ATAC Aircraft L-39 Albatros  

Type: L-39 Albatros
Max Speed: 490 KIAS / Mach 0.80
Max Range: 864 NM
G-Limits: +8.0g / -4.0g
Ceiling: 36,000 ft
Max Climb Rate: 4,130+ fpm
Endurance: 3.8 hours


The L-39 first flew on November 4, 1969. Serial production began in 1971. The design is Czechoslovak (Czech) – the construction of Aero Vodochody's chief designer Jan Vlček. The L-39 Albatros is a widely flown trainer/light attack aircraft similar in mission to the Italian MB339. Until recently, it has been in service primarily with various former Soviet allies.

The low, slightly swept wing has a double-taper planform, 2½-deg dihedral from the roots, a relatively low aspect ratio, and 100 liter (26½ gal US) fuel tanks permanently attached to the wingtips. The trailing edge has double-slotted trailing edge flaps inboard of mass-balanced ailerons. The flaps are separated from the ailerons by small wing fences.

The tall, swept vertical tail has an inset rudder. Variable-incidence horizontal stabilizers with inset elevators are mounted at the base of the rudder and over the exhaust nozzle. Side-by-side airbrakes are located under the fuselage ahead of the wing's leading edge. Flaps, landing gear, wheel brakes and air brakes are powered by a hydraulic system. Controls are pushrod-actuated and have electrically powered servo tabs on the ailerons and rudder. Operational g-force limits at 4,200 kg (9,259 lb) are +8g / -4 g.

A single turbofan engine, an Ivchenko AI-25TL is embedded in the fuselage and is fed through shoulder-mounted, semi-circular air intakes (fitted with splitter plates) just behind the cockpit; the engine exhausts below the tailplane. Five rubber bag fuel tanks are in the fuselage behind the cockpit. The main, trailing-arm landing gear legs retract inward into wing bays; the nose gear retracts forward.

A long, pointed nose made of aluminum leads back to the tandem cockpit, in which one or two pilots sit under individual canopies that are hinged on the right side of the aircraft. The rear seat is raised slightly; both ejection seats are made by Aero Vodochody. The basic trainer version is not armed but has two underwing pylons for drop tanks and practice weapons. Light-attack variants have four underwing hardpoints for ground attack stores; the ZA also has an under-fuselage gun pod.

ATAC deploys the L-39 primarily in the ground attack role. The aircraft is used to train JTACs/FACs/airborne FACS in the US and internationally. ATAC also uses the aircraft in a utility role, often working to support research and development activities in the United States.



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L-39 Albatros