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
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
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:
C was and still is the most popular aircraft for basic and advanced jet
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
Low Operational Cost
High Availability Through High Reliability
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
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.