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Designed in Czechoslovakia by Aero, as a replacement of the succesful L-29 Delfin, L-39 first flew on 4 November1968 and entered service with Romanian Air Force in 1982 as an advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft.
The aircraft has an all metal construction, is powered by a single Progress AI-25 TL turbofan engine. The aircraft features two wing tip tanks and a strong landing gear allowing landings on grass runways but the control system lacks hydraulic boosters, as result was never considered "comfortable" to perform aerobatics by its pilots. L-39 ZA is the light attack version, featuring four underwing hardpoints and an underbelly gun pod wich contains a GSh-23L twin barell cannon with 200 rounds of ammunition. The avionics consists in an RKL-45 ADF, a RSBN-6 tactical navigation system (very similar to TACAN), VHF radio, and a ASP-3 gyro gunsight.
Two VS-1 BRI ejection seats allow the crew to leave the aircraft at 0 m altitude and a minimum speed of 130 km/h.
Technical data & Performance