80 years of landings in Vodochody. 9 facts about the home airport of Aero
Vodochody, October 26th, 2022 – The Vodochody Airport was established in 1942. Currently it serves mainly as a base for the development and flying of aircraft of the Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody. The airport is also used by private aircraft operators or flight schools.
1. The Vodochody Airport was originally established (by converting the then-agricultural land into a paved landing and take-off area) in 1942 as a base for a courier squadron of the German Air Force. In 1953, taxiways and a 2,000-metre concrete runway were built.
2. In 1953, the Aero company moved to Vodochody airport and opened its new factory there, thanks to the already existing paved runway. In the same year, the Aero fire brigade began operating here, which today has 34 professional firefighters.
3. Currently, the airport is classified as an "international non-public airport" and has a 2,500-metre long and 45-meter-wide runway with 1,400-metre-long emergency runway. In 2005 there were 1 220 aircraft movements at the airport, in 2009 there were 9 700 movements, and in the last 5 years, the number of arrivals and departures has ranged from 10 000 to 13 000 per year.
4. The airport infrastructure has been in its current state since 1972. In 2008, a major reconstruction of the runway lighting was carried out. Three years later, the navigation and radar equipment was upgraded.
5. The airport in Vodochody has witnessed several significant flights. In 1959 (5 April), the L-29 Delfín was flown here, and in 1968 the L-39 Albatros trainer was flown for the first time (4 November). 25 years ago (August 2, 1997) the first L-159 prototype flew from Vodochody. In 2018, exactly on 22 December, the new L-39NG jet trainer from Aero flown for the first time. It took off at 10:38 am and was flying for a total of 26 minutes.
6. Vodochody airport welcomed many remarkable aircraft. Aero Vodochody was visited by, for example, the flying legend Douglas DC3 - Dakota, a twin-engine eight-seat S-38 Sikorski amphibious aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger CL-601 with a design inspired by the tattoo of boxer Mike Tyson, a Grumman TBM Avenger naval bomber and a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter or a twin-engine Beechcraft 18 known as "THE REDHEAD".
7. Historic and record-breaking landings. Recently, Italian Canadair-415 and Swedish Air Tractor aircraft landed at the airport (for the first time in the history of the Czech Republic) to help with firefighting in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. A Primoco UAV (model One 150) also landed on the runway after completing a continuous and then a record-breaking flight of 9 hours and 1 minute. The Breitling Jet Team (the most prominent civil aerobatic team in the world) regularly visits the airport with L-159 Albatros.
8. The airport terminal in Vodochody was also visited by well-known personalities. The airport welcomed, for example, the F1 icon Michael Schumacher, the world-famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, famous singers Elton John, Sting, George Michael, or the popular bands Duran Duran or KISS.
9. AERO Vodochody Airport continues to be an integral element of AERO. "We are preparing the revitalization of the airport runway so that it can serve for the next decades, especially for Aero's needs for testing and production of our aircraft or for occasional business flights," said Viktor Sotona, President of Aero Vodochody.
Jan Chvojka, Director of Marketing & PR
About AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacture, maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft. It is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and with history dating back to 1919, Aero is one of the oldest aerospace companies in the world. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world's air forces and continues to maintain a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.
With a track record of 11,000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of dozens of military operators and demo teams, a significant existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand-new aircraft, the L-39NG, Aero is maintaining its positioning as a leader in the jet training market. In the field of civil aviation, Aero collaborates with many of the world's largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects.