Aero Vodochody introduces the L-39NG jet trainer powered by Williams FJ44-4M July 16th, 2014

AERO Vodochody announced the launch of development of the new L-39NG jet training aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow today. The aircraft incorporates advanced aerospace technologies and an efficient new engine — the Williams FJ44-4M — building on the excellent traditional characteristics of the L-39 family of aircraft.

The new L-39NG aircraft builds on the tradition of successful L-39 aircraft, produced by Aero since the 1960s. Aero delivered more than 3000 L-39s and four hundred are still in operation today. “Our company has produced the most numerous and successful aircraft of this type in aviation history; therefore, the project will integrate the experiences of our existing operators from around the world, from every continent and every type of climate,” said Ladislav Šimek, president of AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s.

The L-39 is renowned for its exceptional operating characteristics, namely its excellent manoeuvrability, ease of maintenance, robust design proven in more than 5,000,000 flight hours, great adaptability to extreme climatic conditions and last but not least, low operating costs.  

The new generation aircraft, named L-39NG, builds upon these cornerstones of success and adds many modern and advanced features that are required in training aircraft for the 21st century. The key new feature is the light and fuel efficient 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 now features a new wet 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 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 Up to 60% the current world-wide jet trainer fleet will be withdrawn from service within the next 15 years.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 Šimek. The company plans to introduce the L-39NG prototype in 2016 with the first deliveries beginning in 2018.