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Aero flies first production standard L-39NG light attack jet trainer

The first production standard L-39NG made its maiden flight on 24 April. (Aero Vodochody)

Aero Vodochody has flown for the first time a production standard L-39NG (Next Generation) aircraft, the Czech manufacturer announced on 24 April.

The flight, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, saw the single-engined twin-seat jet perform a series of manoeuvres to assess its flight characteristics, as well as the functions of the engine, aircraft systems, and avionics.

“The first serial production L-39NG aircraft flight met all expectations,” Aero said, adding that the type is ready for serial delivery to its customers.

Customers for the L-39NG comprise the Czech state-owned company LOM Praha, the Breitling Jet Team, Draken International's Black Diamond Jet Team, the Hungarian Air Force, the Senegalese Air Force, Portuguese private company SkyTech, American private company RSW, the Czech Air Force, and the Vietnam People's Air Force (understood to be in line to receive the first aircraft). Aero currently has orders for 34 L-39NGs, with interest from Uruguay too recently reported.

According to Aero, within two years it will be able to turn out 24 aircraft per year from its newly commissioned L-39NG production line. Aero previously told Janes that it expects the L-39NG to secure “a significant portion” of an expected 3,000-aircraft market till about 2035.

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