Air International 2000-02
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M.Jefferies - Czech Mate /Military aviation/
Nine L-39s were parked in front of the Aero Vodochody hangars at Odolena Voda. Situated some 6 miles north of Prague, the factory currently employs a staff of2,400.
Plan view of the prototype L-159 in a vertical climb, illustrating its responsiveness and ease of handling. While not the easiest of manoeuvres to fly, Miroslav Schutzner had no difficulty in formating with the L-139 photo-aircraft.
During a two-month deployment to Norway in mid-1999, the prototype L-159 carried out a number of weapons trials. Among the weapons fired were CRV-7 high-velocity air-to-ground rockets (seen here), AIM-9 Sidewinders and Mavericks (TV and IR guided).
An ecstatic Mark Jefferies in the rear cockpit of the prototype L-159, having just completed an evaluation sortie with Miroslav Schutzner.
Nine L-39s were parked in front of the Aero Vodochody hangars at Odolena Voda. Situated some 6 miles north of Prague, the factory currently employs a staff of2,400.
Inside the rear fuselage of one of the first hatch of L-159s to he delivered to the Czech Republic Air Force. Note the engine mounting rails (in line with the worker’s head) which facilitate ease of fitting and removal of the engine. The front engine mount is the main support and the rear mountings take the vertical loads only.
As the L-159B brakes to a halt after a demonstration sortie, Miroslav Schutzner prepares to fly the L-159A. Note the cooling air vent in the nose of the L-159A for the Grifo radar, absent on the two-seater.
Designed for operation from unprepared strips and the possibility of heavy landings by student pilots, the L-159 has a ‘substantial’ trailing link main undercarriage.
Prototype L-159A cockpit with a full, production avionics fit including a Flight Visions’ FV-3000 HUD, Allied Signal Smart LCD colour multi-function head-down displays and Mason Electric HOTAS controls. The displays and lighting are fully night vision goggle compatible. The HUD is one of the few systems not taken 'off the shelf' and is being proposed for the F-14 upgrade and JSF.
Aero Vodochody L-159A
Three-view drawing of the Aero Vodochody L-159A, with additional side view of L-159B lead-in fighter trainer.