The first customer flew in L-39NG aircraft. General Joseph Mamadou Diop, the Chief of the Air Force of the Republic of Senegal, made an hour-lasting flight with test pilot of Aero Vodochody Vladimír Továrek on Sunday 6th October.
The first prototype of L-39NG, new jet trainer and light attack aircraft, is currently undergoing intensive flight tests. Aircraft with the manufacturing number 7001 flies almost every day since the middle of September. The L-39NG project now marked an important milestone when the first representative of a customer tried flying the new aircraft.
"I am glad I had the opportunity to try the aircraft on my own. It was a great experience, Aero test pilot Vladimír showed me the great manoeuvrability of the aircraft and I also admired beautiful Czech landscape from the new full glass cockpit providing great view,” said General Joseph Mamadou Diop, the Chief of Air Force of the Republic of Senegal after the flight. Senegal is the first customer of the new aircraft. The West-African country will get four L-39NGs in Light Attack configuration.
"We are very confident about the L-39NG aircraft. The project runs according to our plan, we are finishing a second aircraft dedicated to flight tests in early November and we will complete the certification for Advanced and Basic Trainer configuration in the third quarter of 2020 and for Light Attack a year later. It was a logical step to offer our customers the opportunity to fly the aircraft and convince them of its unique performance and outstanding capabilities,” said Dieter John, President & CEO of Aero Vodochody.
This week, L-39NG flew to Sliač Air Base in Slovakia, where it is presented during the 4th L-39 Users’ Group Conference. This event represents another milestone, because it is the first L-39NG flight abroad.
Aero is currently finishing production of aircraft Nr. 7003 dedicated for fatigue tests and Nr. 7004, the pre-serial aircraft that should join 7001 in flight testing in following months. Nr. 7002 is already undergoing static tests since spring.
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.