The fatigue test confirms significantly longer lifespan of the L-39NG
March 25, 2021 – Another phase of the fatigue test of the new L-39NG jet aircraft from the Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody was successfully completed at the Czech Aerospace Research Centre in Prague (VZLÚ). The prototype with manufacturing serial number 7003 completed the third life cycle ground test which confirmed that the lifespan of the new aircraft will be significantly longer than of its predecessor L-39 Albatros. The new L-39NG received its international type certification in September 2020.
According to the design analyses, the L-39NG aircraft should have three times longer lifespan than the original Albatross. Depending on the way the aircraft is used, the service life of the L-39NG is up to 15,000 flight hours. "The complete L-39NG fatigue test is going to run a total of five life cycles. One fatigue life cycle on the ground test corresponds with 5,000 flight hours. We have now successfully completed the third life cycle, which confirms that we will achieve our goal to significantly extend the service life of the new generation of the aircraft, and this is also a great news for future L-39NG users," said Vojtěch Labuda, L-39NG Project Manager from Aero Vodochody.
"The design of the L-39NG airframe shows exceptional resistance to cyclic loading, despite the relatively hard fatigue spectrum we are using in those tests. A detailed inspection confirmed only minor and expected failures on the airframe structure even after the end of 15,000 simulated flight hours. No suspicion of any incipient failure was indicated at any spot on the primary airframe structure. The integral wing fuel tank is still filled with fuel substitution and there was no leakage of the liquid from the wing structure throughout the test," adds David Novotný from VZLÚ.
On September 18, 2020, the L-39NG aircraft received a type certificate which means it is eligible to operate in international air space and meets all safety requirements. The fatigue test at VZLÚ has started on May 25, 2020 and is scheduled for two years. In order to obtain type certification, Aero had pledged to complete two life cycles in the ground fatigue test (i.e. loading compared to 10,000 flight hours), which was met on time and with the necessary proof of test parameters and results in cooperation with VZLÚ. The fourth fatigue life cycle of the L-39NG is now starting, and the entire completion of the fatigue test is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
The project of the L-39NG fatigue test is financed with the state subsidy from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the TREND Programme.
The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective light jet capable to serve in a role of light attack and/or unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 with optimized features to reduce resistance and increase efficiency and utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the 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. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-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 to increase training efficiency. Strategic partner of the L-39NG project is the Czech company OMNIPOL by having 50% of share and financial contribution in the project.
Czech Aerospace Research Centre is a national centre for research, development and testing in aeronautics and space. Its mission is to provide scientific support and create innovative solutions that can be applied in industry.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and with history since 1919 one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world's air forces and it has 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 huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, 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. More recently, Aero became a full partner in several risk-sharing programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.
OMNIPOL is a Prague headquartered investment and trading group with more than eighty-five years of experience in both the domestic international markets. The company provides cutting-edge solutions for the defence and security sectors.
OMNIPOL is the owner of two very well known subsidiaries namely ERA and MESIT. They are both production companies with advanced technologies, which mainly focus on passive systems for monitoring air, land and naval targets, military communications, aircraft instruments and precision engineering production, including its own foundry together with galvanic processes. They also deal with related software products, but also cybersecurity, both for the military and civilian sectors. The entire OMNIPOL Group employs more than 1,400 professionals, of which over 200 employees are involved in research and development of new products.
AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s.
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