The first pre-serial Aero Vodochody L-39NG trainer and light attack aircraft made its maiden flight in the Czech Republic on 22 December. Although only 26 minutes in duration, platform maturity allowed some development testing to be conducted inflight.
“This pre-series first flight represents a significant milestone, sending an important message to our customers: we can [entirely] fulfil our commitments and we will be ready to deliver the first aircraft in the first quarter of 2020,” confirmed President & CEO of Aero Vodochody Aerospace, Giuseppe Giordo.
“As the strategic partner [in] the project we are very confident that this important step will further strengthen trust of the whole aerospace community in the new aircraft and will help to make this great project very successful,” added President of OMNIPOL, Jiří Podpěra.
The L-39NG is a single-engine, two-seat aircraft with staggered seating and an advanced cockpit design that includes a full glass cockpit, a sophisticated on-board virtual training system and a helmet mounted display. The aircraft is a key component of an innovative training concept developed by Aero that includes state-of-the-art ground-based training facilities, new learning methods and extensive use of both virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies.
The company claims the L-39NG is the only currently available platform on the market capable of performing basic, advanced and LIFT/OCU training at the cost of a turboprop.
“The L-39NG performed extremely well and fully met our expectations in terms of stability and controllability. We could even perform some tests like configuration changes, acceleration up to 200 knots, turns to 30, 45, and 60 degrees and slow down to approach speed. All installed systems worked perfectly and outlook outside the cockpit was excellent. The L-39NG is a completely new aircraft and, I believe, it has great potential to become a perfect trainer for the 4th- and 5th-generation fighters as well as a light attack platform,” commented company test pilot, David Jahoda.