Press Release

Aero demonstrated the L-39NG aircraft for LOM PRAHA

The aircraft will be used to train future Czech F-35 pilots

Vodochody, 12 June 2024 – One year after the start of serial production, Aero has demonstrated the first L-39NG aircraft intended for LOM PRAHA and its Pardubice Flight Training Centre. Delivery of the first trainer aircraft to a Czech customer is planned for this year.

Aero will deliver four L-39NG jet trainer aircraft with an option for four additional aircraft including a comprehensive training system. The delivery includes, among other things, initial pilot and ground staff training, special and high-altitude equipment, ground equipment, including an initial set of spare parts, as well as after-sales support for this training platform. “I am very pleased that we were able to show the L-39NG aircraft produced for LOM PRAHA in the air. The first two aircraft should be delivered by the end of this year and we hope to have two more by mid-2025. The exercise of the option for 4 more aircraft should, we are informed, offer the necessary capacity to train pilots of our army in connection with the acquisition of the F-35 and also with LOM PRAHA’s intention to train pilots of NATO armies under the NFTE (NATO Flight Training Europe) program. The aircraft is a comprehensive and cost-effective training platform that is the optimal solution for basic and advanced training of future Czech Army fighter pilots who will use the fifth generation aircraft, the F-35A Lightning II,” said Viktor Sotona, President and CEO of Aero.

The Flight Training Centre in Pardubice, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, will use Aero L-39NG trainer aircraft for basic and advanced training of pilots of the Czech Air Force.

The Flight Training Centre’s significant investments include the construction of a brand new ground training centre, which includes a hall with a certified L-39NG flight simulator (the so-called Full Mission Simulator). “We are currently intensively preparing our modern infrastructure, cutting-edge technology and experienced personnel for the transition to the new Aero L-39NG trainer aircraft in order to offer future pilots the best quality aerial and tactical simulated training, as has always been the case over the past two decades. We intend to design the L-39NG training system to prepare pilots for the F-35 aircraft. We have already received approval from Lockheed Martin for this, with the L-39NG being approved as a suitable platform for F-35 training,” said Jiří Protiva, Director of LOM PRAHA.

The demonstration flight of the L-39NG for LOM PRAHA took place on 12 June at the factory airport in Vodochody, when Aero pilots demonstrated the airworthiness and operational readiness of the aircraft to the customer. The standard programme of the factory flight had already taken place earlier. It aims to confirm the aircraft’s functions, in particular the engine, aircraft systems, avionics, as well as the aircraft’s handling and behaviour in all phases of flight from take-off through aerobatics to landing. The flight takes place in a range of altitudes from 0 to 8,500 metres and at speeds from stall speed to maximum speed (Mach number 0.8 or 900 km/h). Aero’s factory pilots have demonstrated the L-39NG’s behaviour within its normal operating envelope and confirmed the high standard concerning flight performance, avionics and safety.

The Aero L-39NG offers a robust design using the latest manufacturing technologies, including composite materials, with excellent cockpit visibility and a high level of pilot protection. The resistance to bird strikes is significantly enhanced by a hardened cabin faceplate and a composite wing leading edge design certified to withstand up to 650 km/h. Newly developed integral wing fuel tanks and central fuel filling contribute to the aircraft’s low operating costs and class-leading range.

Nearly 300 Czech suppliers are involved in the serial production of the L-39NG. The Czech manufacturer has also opened another development centre in Brno, where, among other things, the technical documentation for the L-39NG is being created. The contract for the delivery of four aircraft (with an option for four more) for the LOM PRAHA Flight Training Centre was signed on 14 November 2022, with serial production starting at Aero on 10 May 2023.

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the development, production, maintenance and modernisation of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aircraft manufacturers in the world. In the field of its own aircraft, Aero is a permanent partner of a number of military air forces and has a strong position in the market for military trainer and light combat aircraft. With 11,000 aircraft produced in its 100 years of existence, hundreds of L-39 Albatros aircraft still in service with dozens of military operators and a number of demo teams, and especially with its new L-39NG aircraft, Aero has established itself as a leader in the global jet trainer market. In the civil aviation sector, Aero works with major aircraft manufacturers on a wide range of projects and is a partner in several risk-sharing programmes, where it is responsible not only for the manufacture and assembly of aircraft assemblies, but also for their development.

Radka Černá, PR & Communications Manager
e-mail: radka.cerna@aero
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