Aero Vodochody L-39ZO Albatros
Czechoslovak, Two-seat Basic and Advanced Jet Trainer

Aero L-39 Albatros Series Overview 2

The Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros basic and advanced jet trainer was developed in the Aero works at Vodochody by a team led by the chief designer, Dipl Ing Jan Vlcek, working in close cooperation with the USSR. Two prototype airframes were built initially, of which the first was used for structural testing. The first flight, on 4 November 1968, was made by the second aircraft. By the end of 1970, five flying prototypes and two for ground testing had been completed. Slightly larger and longer intake trunks were fitted after preliminary flight tests.

The L-39 Albatros forms part of a comprehensive training system which includes a specially designed pilot training flight simulator (TL-39), a pilot ejection ground training simulator (NK-TL-29/39), and vehicle-mounted mobile test equipment (AKC-KL-39). The aircraft is capable of operation from grass strips (with a bearing strength of 6 kg/cm²; 85 psi) up to 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs) T-O weight, or from unprepared runways.

By May 1977, when the Aero L-39 Albatros made its first appearance in the West, at the Paris Air Show, some 400-500 were in service with several air forces. Production had totaled almost 1,000 by the early 1981. The Aero L-39 Albatross is used in Czechoslovakia for all pilot training, including that of helicopter pilots. On average, pupils solo after approximately 12 hours’ dual instruction on the Aero L-39 Albatros.

Official Czechoslovak designations for the different Aero L-39 versions are as follows:

Aero L-39ZO Albatros Specifications 3

The following description applies to the production L-39ZO trainer version, except where indicated:




Tail Unit

Landing Gear

Power Plant




Standard Electronics Include



Weights and Loadings

Performance(Max T-O weight)


  1. Shupek, John. Aero: Aero L-39 Albatros, The Skytamer Archive. Copyright © 1987, 2000, 2003 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Lambert, Mark. Aero: Aero L-39 Albatros Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1991-92. Jane’s Information Group, Alexandria, VA, ISBN 0-7106-0965-5, 1992, pgs. 50-51 Print


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