Tag Archives: Aero Vodochody

Maiden flight

On Monday 9th December 2019, the maiden flight of the L-39NG aircraft with MSN 7004 took place at Aero Vodochody. This aircraft will be the first pre-serial aircraft. Aero company pilots Vladimír Továrek and Vytautas Požela flew for 32 minutes.

The second flying L-39NG and pre-serial aircraft had its maiden flight

Aircraft with MSN 7004 is a second flying L-39NG. «Today, we mark another important milestone of the L-39NG project. The 7004 has joined as planned the 7001 aircraft and the technology demonstrator aircraft (2626) in the flight programme now, so we can speed up the flight-testing according to our plan and get the advanced trainer certification in the third quarter of 2020. I am proud that Aero was able to produce and assemble three prototype aircraft and one pre-serial aircraft in less than 2 years. The 7004 is also the first pre-serial aircraft which has been built according to serial aircraft final specification and provides additional opportunities for target customers to testify and experience the outstanding capabilities, performance and flight characteristics of that next generation training and light attack aircraft. Worthwhile mentioning, that the L-39NG is one of few trainer development programs in the world that will have three aircrafts flying at the same time for flight test and customer demos», said Dieter John, President & CEO of Aero Vodochody AEROSPACE.

The flight was observed by several guests including representatives of Penta Investment Group, which is 100% shareholder of Aero Vodochody, and management of OMNIPOL company, a strategic partner to Aero Vodochody in the L-39NG project. «The timetable is in line with the established plan, which is essential for us. Today’s flight of aircraft 7004 is an important milestone not only for the whole project, but above all for our further dealings with our business partners and potential customers», said Jiří Podpěra, President of OMNIPOL.

 

Four L-39NGs completed

Aero has until now produced four L-39NG aircraft. Three prototypes – one dedicated to flight tests, one to static tests and one for fatigue tests. The fatigue one has been finished just couple of days ago, the fuselage has already been transported to the VZLÚ (Czech Aerospace Research Centre), the wing should follow in couple of weeks and the testing will start in the beginning of 2020. Static prototype has been passing static testing programme since June 2019 and shall last until mid 2020.

Both flying aircraft, the prototype with MSN 7001 and the pre-serial 7004 aircraft are dedicated to intensive flight tests. Some of the tests are performed also on the technological demonstrator – aircraft with fuselage number 2626, which is former L-39C trainer equipped by new engine, avionics and other modern technologies used in L-39NG. Aero wants to complete certification for the advanced trainer, which will cover also the basic trainer, in the third quarter of 2020. The 7001 aircraft will then continue in certification for light attack aircraft that should be completed in the second half of 2021.

The aircraft was accompanied by the first prototype of L-39NG, 7001, and technology demonstrator (aircraft with fuselage number 2626, former L-39C equipped with the same engine, avionics, wet wing and other features used in L-39NG)

 

L-39NG

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective light jet capable to serve in a role of light attack and/or unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 with optimized features to reduce resistance and increase efficiency and 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 the Czech company OMNIPOL by having 50% of share and financial contribution in the project.

 

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade 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 track record of 11.000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of 60 military operators and 15 demo teams, a huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, Aero is maintaining its positioning 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 programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.

 

OMNIPOL

OMNIPOL is a Prague headquartered investment and trading group with more than eighty-five years of experience in both the domestic international markets. The company provides cutting-edge solutions for the defence and security sectors.

OMNIPOL is the owner of two very well known subsidiaries namely ERA and MESIT. They are both production companies with advanced technologies, which mainly focus on passive systems for monitoring air, land and naval targets, military communications, aircraft instruments and precision engineering production, including its own foundry together with galvanic processes. They also deal with related software products, but also cybersecurity, both for the military and civilian sectors. The entire OMNIPOL Group employs more than 1,400 professionals, of which over 200 employees are involved in research and development of new products.

 

BASIC DATA (depends on the version)

Wingspan 9.38 m/30.77 feet
Length, overall 11.70 m/38.38 feet
Empty Weight 3,200 kg/7,054.79 lbs.
Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) 5,600-5800 kg/12,345.89-12,786.81 lbs.
Maximum Fuel, internal 1,250 kg/2,755.77 lbs.
Maximum External Store 1,640 kg/3,615.58 lbs.
Maximum Speed 780 km/h/420 KTAS/485 mph
Range, internal fuel 1,150 NM/1,323 miles/2,130 km
Rate of climb S/L 23 m/s/4,500 feet/min
Maximum Thrust 16.87 kN/3,790 lbst
Maximum Structural Limit +8/-4 g

AeroNews L-39NG 7004 1st flight

First Flight

The first L-159T2 for the Czech Air Force made its first flight on August 2, 2018, at Aero Vodochody Airport. Czech Air Force ordered three L-159T2 twin seat aircraft with several upgrades on board in 2016 to fulfil operational missions and advanced jet training. The L-159T2s are supposed to be delivered to the 21. Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav till the end of this year.

The L-159T2 for the Czech Air Force made its first flight
The L-159T2 for the Czech Air Force made its first flight

The successful first flight of L-159T2 with tail number 6028, piloted by Aero’s test pilots Vladimír Kvarda and David Jahoda, lasted 30 minutes. «Aero achieved another important milestone. Thanks to this cooperation with our national customer, the L-159 program got additional features. Based on requirements of the Czech Air Force, we will deliver additional twin seaters that are suitable for not only advanced pilot training but are also equipped for military operations», said President & CEO of Aero Vodochody Giuseppe Giordo.

These new T2 twin seat aircraft have newly built central and forward fuselage, several significant improvements, mostly in equipment of both cockpits and in the fuel system, and are fully NVG compatible. Each cockpit is further equipped with two Multi-Function Displays and upgraded version of an ejection seat VS-20. The aircraft is also adapted to offer a pressure refueling capability. The Grifo radar, commonly used in single seat version, is now integrated also into the dual seat L-159T2 as well as the self-protection systems (countermeasures and radar warning receiver).

The L-159 aircraft is operated by Czech Air Force, Iraqi Air Force and US company Draken International. In the past, L-159s were leased by Hungarian Air Force to train pilots.

At Farnborough Air Show 2018, Aero Vodochody and its strategic partner, Israeli IAI, introduced a multirole aircraft for close air support F/A-259 Striker. The F/A-259 Striker combines the robustness and effectiveness of its successful predecessor – the L-159 Alca – with the latest advances in avionics and aircraft systems technology. Using benefits of a wet wing, F/A-259 Striker provides superior performance, great maneuverability, and a high range.

 

L-159

L-159 aircraft mates Aero’s long-term experience in development and production of military jet aircraft, in the category of which Aero represents historically the largest producer in the world, with latest advances in avionics, engine and aircraft systems technology. The L-159 is a light multi-role combat aircraft designed for a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is equipped with a state-of-the-art multi-mode radar for all-weather, day and night operations and can carry a wide range of NATO standards stores including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs. The two-seat L-159 is a derivate of the single-seat L-159, primarily designed for Advanced and Operational/Lead-In Fighter Training. The L-159 configuration can also be tailored to customer specific requirements and adapted to needs of basic training as well as combat missions including air-to-ground, patrol and reconnaissance missions.

The First L-39NG

In recent weeks, the production of new parts for L-39NG aircraft, the new generation of the legendary Albatros, has been fully launched in Aero Vodochody.

Aero launched production of the first L-39NGs
Aero launched production of the first L-39NGs

The key project of Aero Vodochody and its partner Omnipol, has thus entered the next phase. The largest Czech aircraft manufacturer plans to produce the total of four L-39NGs at this stage – three prototypes and one pre-serial aircraft.

The first complete L-39NG aircraft with a new certification should be ready at the end of 2019 and the first customer deliveries can then begin in 2020. «All around the world, there are still about 60 users of L-39 aircraft and about 600 of L-39s are still in operation. These older aircraft will need to be gradually replaced by the new ones, so we believe the new generation of L-39 has a great potential to succeed in the market», said the President of Aero, Giuseppe Giordo.

The new generation of the aircraft maintains the best features of its predecessor – low operation cost, high reliability, easy logistics and great flying capabilities – and those characteristics combines with modern avionics, newly developed engine from Williams International and many other enhancements. There are about 800 new parts of L-39NG currently in the production; further 800 parts are taken from the original Albatros.

Out of the four aircraft built during this production phase, the first one will serve as a flight prototype, two are designed for structural and fatigue tests, and the fourth one should be delivered to the first customer. «We are currently intensively negotiating with potential customers. A number of countries of the existing L-39 users has shown serious interest, as well as other countries that in the upcoming years expect the necessary generational replacement of their training jet air squadron», added the President of Aero, Giuseppe Giordo.

 

About the L-39NG

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 highly 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 to a great extent. The L-39NG is equipped with five mounting points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centers with the goal of increasing training efficiency. The strategic partner in the L-39NG project is company Omnipol that contributes 50% financially to the aircraft’s development.

Armed Black Hawk

Lockheed Martin is exploring options to bring its weapons integration expertise to bear on the European S-70 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company. The goal is to produce an armed kit scalable to the requirements of customers that procure Black Hawk aircraft direct from Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow
Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow

«Last year’s acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin has widened the aperture of possibilities for arming the Black Hawk helicopter», said Bill Gostic, vice president, Sikorsky Global Military Systems & Services. «Lockheed Martin brings integration expertise that will allow us to customize an armed configuration – for defensive or offensive operations – to the specific preferences of current and future Black Hawk customers, and with weapons of their choice».

During the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, Lockheed Martin is displaying outside its pavilion an armed Black Hawk aircraft manufactured at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec factory in Poland, and with the cockpit section manufactured at Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic. The display represents the types of weapons Lockheed Martin can integrate onto the medium-lift military utility platform that’s renowned for its multirole capabilities.

Armed external wings on either side of the displayed aircraft feature a total of four weapons stations for fire suppression and elimination of armored targets, with launchers for a mix of Hellfire and Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) air-to-ground missiles, a 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod, and an FN Herstal Belgium manufactured rocket machine gun pod. For laser designating of a future weapons system, the aircraft’s cockpit chin features the INFIRNO sensor system.

Crew-served weapons inside the displayed aircraft include an FN Herstal .50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine gun mounted to the cabin floor, and window-mounted 7.62-mm mini-guns. The mini-guns can also swing into a fixed forward firing position to be for operated by the pilot.

Depending on the chosen weapons configuration, the cabin can seat troops for armed assault and close air support of ground troop missions. Alternatively, the cabin can store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods, and an internal 200 gallon/757 L auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range and endurance required for armed escort missions.

Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot
Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot