Galerie L39 // video start engine //

Aero Vodochody

L-39 Albatros Jet


The L-39 was selected as the standard jet trainer in 1972 for the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries, with the exception of Poland and was the servessor to the L29 Delfin jet. The L-39 is a single engine, tandem two seat, all-metal, subsonic aircraft. The L-39 made its first flighr on November 4, 1968. The aircraft's primary mission was basic and advanced training, with external armement stores that would enabled it to fulfill operation training in ground attack toles. The First model designated L-39C was the initial training version with two underwing stations. A total of 2,244 L-39C models had been delivred, almost all the soviet Air Force.

Aero Vodochody L-39, L-59 production statistics released in early 1998 listed the following customers which received new aircraft. Afghanistan: 26 L-39C, Algeria: 7 L-39C, 32 L-39ZA, Bangladesh: 8 L-39ZA, Bulgaria: 36 L-39ZA, Cuba: 30 L-39C, Czechoslovakia: 33 L-39C, 30 L-39ZA, 8 L-39V, 5 L-39MS, Egypt: 48 L-59E, Ethi: 20 L-39C, GDR: 52 L-39ZO, Iraq: 22 L-39C, 59 L-39ZO, Libya: 181 L-39ZO, Nigeria: 24 L-39ZA, Romania: 32 L-39ZA, Syria: 55 L-39ZO, 44 L-39ZA, Thailand: 38 L-39ZA, Tunis: 12 L-59T, USA (private buyers): 5 L-39C, USSR: 2080 L-39C, Vietnam: 24 L-39C. Total production of 2,904 L-39/-59.


On August 25, 1975 the improved L-39ZO trainer (Z for Zhrojni-armed), which differed in having a reinforced wing to accommodate four wing pylons. The first customer for this version was Iraq, which also acquired the last production aircraft in 1985. Eight L-39Vs, a single-seater for target towing were built for the Czech Air Force in 1976, and on September 29 the same year, the L-39ZA ground attack and reconnaissance version took off on its first flight displaying an under fuselage centerline gun pod, four hard points on a reinforced wing and strengthened undercarriage . The L39ZA, together with the later L-39ZA/MP multi purpose variant with Western avionics and head-up display (HUD), remains in production. The L39ZA and ZA/MP versions fulfill a multitude of tasks, and can be fitted with a two-barrel 23mm GSh-23 gun in the removable center fuselage pod and four underwing stations with a variety of possible weapon loads, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, bombs and rockets, all compatible with NATO standards.


With the breakup of the Warsaw pact and collapse of the Soviet Union, Aero Vodochody experienced overnight losses of 80-90% of their business sales. In its peak year of 1989, Aero Vodochody delivered 246 L-39 Albatross jet trainers to the Soviet Union. A year later the figure dropped to 131. None have been delivered since. Since 1996, major financial and business restructuring programs have been approved with western joint venture partnerships. Reliability is said to be 99.6%, with mean time between failure (MTBF) in flight in excess of 300 hours. Proven airframe service life is 6,000 hours. The L-39 was also flown by the Russian Knights, their equivalent of the Blue Angels.

Pilot Panel - Poste de pilotage




Spécifications & Performances

Max speed at 16,400 ft. 755 km/h (407 kts) 469 mph.
Max speed......Sea level 700 km/h (378 kts) 435 mph .
Length..................39 ft. 8 in. 12.13 m.

Wing span............31 ft. 0 in 9.46 m.
Height..................15 ft. 6 in. 4.77 m.

Wing area.............202 sq ft. 18.80 m.
Flaps: Double slotted, fowler-type.
Flaps takeoff...........25 degrees.
Flaps landing...........44 degrees.

Empty weight approx........7,625 lbs. 3,458 kg

Max ramp......................10,406 lbs. 4,720 kg

Max takeoff weight.........10,362 lbs. 4,700 kg

Max landing weight.........10,141 lbs. 4,600 kg

Undercarriage tested for grass, unpaved airfields

 and heavy landings of cadets
Max underwing stores......2,425 lbs. 1,100 kg
Normal takeoff weight......9,976 lbs. 4,525 kg
Center of gravity range.....20.7 to 26% mac.
Max crosswind demonstrated 19.44 kts. 10m/s
Take off run............1,575 ft.
Landing distance.....1,968 ft.

Initial rate of climb...4,330 ft/min. 22m/s.
Time to 16,400 ft....5 minutes.
Flight controls: mechanical by push rods
Max vmo knots....491 kts. (909 km/h)
Max load factor +8 g -4 g.
Max Mach 0.80 clean.

Engine: 1 - thrust 3,792 lbs, Manufacturer: Ukrainian Progress, Ivchenko AI-25-TL

Twin shaft by-pass turbofan engine. Bypass ratio 1.983


Semi-circular lateral air intakes on each side of the fuselage above the wing center section, provides protection against FOD.


Five bolts in the rear fuselage and tail section allow easy removal for access to the engine, which is itself attached to the airframe by four hinges and can be changed in less than three hours by trained mechanics. To facilitate servicing and maintenance, the airframe is furnished with numerous access doors with quick-release locks.


Takeoff power..106.8% = 17,600 rpm - thrust 3,792 lbs - flt egt max 705c grd 660c.
Climb power.....103.2% = 17,000 rpm - thrust 3,306 lbs - flt egt max 670c grd 625c
Cruise power......99.6% = 16,400 rpm - thrust 2,811 lbs - flt egt max 635c grd 590c
Idle-run..............56% - thrust 297 lbs - 600c flt/grd. 30 minutes max on grd.
Takeoff rpm..............106.8%, 20 min max.
Max overspeed rpm..107.8%.

Climb power.............103.2%, unlimited; when in-flight.

Range at 16,400 ft..540 nm.

Main hydraulic system operates up to 2133 psi, (Normal range135 to 150 kp/cm sq.) Landing-gear, Dive brakes, Ram-jet turbine generator, Landing flaps, Wheel brakes/anti-skid. Normal operation of system is controlled by electrohydraulic switches. Emergency operation of hydraulic system is controlled by hand-operated valves.


Fuel: Five rubber fuselage tanks. Total capacity fuselage & tips: (332 gal. 1,014 kg. 2,241 lbs. 1,257 lit). Fuselage tanks: 279 gals, (858 kg). 1,100 liters. tips: 26.5 gal each, total tips 156 kg. 200 liters total. Max endurance internal fuel approx 2.5 hours.
Initial climb speed 220 knots (407 km/h) at S.L.
Best climb at VY, 216 kias (400 km/h) to reaching a tas of 270 kts (The thin tas needle); then climb at 270 kts (500 km/h) tas up to the aircraft ceiling.
VLO 180 knots (333 km/h)
VFO 160 knots (296 km/h)

Crew: Two in tandem

Ejection seats: VS-1-BRI


video start engine clic here