After undergoing a series of demanding ground tests, first L-39NG full prototype joined again flight test program on September 14th. One week later, L-39NG prototype suspended temporarily its flight test operations in order to visit the NATO Days in Ostrava, where it was first presented to the general public on a static display – with complete configuration, new paint, and armament.
Two years ago, Aero Vodochody has announced target of introducing the L-39NG to the public for the first time at the NATO Days in Ostrava in 2019. Aero has been general partner of this traditional and largest military air show in Czech Republic already third time in a row, and this year celebrates its 100 years anniversary. Achievement of such bold plan placed high demands on the course of development and testing work.
“The L-39NG program is running on schedule, which is good news for our customers. We have a very clear program of flight and ground tests and subsequent certification. I am absolutely confident that we will receive the type certification for full trainer configuration in the third quarter of 2020 and the light attack version in the third quarter of 2021,” said President and CEO of Aero Vodochody Dieter John.
NATO Days in Ostrava is a unique opportunity to present the aircraft not only to general public, but also to customers. Dozens of military and government delegations from various countries attend the event this year, including multiple potential customers, both traditional L-39 users and new customers. “Progress of the L-39NG project to the next stage and subsequent acquisition of an internationally respected certification is a key step for our dealing with business partners,” said Jiří Podpěra, president of the OMNIPOL company, the strategic partner of the L-39NG project. “First public appearance of the L-39NG at NATO days is a great opportunity to present the new aircraft to potential customers,” added Jiří Podpěra.
L-39NG Tests Are Continuing
Three aircraft in total support L-39NG flight test program. Technological demonstrator (L-39CW) with the same engine, avionics system, and configuration has started L-39NG flight testing in March 2019. Technological demonstrator was undergoing intensive avionic test, and Stall and Spin investigation. The first full prototype 7001 started pitot static and basic performance testing in September.
The aircraft with manufacturing serial number 7004 will join the 7001 in flight testing before end of this year. All three flying test aircraft shall complete full L-39NG flight test campaign in summer 2020. After that, aircraft 7004 will finalize certification flights for Full Trainer configuration type certificate in Q3 2020, and 7001 will advance to reconfiguration to light attack version and shall complete its flight test program end of summer 2021 and receive Light Attack type certification on Q3 2021.
During the second quarter of 2019, flight prototype with production serial number 7001, presented at NATO Days, underwent ground vibration testing conducted together with Czech Aerospace Research Centre. The tests have been carried out also with installed weapons and therefore they are valid also for Light Attack version. At the same time, the ground static strength tests on prototype 7002 are continuing; at the turn of the year, ground fatigue tests will start on prototype with serial number 7003.
The L-39NG will be the only one jet trainer on the market with complete syllabus from basic training to advanced and LIFT training.
The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective trainer designed as a unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39, but 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 Czech company Omnipol.
AERO Vodochody Aerospace a.s. focuses on the design and manufacturing of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and 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 huge existing fleet of L-39 and with a brand-new aircraft, L-39NG, Aero is positioning itself 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 programs, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.
Since 1934, OMNIPOL, a.s. has been a reliable global systems integrator and supplier of military, security and aviation systems. In addition to aviation technology and aviation training systems, Omnipol’s primary focus is on defence and security electronics. Omnipol initiated a new phase of its development when it purchased ERA, a.s., creating the conditions for the rapid development of a new generation of unique passive (invisible) tracking and recognition systems called VERA-NG. The system is complemented by other types of passive systems (such as SDD) and thereby offers a comprehensive solution for the monitoring of air, sea and land space on the principle of “seeing without being seen”. Omnipol is also a supplier of technological production units and services for both the defence and food industries.