Aero L-59 Super Albatros

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L-59 Super Albatros
L-39 x-21.jpg
The first prototype L-39MS designated X-21, is currently in the Odolena Voda Technological Institute as teaching material.
Role Military trainer aircraft
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 Czechoslovak 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 Lotarev DV-2. At the time of its first flight on 30 September 1986, it was designated the L-39MS.[1] Aero no longer produces this aircraft.[2]

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.[1]
Export version for Egypt. 49 x L-59s for Egyptian Air Force.[1]
Export version for Tunisia. 12 x L-59s for Tunisian Air Force.[3]



Combat history[edit]

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.[5]

Specifications (L-59E)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94 [6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 12.20 m (40 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 4 in) (including tip tanks)
  • Height: 4.77 m (15 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 18.80 m2 (202.4 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 4,030 kg (8,885 lb) (includes gun)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,537 L (406 US gal; 338 imp gal) including tip tanks
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lotarev DV-2 turbofan, 21.57 kN (4,850 lbf) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 865 km/h (537 mph, 467 kn) at 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
  • Stall speed: 185 km/h (115 mph, 100 kn) (flaps down)
  • Range: 2,000 km (1,200 mi, 1,100 nmi) at 7,000 m (23,000 ft) (with maximum internal and external fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 11,800 m (38,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 28.0 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)

See also[edit]

Lotarev DV-2 turbofan engine

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ a b c Lake 2000, p. 128.
  2. ^ "Aero". Aero Vodochody. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  3. ^ Lake 2000, p. 129.
  4. ^ a b "History and Development".
  5. ^ "Reference at".
  6. ^ Lambert 1993, pp. 64–65.
  • 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.

External links[edit]