L-39 operators met in the Czech Republic

Representatives of fifteen states where air forces have experience in operating legendary L-39 jet trainers met on the 2nd L-39 Users’ Group Conference. The Czech Air Force together with leading Czech aviation company AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE and arms trading company OMNIPOL invited L-39 operators to the Czech Republic for 13th and 14th September.

The meeting built on the successful first conference that took place in 2016 in Aero Vodochody. This year, the Czech Air Force took the lead in organisation of the event. “Czech Air Forces are the traditional users of Aero Vodochody products. We have big experience with L-39 Albatros. I am glad that this aircraft has huge potential to be successful trainer in next generation version. I believe, that this symposium will meet the expectations of all participants,” said Chief of Staff of the Czech Air Force Jaromír Šebesta at the beginning of the conference.

The group of 15 states joined also representatives of American companies Draken International and Williams International and Latvian acrobatic group Baltic Bees. The main aim of the conference is to share experience with the L-39 Albatros aircraft among the operators but also with the original manufacturer – Aero Vodochody. “Second Users Group Conference is another step in building long-lasting and closer relationship with users of our aircraft. We focused on specific needs and ideas of the participants,” described Giuseppe Giordo, president and CEO of AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE. “The customer side is a key element in our strategy. I am convinced, that we sent strong message, that Aero is reliable partner for pilots training and air missions,” added Giordo.

Two years ago, Aero successfully performed first flight of the L-39 powered by the FJ44-4M Williams engine instead of the original Ukrainian Ivchenko AI-25TL. The re-engined Albatros is currently finishing certification process so Aero will be able to provide this upgrade to L-39 operators already next year. Moreover, Aero and its partner Omnipol, introduced new jet training aircraft L-39NG, successor of the Albatros. Omnipol half funds development of the new aircraft and it is also involved in marketing and sales of the L-39NG. Assembly of the first aircraft of this type has already begun in Aero. "In terms of our long-standing experience with the export of L-39s in the past, it has been a logical step for us to participate in the L-39NG development project. We are very excited to see how the Czech aircraft are still popular in the world, and we also believe that the users meeting will continue to support its popularity," said Jiří Podpěra, president of Omnipol.

Attendees of the 2nd L-39 Users’ Group Conference visited premises of Aero Vodochody and saw MRO facilities for L-39 and production of the new L-39NG aircraft. The second day of the conference took place on the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav in eastern bohemia and the participants also visited the Flight Training Centre in Pardubice. Part of the program on Čáslav Air base was also flight display of several types of L-39 aircraft including the Williams powered L-39CW, accompanied by L-159 aircraft serving in the Czech Air Force. The conference resulted in the plan of further development of the Users’ Group. Part of the discussions can continue already this weekend because some of the delegations are heading to Ostrava to visit NATO Days security show.

View source version on AERO Vodochody: http://www.aero.cz/en/about-us/media-center/news/l-39-operators-met-czech-republic/