The Aero Vodochody L-39 is an advanced jet trainer used for transition of pilots into front line fighter aircraft. The Czechoslovakian designed aircraft was built as the successor to their earlier trainer, the L-29 Delfin. Design work began in 1966, and the first prototype made its initial flight on 4 November 1968. The idea of the design was to marry an efficient, powerful turbofan engine to a sleek, streamlined fuselage, resulting in a strong, economical performer which would become the next standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact. With over 4,000,000 flight hours in military service, and flying for the air forces of over 30 countries, the L-39 is far and away the most successful and reliable jet trainer of it's era.
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- L-39C—Aircraft for basic and advanced jet training
- L-39V—Single-seat aircraft for target towing
- L-39ZO—Training aircraft with extended weapon practice capabilities-four underwing hardpoints
- L-39ZA—Training and multipurpose light attack aircraft with under fuselage gun pod and four underwing hardpoints.
- – Excellent handling characteristics within the whole flight envelope
- – Excellent visibility from both cockpits
- – Easy to maintain and service
- – Low operational cost
- – High reliability
Engine: One 3,792-lb thrust Ivchenko AI-25-TL
Weight: Empty 7,340 lbs., Max Takeoff 11,618 lbs. (L-39ZO with four rocket pods)
Wing Span: 31ft. 0.5in. Length: 40ft. 5in. Height: 15ft. 5.5in.
Maximum Speed at 19,600 ft: 485 mph (Trainer version, clean)
Never Exceed Speed: Mach 0.80
Maximum Speed at Sea Level: 750 km/h (400 knots, 470 mph) at 4,000 m (16,000 ft)
Range: 1,000 km (540 nm, 620 mi)
Service ceiling 11,500 m (37,730 ft)
Rate of climb: 22 m/s (4,330 ft/min)
Wing loading: 250.0 kg/m (51.23 lb/ft)
Take-off roll: 530 m (1,700 ft)
Landing roll: 600 m (2,000 ft)
Range: 528 miles with internal fuel; 995 miles with external tanks (for L-39 ZA only)
Up to 2,425 pounds of weapons on four underwing hardpoints, including bombs, 57- or 130-mm rocket pods, gun pods, a five-camera reconnaissance pod, or two fuel drop-tanks. Centerline point carried a pod-mounted 23-mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon with 180 rounds.
Number Still Airworthy:
Unknown number in military service. Nearly flying in private ownership
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