step for us to participate in the L-39NG development project. We are very excited to see how the Czech aircraft are still popular in the world, and we also believe that the users meeting will continue to support its popularity," said Jiří Podpěra, president of Omnipol. 

Attendees of the 2nd L-39 Users’ Group Conference visited premises of Aero Vodochody and saw MRO facilities for L-39 and production of the new L-39NG aircraft. The second day of the conference took place on the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav in eastern bohemia and the participants also visited the Flight Training Centre in Pardubice. Part of the program on Čáslav Air base was also flight display of several types of L-39 aircraft including the Williams-powered L-39CW, accompanied by L-159 aircraft serving in the Czech Air Force. The conference resulted in the plan of further development of the Users’ Group. Part of the discussions can continue already this weekend because some of the delegations are heading to Ostrava to visit NATO Days security show. 

About the L-39 

The L-39 and its successors L-59, L-139 and L-159 became the most successful jet training family worldwide ever. Over 3,000 aircraft of this type were manufactured up to now and the jet trainer has been historically used by 45 military operators. Today, the aircraft is operated also by civil customers in at least 15 countries. The L-39 proved its qualities in 15 aerobatic teams all over the world, 8 of them still active as of today. The L-39 family has a total log of over 5,000,000 flight hours with dozens of thousands of pilots trained on jets made in AERO. The aircraft became a legend not only because of its excellent manoeuvrability, but also for its ability to successfully complete missions in all climatic conditions. 

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective trainer designed as a unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39, but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the highly modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs. 

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 to a great extent. 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 with the goal of increasing training efficiency. 

Aero Vodochody Aerospace a.s. focuses on the design and manufacturing of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aerospace companies in the world. Aero is a long-term partner to many of the world’s air forces. With over 6,700 training and light combat aircraft designed, manufactured and delivered, AERO is historically the largest producer of this type of aircraft in the world. 

Its current focus is on the support of its final products, the L-39, L-59 and L-159 aircraft, and on the development of the new generation of its legendary jet trainer aircraft, the L-39NG. In the field of civil aviation, AERO partners with many of the world’s largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects, including a number of risk-sharing programs. 

Since 1934, OMNIPOL, a.s. has been a reliable global systems integrator and supplier of military, security and aviation systems. In addition to aviation technology and aviation training systems, Omnipol’s primary focus is on defence and security electronics. Omnipol initiated a new phase of its development when it purchased ERA, a.s., creating the conditions for the rapid development of a new generation of unique passive (invisible) tracking and recognition systems called VERA-NG. 

The system is complemented by other types of passive systems (such as SDD) and thereby offers a comprehensive solution for the monitoring of air, sea and land space on the principle of “seeing without being seen”. Omnipol is also a supplier of technological production units and services for both the defence and food industries. 


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Sources of Information:  Aero Vodochody Aerospace AS

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