Senegal Air Chief test-fly new L-39NG light-attack aircraft ahead of delivery

Senegalese Chief of Air Staff, General Joseph Mamadou Diop took a prototype of Aero Vodochody's L-39NG light attack and trainer for a spin.

The L-39NG aircraft was flown with Aero Vodochody test pilot Vladimír Továrek on Sunday 6th October and the flight lasted for about an hour.

According to Aero Vodochody, the. first prototype of L-39NG, new jet trainer and light attack aircraft, is currently undergoing intensive flight tests. And Senegal's General Joseph Diop is the first customer.

In April 2018, Senegal placed an order for four aircraft, the Senegalese President Macky Sally announced the acquisition during the country's national day celebration.

The new Senegalese Air Force L-39NG aircraft is the light attack version, but also has full training capability. The contract will also provide training of pilots, including conversion, instructor and combat training, maintenance personnel training, spare parts, ground support equipment and logistic support services.

The particular aircraft Senegalese Air Chief flew has the manufacturing number 7001 flies and has been flying almost every day since the middle of September according to Dieter John, President & CEO of Aero Vodochody.

After the flight, General Joseph Diob disclosed that"I am glad I had the opportunity to try the aircraft on my own. It was a great experience, Aero test pilot Vladimír showed me the great manoeuvrability of the aircraft and I also admired beautiful Czech landscape from the new full glass cockpit providing great view."

Dieter John noted that Aero Vodochody is has almost completed the second airframe which will undergo test flight by November.

Also, he said that Aero Vodochody will complete the certification for Advanced and Basic Trainer configuration in the third quarter of 2020 and for Light Attack a year later.

Aero is currently finishing production of aircraft Nr. 7003 dedicated for fatigue tests and Nr. 7004, the pre-serial aircraft that should join 7001 in flight testing in following months. Nr. 7002 is already undergoing static tests since spring.

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective trainer designed for modern air forces. It is based on the current L-39, but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to reduce maintenance cost.

The aircraft's avionics can be tailored to the customer's requirements and train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons for various munitions.

Ekene Lionel

Techy, Futurist, Award-winning defense technology writer.

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