Jakub Fojtík explores the compelling history of Aero Vodochody’s successful L-39
IN FOCUS L-39 ALBATROS
Few could have predicted the achievements of Czechoslovakian-based Aero Vodochody’s L-29 Delfin when it won the Warsaw Pact’s trainer aircraft competition in the late-1950s, nor its L-39 Albatros successor. The L-29 defeated not just the Polish TS-11 Iskra, but also the Soviet Yak-32 Mantis, and up to 3,500 were built for the USSR and its allies. When a replacement was sought in the 1960s, Aero’s new design, which would become the L-39, was duly accepted.