The Aero Vodochody L39

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed in Czechoslovakia to meet requirements for a "C-39" (C for cvičný – trainer) during the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfín as the main training aircraft. It was the first of the second-generation jet trainers, and the first turbofan-powered trainer produced, and was later updated as the L-59 Super Albatros and as the L-139 (prototype L-39 with Garrett TFE731 engine).

To date, more than 2,800 L-39s have served with over 30 air forces around the world. The Albatros is the most widely used jet trainer in the world; in addition to performing basic and advanced pilot training, it has also flown combat missions in a light-attack role.

Operational History

 

During the Cold War, the L39 served as a jet trainer for the Soviet and Czechoslovakian Air Forces.  Other operators include Afganistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

 

 

Today, the L39 has proven  to be a popular jet for warbird enthusiasts, and over 250 L39s are on the US FAA registry.

Our L39 Today

 

Our L39 is N61XX, on loan to the Museum from one of our Sponsors.

 

She's a 1984 C-model, though she's plumbed for drop-tanks like a ZA.  Most recently she was a member of the Red Steel Jet Team.  We are proud to include her in our fleet!

 

 

 

Specifications (L39C)

 

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2

  • Length: 39 ft 9 in

  • Wingspan: 31 ft 1 in

  • Height: 15 ft 8 in

  • Wing area: 202 ft²

  • Empty weight: 7617 lb

  • Max. takeoff weight: 10,362 lb

  • Fuel capacity: 418 US gal with tips

  • Powerplant: 1 Ivchenko IA-25TL, 3792 lbf

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 466 mph

  • Cruise speed: 370 mph

  • Range: 683 mi, 1087 mi with external tanks

  • Service ceiling: 36,100 ft

  • Rate of climb: 4,130 ft/min

  • Wing loading: 51.3 lb/ft²

  • Thrust/weight: 0.37

Armament

  • Up to 284 kg (626 lb) of stores on two external hardpoints

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