Aero Vodochody L-59 “Super Albatros”
Czechoslovak, Two-seat Basic and Advanced Jet Trainer
Aero L-59 “Super Albatros” Overview 
- Aero L-59 “Super Albatros”
- Role: Military trainer aircraft COIN
- Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
- First flight: 30 September 1986
- Status: Out of production, in service
- Primary users: Czech Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, Tunisian Air Force
- Produced: 1986–1996
- Developed from: Aero L-39 “Albatros”
- Variants: Aero L-159 “Alca”
The Aero L-59 “Super Albatros” is a Czech military trainer aircraft developed from the firm's earlier L-39 “Albatros”. Compared to its predecessor, it featured a strengthened fuselage, longer nose, a vastly updated cockpit, advanced avionics (including head-up display), and a more powerful engine. At the time of its first flight on 30 September 1986, it was designated the L-39MS. Aero no longer produces this aircraft.
In 1992, a dedicated single-seat attack variant was proposed under the project name ALCA (Advanced Light Combat Aircraft), and was successfully marketed to the Czech Air Force. First flight of this variant, designated L-159A, was on 2 August 1997. The aircraft features mostly Western avionics, with systems integration undertaken by Boeing. Since then a new two-seat trainer has been flown as the L-159B “Albatros II.”
- L-59 — Standard production version (six L-39MS for Czechoslovak Air Force). Later four in Czech Air Force, two in Slovak Air Force.
- L-59E — Export version for Egypt. 49 × L-59s for Egyptian Air Force.
- L-59T — Export version for Tunisia. 12 × L-59s for Tunisian Air Force.
- Egypt — Egyptian Air Force 48 delivered in 1993-1994.
- Tunisia — Tunisian Air Force 12 delivered in 1995-1996.
In April 2014, Tunisian L-59s were used in reconnaissance and COIN strikes in support of major military offensives in the border region of Mount Chaambi against Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaeda-linked militants that aim at destabilizing Tunisia's transition to democracy.
Aero Vodochody L-59E “Super Albatros” Specifications and Performance Data 
- Developed a version of L-39 jet trainer.
- Originally known as L-39MS.
- First flight of X-22 prototype (OK-184) 30 September 1986.
- Two more prototypes (X-24, X-25) flown 26 June and 6 October 1987.
- First flight of production L-39MS, 1 October 1989.
- First flight prototype L-59E, April 1992.
- Deliveries of L-59E began (two aircraft) 29 January 1993.
- L-39MS: Initial production version for Czech and Slavic Air Force.
- L-39E: Production version for Egyptian Air Force, generally as L-39MS but with Western avionics. “Detailed description applies to this version.”
- Czech and Slavic Air Forces (six L-39MS)
- Egyptian Air Force (48 × L-59E)
- Egyptian order reportedly worth $204 million
- Main changes are a reinforced fuselage.
- New and more powerful engine.
- Upgraded avionics.
- More pointed nose.
- Generally as L-39C except that ailerons and elevators have Czech-designed irreversible power controls and no tabs.
- Generally as for L-39C except for light alloy/honeycomb sandwich ailerons and elevators, and reinforced fuselage.
- Czech design gas/oil shock absorption.
- K36 main wheels (610 × 215 mm) and K37 nose wheel (465 × 180 mm).
- Main wheel tire pressure 6.0 bars (87 psi) on clean aircraft, 8.0 bars (116 psi) on combat equipped version.
- Corresponding nose wheel tire pressures are 3.5 bars (51 psi) and 4.5 bars (65 psi).
- Six-piston, air-cooled hydraulic disc brakes on main wheels, with electronic anti-skid units.
- One 21.57 kN (4,850 lb st) Progress (Lotarev/ZVL) DV-2 turbofan.
- Internal fuel in fuselage tanks (total 1,077 L: 284.5 US gallons: 237 Imp gallons and two 230 L (60.8 US gallons: 50.6 Imp gallon) non-jettisonable wing tanks.
- Provision for two under wing (inboard) 150 or 350 L (39.6 or 92.5 US gallons: 33 or 77 Imp gallon) drop tanks.
- Crew of two and tandem on Czech VS-2 zero/zero ejection seats.
- One-piece canopy, hinged at rear and opening upward.
- Cockpits pressurized (max overpressure 0.30 bar; 4.35 psi) and air-conditioned, using engine bleed air (25 L/min; 0.883 ft³/min) and cooling unit.
- Automatic temperature control from 15°C to 30°C.
- Hydraulic system comprises first and second subsystems each with engine driven variable flow pump with operating pressure of 150 bars (2,175 psi), max flow rate 25 L/min (6.6 US gal/min; 5.5 Imp gal/min).
- Emergency hydraulic pump for second subsystem driven by APU.
- Main (9 kW) and standby (6 kW) generators for electrical power, plus 25 Ah nickel-cadmium battery.
- Gaseous oxygen system for crew.
- Saphir 5M APU for engine starting and drive of standby hydraulic pump and generator.
Avionics (L-39 MS)
- LPR 80 VHF/UHF com radio with intercom
- LUN 3524 standby radio
- Bendix/King KNS 660 flight management system
- KNR 634 VOR
- KTU 709 Tacan
- KDF 806 ADF
- KRA 405 radar altimeter
- KLN 670 GPS
- KXP 756 transponder
- KAH 460 AHRS
- KAD 480 air data system
- EFS 40 EFIS
- Flight Visions F-200 HUD and admission computer with video camera in front cockpit and monitor in rear cockpit
- Single 20-barrel 23 mm GSh gun in under fuselage pod below front cockpit.
- Ammunition (150 rounds) housed in fuselage.
- Four underwing hard points, inner ones each with 500 kg (1,102 lb) capacity, outer ones each 250 kg (551 lb) capacity.
- Underwing stores of former Soviet types, including bombs of up to 500 kg size and UB-16-57M (57 mm) rocket launchers.
- Wing span, including tip tanks: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)
- Wing cord at root: 2.80 m (9 ft 2&frac;14; in)
- Wing cord at tip: 1.40 m (4 ft 7 in)
- Wing aspect ratio (geometric): 4.4
- Wing aspect ratio (including tip tanks): 5.2
- Length overall: 12.20 m (40 ft 0¼ in)
- Height overall: 4.77 m (15 ft 7¼ in)
- Tailplane span: 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in)
- Wheel track: 2.44 m (4 ft 4¾ in)
- Wheelbase: 4.39 m (14 ft 4¾ in)
- Wings, gross: 18.80 m² (202.36 ft²)
- Ailerons (total): 1.686 m² (18.15 ft²)
- Trailing-edge flaps (total) 2.68 m² (28.89 ft²)
- Air brakes (total): 0.50 m² (5.38 ft²)
- Fin: 2.60 m² (27.99 ft²)
- Rudder, including tab: 0.91 m² (9.80 ft²)
- Tailplane: 4.15 m² (44.64 ft²)
- Elevators, including tabs: 1.14 m² (12.27 ft²)
Weights and Loadings
- Weight Empty (trainer , including GSh-23 gun): 4,030 kg (8,885 lb)
- Max fuel weight, internal (including wingtip tanks): 1,200 kg (2,645 lb)
- Max fuel weight, external (two 350 L drop tanks): 544 kg (1,199 lb)
- Maximum T-O weight (trainer, clean with external stores): 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
- Maximum landing weight (on concrete): 6,000 kg (13,228 lb)
- Max wing loading (clean): 286.7 kg/m² (58.72 lb/ft²)
- Max wing loading at 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) with max T-O weight: 372.34 kg/m² (76.26 lb/ft²)
- Max power loading (clean): 249.82 kg/kN (2.45 lb/lb st)
- Max power loading at 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) at max T-O weight: 372.34 kg/m² (76.26 lb/lb st)
Performance (at max trainer clean T-O weight)
- Max limiting Mach number: 0.82
- Max level speed at 5,000 m (16,400 ft): 467 knots (865 km/h; 537 mph)
- Stalling speed with flaps up: 116 knots (215 km/h; 134 mph)
- Stalling speed with flaps down: 100 knots (185 km/h; 115 mph)
- Max rate of climb at S/L: 1680 m/m (5,510 ft/m)
- Service ceiling: 7800 m (38,725 ft)
- T-O run: 590 m (1,936 ft)
- Landing run: 770 m (2,527 ft)
- Range at 7,000 m (22,975 f) with max internal and external fuel (1,744 kg; 384 lb): 1,079 nm (2,000 km; 1,243 miles)
- Shupek, John. “Aero Vodochody L-59” The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 2013 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aero L-59 Super Albatros
- Lambert, Mark. “Aero: Aero L-59” Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993-94. Jane's Information Group, Alexandria, VA, ISBN 0 7106 1066 1, 1994, pg. 64-65 Print
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