Aero L-59 Super Albatros
|L-59 Super Albatros|
|Role||Military trainer aircraft|
|First flight||30 September 1986|
|Status||Out of production, in service|
|Primary users||Czech Air Force|
Egyptian Air Force
Tunisian Air Force
|Developed from||Aero L-39 Albatros|
|Variants||Aero L-159 Alca|
The Aero L-59 Super Albatros is a Czech military jet trainer 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.
- Standard production version (six L-39MS for Czechoslovak Air Force). Later four in Czech Air Force, two in Slovak Air Force.
- Export version for Egypt. 49 x L-59s for Egyptian Air Force.
- Export version for Tunisia. 12 x L-59s for Tunisian Air Force.
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.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94 
- Crew: 2: student and instructor
- Length: 12.20 m (40 ft 0¼ in)
- Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)
- Height: 4.77 m (15 ft 7¾ in)
- Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)
- Empty weight: 4,030 kg (8,866 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Lotarev DV-2 Turbofan, 21.57 kN (4,850 lbf)
- Maximum speed: 865 km/h (467 knots, 537 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
- Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph) (flaps down)
- Range: 2,000 km (1,079 nmi, 1,243 mi) max internal and external fuel
- Service ceiling: 11,800 m (38,785 ft)
- Rate of climb: 28 m/s (5,510 ft/min)
- Guns: 1 × GSh-23L cannon in underfuselage pod
- Hardpoints: 4 underwing hardpoints with a capacity of inner hardpoints 500 kg (1,100 lb) capacity, outer hardpoints 250 kg (550 lb)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Lake, Jon. "Aero L-39 Albatross family: Variant Briefing". World Air Power Journal, Volume 43, Winter 2000. London:Aerospace Publishing. pp. 116–131. ISBN 1-86184-055-1.
- Lambert, Mark (ed.). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
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