Aero Vodochody Company History  

The L39 C (Albatros) Jet Fighter has a long history behind it.  From as early as 1919 the private firm AERO, the aircraft factory of Dr. Kabes in Prague , Czechoslovakia engaged in repairing and rebuilding of surplus aircraft that were left in the country by France after World War I.  

As time progressed AERO built numerous and various aircraft including biplanes, mono-plane airliners and eventually in 1953 began production of jet fighters.  The recent history of Aero Vodochody started with MIG-15 fighters and was followed by MIG-19’s.  During the 1960’s, AERO produced many formidable MIG-21 jet fighters.  All in all, the company turned out more than 3,500 MIG aircraft.   

The company’s designers made use of the experience from the manufacture of the MIG’s to design the first-ever Czechoslovak jet trainer, which was called the L29 (Delfin).  From 1961-1972, AERO produced the L29 (Delfin) which became the standard training aircraft of the Warsaw Pact member countries.  The L29 built its glory due to its flight characteristics, reliability and easy maintenance.  Though designated with a service life of only 30 years, there are still a number of planes that will be operated well into the next century because they turned out to be such a great jet fighter-trainer.  

Beginning in 1972, the next generation of modern jet fighters evolved at Aero Vodochody including the new L39 C (Albatros) Training and Light Attack Aircraft.  The L39 C aircraft is a low wing, tandem seating, all metal turbofan powered aircraft designed for basic and advanced pilot training, including weapon delivery, as well as for light attack combat missions.  The practical suitability of the L39 C aircraft for training is currently demonstrated daily in military colleges and squadrons of more than 30 Air Forces in Europe , Asia , Africa and Latin America .  Because they are built to rugged military specifications and have had an extremely good reputation for operations throughout the long years of service, they are still being used today and are expected to be used well into the future.  The entire L39 fleet has accumulated over 4,000,000 flying hours in the service worldwide.   

There were several models of the L39 produced, the L39 C, L39 V, L39 ZO and the L39 ZA.  The L39 Versions are as follows:  

L39 C was and still is the most popular aircraft for basic and advanced jet training.  

L39 V was designed as a single seat aircraft and was primarily used for target towing.

L39 ZO was a training aircraft with extended weapon capabilities with four under wing hard points, with two of the hard points being wet (capable of holding drop tanks) which can be used as two additional fuel tanks to extend the range of the aircraft.

L39 ZA was a training and multipurpose light attack aircraft with an under fuselage gun pod with four under wing hard points including advanced avionics.  

At the Aero Vodochody manufacturing plant, as part of the company’s comprehensive training system, they use flight and ejection seat simulators including computer-based training aids for pilots and maintenance staff.  

L39 C Operational Features Include:
Easy Maintenance
Low Operational Cost
High Availability Through High Reliability
Logistic Support.  

Since the development of the L39 C jet trainer was so successful, the later L139 aircraft was produced as a modernized derivative of the proven L39 C trainer.  It was developed to meet the requirements of a new generation of jet trainers.  From here Aero Vodochody designed the L59 which combines design features and experience from the extremely successful L39 C aircraft but with a new and more powerful engine, advanced avionics and weaponry system and with some minor improvements in the airframe and other aircraft systems.  

Finally, we come to the present-day with the AERO L159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft (ALCA).  The flagship of the current AERO’s production line is the L159 ALCA.  Beginning the design in January 1995 and with test flights on August 2, 1997 , the basic design of the L159 comes from the proven airframe and aerodynamic configuration of the L39/L59 family.  

The L159 is the most modern and up-to-date jet fighter produced by Aero Vodochody and is fully interoperable to NATO.  Aero Vodochody has demonstrated its commitment to excellence in manufacturing and producing aircraft for nearly a century, such that in the 1997, the Czech government along with a selection committee composed principally of certain Czech ministries selected Boeing Ceska to acquire 35.29 percent of Aero Vodochody’s share capital.  The Boeing Aircraft Company now provides technical, managerial and marketing expertise to AERO which further improves its productivity and access to international markets.  This strategic relationship between Boeing and AERO improves AERO’s strength to compete internationally.

Jet Fighters International, Inc.
3000 NW 59th Street
Ft. Lauderdale , FL 33309
Phone: 954-648-1955 - Fax: 954-575-3102