Czech aircraft builder Aero Vodochody introduced the L-39 Next Generation on Thursday 16 July during the Farnborough International Airshow. The new L-39NG aircraft is a further development of the successful L-39 aircraft, of which 3,000 were produced, building up 5 million flight hours worldwide.
The L-39NG builds upon the operating characteristics – manoeuvrability, ease of maintenance, adaptability to extreme climatic conditions and low operating costs – of the L-39, while adding many modern and advanced features that are required in present day training aircraft. Key new feature is the Williams International FJ44-4M engine, which delivers improved performance in speed, range and endurance.
In the cockpit, advanced modular “glass” avionics and communication systems along with embedded virtual training systems bring new capabilities in cost effective training for pilots of this and the next generation of military aircraft. Finally, the airframe features a new wing and the use of modern materials which reduce the overall weight as well as extend the airframe service life. These major changes are accompanied by many other detail advances in the design.
The new aircraft is intended as a direct replacement for the original L-39 aircraft – featured in this story on Airheadsfly.com – and a range of other jet trainers. Up to 60% the current world-wide jet trainer fleet will be withdrawn from service within the next 15 years. “We will offer existing users a solution to their aging L-39 fleets, but we also expect a number of new clients,” said Ladislav Šimek, president of Aero Vodochody. The company plans to introduce the L-39NG prototype in 2016 with the first deliveries beginning in 2018.
Source: Aero Vodochody