L-39 Albatros

L-39 Albatros

Brief description

L-39 is a tandem-seat, subsonic jet trainer aircraft. It is designed for basic, follow-on or for other levels of training at which pilots are trained to fly combat aircraft. The aircraft provides the capability to train pilots for advanced flying techniques, aerobatic manoeuvres or air attack training and destruction of air/ground targets. The instrument and radio communication equipment allow the aircraft to perform flight missions under all weather conditions, day and night. A total number of L-39 aircraft the squadron has in its inventory is 9: 5 L-39CM variants and 4 L-39ZAM variants.

The history of the aircraft L-39 Albatros dates back to 1963 when the Ministry of National Defence of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic drew up an analysis of the documents for setting the requirements on a new training system for jet pilots, as a replace for older type L-29 Delfín. The main project designer was Ing. Jan Vlček and the project head was Ing. Karol Dlouhý. The first real flight which lasted 35 minutes was made by test pilot Ing. Rudolf Duchoň on 4 November 1968. Series production was launched in 1971 in the Aero Vodochody and lasted until 1997. A total number of the aircraft was 2,892. They were produced in various versions and exported to 17 countries. The Soviet Union became the biggest customer of L-39 aircraft by placing an order for 2,081 aircraft.

The 2nd Squadron uses L-39CM and L-39ZAM, upgraded version of L-39C and L-39ZA. In 2005, in order to be able to meet NATO standards and comply with ICAO standards, the aircraft, particularly their instrument panels, had to undergo the upgrade.

Slovak Albatros

L-39C 0101

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. It was later operated by the Biele Albatrosy and also got the colours of this aerobatic display team. In 1996-1997, the aircraft underwent a general overhaul in the LOTN (Aircraft Repair Company Trenčín) that included both the replacement of the old fuselage shell with the new one and the life-cycle extension. By the late 1990s, the aircraft was operated with older (taller) type of the rudder. The aircraft was later labelled with No. 4, printed in blue and placed on its vertical tail area. In 2002, it underwent another complete overhaul in the LOTN and included extensive upgrade, the change of its serial number from 0101 to 5302 and its transformation into L-39CM. The 2nd Squadron in the AFB Sliač used the aircraft from 2006 to May 2011 when it was grounded for a thorough overhaul.

L-39 0101

L-39C 0102

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. It also got the colours of the aerobatic display team Biele Albatrosy. In 1996-1997, the aircraft underwent a complete overhaul in the LOTN (Aircraft Repair Company Trenčín) that included both the replacement of the old fuselage shell for the new one and the life-cycle extension. Also the older type of the rudder was later replaced with the new type. Following the complete overhaul, the aircraft carried a/the blue number 6. In 2002, it underwent another complete overhaul in the LOTN that included an upgrade to L-39CM standard and the change of its serial number from 0102 to 5252 and its transformation into L-39CM.

The 2nd Squadron in the AFB Sliač used the aircraft from 2006 to 15 April 2011 when it flew straight to the LOTN for a general overhaul. It has not been used since 15 April 2011 when it was flown to the LOTN for the overhaul and it got new gray camouflage pattern. A test flight after the overhaul was carried out on 11 August 2012. Maj. Labudík flew the plane back to Sliač on 26 October 2012.

L-39 0102
l-39 5252
l-39 5252

L-39C 0111

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. Since 1992 it wore the colours of the aerobatic display team Biele Albatrosy. In 1996-1997, the aircraft underwent a complete overhaul in the LOTN and the same upgrade as the other Albatros aircraft of the series 1 and 4. Later, it got the new type of the rudder and a/the blue number 5 printed on the vertical tail area. In 2002, it was the first aircraft undergoing the general overhaul in the LOTN that included the upgrade of the aircraft instruments and the replacement of the wing, the rear part of the fuselage and the tails for the new ones. Besides, it got a newer model of the vertical tail area with a longer antenna cover atop, which is a typical feature for the Albatros of the series 50 and above. On 26 August 2003, the aircraft made test flight and by April 2004 it was relocated to Košice. On 15 April 2004, the aircraft flew to Sliač, where it was practically grounded because of its upgrade modifications, totally different from all other L-39CMs. Currently, the aircraft is put out of operation and its serial number has not been changed to 5251 as it was first intended.

L-39 0111

L-39C 0112

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. It got the colours of the aerobatic display team Biele Albatrosy. In 1996-1997, the aircraft underwent a general overhaul in the LOTN that included the replacement of the fuselage parts and the life-cycle extension until 2002, as well as the replacement of the rudder with a new model. Later, the aircraft was labelled with a/the blue number 1. Since 2002, it underwent another general overhaul in the LOTN that included an upgrade to L-39CM standard and the change of its serial number to 5254. The 2nd Squadron used the aircraft since 2006. The aircraft made its last flight on 6 October 2011. The aircraft was flown by Lt Dušan Tichý.

L-39 0112
5254

L-39C 0442

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. It was repainted in the colours of the aerobatic display team Biele Albatrosy. In 1996-1997, the aircraft underwent a general overhaul in the LOTN and the same upgrade as the other Albatros aircraft of the series 1 and 4. It also included the replacement of the rudder with the new model. The aircraft was labelled with a/the blue number 2 placed on its vertical tail area. Since 2002 it underwent another general overhaul that included an upgrade to L-39CM standard and the replacement of the old vertical tail area with the new, advanced model, equal to the model mounted in the aircraft No. 0111. Its original serial number 0442 was changed to 5253.

The 2nd Squadron used the aircraft from 2006 to May 2011 when it was grounded for the general overhaul.It has not been used since May 2011 when it was flown to the LOTN for the overhaul and it got a new gray camouflage pattern. A test flight after the overhaul was carried out on 26 September 2012. Maj. Kanda flew the plane back to Sliač on 11 October 2012.

L-39 0442
5253
5253

L-39C 0443

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. In 1996-1997 the aircraft wore the Biele Albatrosy colours and underwent a general overhaul in the LOT that included the extension of its life-cycle. In the late 1990s the new model of the rudder replaced the older one. The vertical tail area was labelled with a blue number 7. Since 2002 the aircraft underwent another general overhaul in the LOTN where it was upgraded to L-39CM standard and its serial number was changed from 0443 to 5301.

The 2nd Squadron used the aircraft from 2006 to 1 December 2010 when it was grounded for the general overhaul in the LOTN. A test flight after the overhaul was carried out on 28 August 2012. The plane wears a new gray camouflage pattern and the image of Otto Smik depicted on its tail. On 31 August 2012, the plane was flown back to the AFB Sliač by Lt. Col. Poláček.

L-39 0442
5301 l39
5301 SMIK L39

L-39C 4355

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. Since 1992 the aircraft wore the Biele Albatrosy colours. This Albatros had already had the new model of the rudder. In the late 1990s its vertical tail area was labelled with a/the blue number 3. It differed from the other Biele Albatrosy in its serial number. The number was stencilled, similar as in L-39 No. 4357 and the aircraft of the series 46 before the split-up of the republics. In June 2000, during the air show in Sliač, the aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash. It was piloted by Maj Ľuboš Novák.

L-39 4355

L-39C 4357

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. Since 1992 the aircraft wore the Biele Albatrosy colours. The serial number was stencilled, similar as in 4355. This aircraft was destroyed after the air collision with L-39V serial number 0745. It happened during the formation training on 17 July 1996. Pilots LtCol Marián Sakáš and Capt Róbert Rozenberg successfully ejected.

L-39 4357

L-39V 0730

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. First, the aircraft wore the original colours, white and yellow, typical for all L-39s. Later, it was repainted in the standard colours of Biele Albatrosy. It had the older type of the rudder, peculiar to the first series of L-39s. The Air Force Base Sliač operated the aircraft from 2001 to 2006 when it was put out of service because of the achieved number of flight hours. The aircraft made its last flight on 31 August 2006, piloted by Lt Peter LUKÁČIK. Currently, the aircraft is stored at the AFB Sliač.

L-39 0730

L-39V 0745

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st squadron of the 5th School Aviation Regiment Košice. Before it got the Biele Albatrosy colours, it had worn the standard L-39V camouflage. Its older type of the rudder was later replaced with the newer, shorter model. The L-39V 0745 was damaged on 17 July 1996 after the air collision with 4357. The pilot managed to land at the airport in Košice. It was repaired in the LOTN and by 2001 the aircraft was operated in Košice. In 2006 the aircraft was put out of service due to the achieved number of flight hour and remained stored. It made its last flight on 4 May 2007, piloted by Lt. Tomáš KROPÁČEK.

L-39 0745

L-39ZA (ZAM) 1701

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 2nd Mixed Aviation Regiment Trenčín. In September 1994, it was relocated to the 33rd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Wing Kuchyňa. Since 1995, the aircraft has been operated by the AFB Sliač. At first, it wore the standard camouflage consisting of two shades of green and the belly painted blue-gray. Later, it got the Biele Albatrosy colours and its 23-mm Gryazev-Shipunov (GSh-23) automatic cannon was dismantled. The aircraft has been upgraded to the L-39ZAM version and equipped with a gun pod. Unlike L-39CMs, its serial number remained unchanged, as well as its colours.

The 2nd Squadron used the aircraft until 2010 when the last flight was performed on 20th June 2010 by Capt. Labudík. The 2nd Squadron used the plane until the year 2010 which marks the end of its service life. The last flight of the plane was flown by Capt. Labudík on 20 June 2010.

L-39 1701
1701

L-39ZA 1725

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 3rd Figther-Bomber Aviation Regiment Kuchyňa, in March it relocated to the 2nd Mixed Aviation Regiment Trenčín and in 1994 it returned to the AFB Kuchyňa. In 1995 the aircraft finally moved to the 31st Fighter Aviation Regiment Sliač. It had worn the standard camouflage of ZA version by 2002 when following the general overhaul in the LOTN it got the new camouflage with a slightly different colour shades and a differently shaped serial number. By 2006 the aircraft was actively operated by the 2nd Squadron Sliač. The aircraft has been put out of service since the squadron began operating the L-39CM and ZAM versions. It made its last flight on 17 May 2007, piloted by Capt Slavomír KANDA.

L-39 1725
1725

L-39ZA (ZAM) 1730

Since 1993 the aircraft followed the tracks of No. 1725 and since 1995 has been operated within the AFB Sliač. It wears the camouflage standard for the ZA version. In 2005, it underwent the general overhaul in the LOTN that included the upgrade to the ZAM version. The aircraft also got the standard camouflage consisting of two shades of green and the belly painted blue-gray. The serial number remained intact but its white colour was changed to black.The aircraft is currently operated by the 2nd Squadron Sliač.

L-39 1730
1730

L-39ZA 3905

Since 1 January 1993 the aircraft was operated by the 3rd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment Kuchyňa, the Air Base Trenčín and the 31st Fighter Aviation Wing Sliač, where it was operated until 2000. The aircraft wore the camouflage standard for ZA version.

L-39ZA No. 3905 was destroyed in the crash that was caused due to engine failure. It occurred near the village of Ožďany on 14 September 2000. The pilot ejected from the aircraft.

L-39 3905

L-39ZA (ZAM) 4701

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st Fighter Aviation Regiment Sliač. It wore the camouflage standard for ZA version. In the late 1990s it got the Biele Albatrosy colours and its GSh-23 cannon was dismantled.

In April 2011 the aircraft was taken to the LOTN for a general overhaul and upgrade where it has received a low visibility livery. It is back in operational use since 8th April 2013 when Mjr. Kanda flew it back to Sliač. In April 2011, it was flown to the LOTN (the overhaul and upgrade) where it got a new gray camouflage pattern. A test flight after the overhaul was carried out on 6 March 2013, and on 8 April 2013 Maj. Kanda flew the plane back to Sliač.

L-39 4701
4701

L-39ZA (ZAM) 4703

Since the beginning of 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the 1st Fighter Aviation Regiment. At first, it wore the original camouflage. In the late 1990s it got the Biele Albatrosy colours. In 2010, the aircraft underwent a general overhaul that included the upgrade to the ZAM version. It got the camouflage consisting of the shades of green and the belly painted gray-blue. The aircraft is currently operated by the 2nd Squadron in Sliač.

L-39 4703
4703

L-39ZA 4705

On 1 January 1993 the aircraft was assigned to the AFB Sliač. In the late 1990s its standard camouflage was changed to the Biele Albatrosy colours and its cannon was dismantled. L-39ZA No. 4705 was destroyed in the crash that was caused due to engine failure. It happened near the village of Kalša on 29 October 2002 during the training of Hungarian pilots. Both Hungarian pilots ejected successfully.

L-39 4705

L-39ZA (ZAM) 4707

Since the beginning of 1993 the aircraft has been operated by the AFB Sliač. At first, it wore the standard ZA version camouflage. Later, it got the Biele Albatrosy colours and was used as a standby aircraft, together with other L-39ZAs, for the needs of this aerobatic team. In 2006, it underwent a general overhaul in the LOTN and was upgraded to the ZAM version. The aircraft got a new camouflage identical with the upgraded L-39ZAM No. 1730.

The L-39ZAM No. 4707 is currently operated by the 2nd Squadron in Sliač. The 2nd Squadron used the plane until the year 2010 which marks the end of its service life. The last flight of the plane was flown by Lt. Paľuv on 18 July 2012.

L-39 4707
4707

L-39ZA (ZAM) 4711

The same as the other L-39ZAs of series 47, the aircraft was assigned to the AFB Sliač in 1993. In the late 1990s, it got the colours of the Biele Albatrosy group and its cannon was dismantled. When the 2nd Squadron began operating the L-39CM versions, this ZAM version was put out of operation.

The plane had undergone a general overhaul and an upgrade in LOTN where it also was painted in new colours. The L-39ZAM No. 4711 is currently operated by the 2nd Squadron in Sliač. The plane was flown to the LOTN (the overhaul and upgrade) where it got a new gray camouflage. A test flight after the overhaul was carried out on 6 March 2013, and on 8 April 2013 Maj. Kanda flew the plane back to Sliač.

L-39 4711
4711

All the data specifying the technical conditions of all L-39s are valid as of 1 June 2011. The following numbers are those aircraft that are to be operated also in the future:

L-39 CM 5301, 5302, 5252, 5253 
L-39 ZAM 4701, 4703, 4707, 4711