Aero Vodochody, Czech aircraft manufacturer, officially presented its new aircraft L-39NG.
The rollout event was attended, among others, by military officials from a number of nations, L-39NG customers, together with political and diplomatic delegations including the highest Czech political representative, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. “Aeronautics has always been strong tradition in the Czech Republic. The L-39NG project is demonstrating that industrial capabilities are still present in the Czech Republic. It is important that the Government supports this project, which will contribute to Czech export by high technological value. It strengthens competitiveness of Czech industry,” said Andrej Babiš, Czech Prime Minister.
The L-39NG is a jet trainer and light attack cost effective platform. The L-39NG is a single-engine two-seater with staggered seating and an advanced cockpit design that includes full glass cockpit, a sophisticated on board virtual training system and a Helmet Mounted Display. The L-39NG is a key component of an innovative training concept developed by Aero that includes state-of-the-art ground-based training devices, new learning methods and environment and extensive use of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies. The L-39NG has been designed as a maintenance-friendly aircraft in anticipation of many decades of service.
The development of the L-39NG has accelerated in the last two years in order to be able to deliver the first aircraft to the market in 2020. In 2017, the initial pre-serial production and the industrialization phase started including agreements with all key suppliers and partners of the project – both international and Czech companies (about 40 Czech suppliers). The certification of the new avionics and engine installation was already done on the end of 2017, while the certification of the L-39NG will be fully achieved before the end of 2019.
Aero Vodochody estimates the potential demand in the next 10–15 years for trainer aircraft will be up to 3,000 pieces. Current training fleets around the world are rapidly ending their lifetime and do not respond to the future needs of pilots training for the 4th and 5th generation fighters. In conservative scenario, Aero expects to deliver 150 aircraft in the next 10 years.
Before the L-39NG rollout, representatives of 18 states where air forces have experience in operating legendary L-39 jet trainers met on the 3rd L-39 Users’ Group Conference. Most of the attendees of the conference took this occasion to see the next generation of the aircraft based on the successful training platform on the rollout ceremony.