The Jet

History: The Czechoslovakian L-39 was built as the successor to their earlier trainer, the L-29 Delfin. The L39 was used in the James Bond Film Tomorrow Never Dies also Nicolas Cage Lord Of War…. This L39 Jet Fighter Based in the Hunter Valley Cessnock region, about 1.2 hours drive north of Sydney houses the Latest Modern Jet Fighter in Australia.The idea of the design was to marry an efficient, powerful turbofan engine to a sleek, streamlined fuselage, resulting in a strong, economical performer which would become the next standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact. Three main variants were produced. The L-39C continuing through to today. The armed weapons-trainer variant is called the L-39ZA, and a close-support and ground-attack version is called the L-39ZO.

A modernized derivative of the Albatros, the L-59, is still being built in the Czech Republic. Another modernized, but very different version, the L-39MS, actually has much more in common with the L-59 than the L-39, despite its designation.

As of this writing, the L-39 is the most popular jet warbird in the world, with over 300 believed to be actively flying in the USA alone.


Engine: One 3,792-lb thrust Walter Titan turbofan (Ivchenko AI-25-TL built under Czech license by Motorlet).
Weight: Empty 7,340 lbs., Max Takeoff 11,618 lbs. (L-39ZO with four rocket pods)
Wing Span: 31ft. 0.5in.
Length: 40ft. 5in.
Height: 15ft. 5.5in.


Maximum Speed at 19,600 ft: 485 mph (Trainer version, clean)
Maximum Speed at Sea Level: 435 mph
Ceiling: 37,730 ft. (Trainer, clean)
Range: 528 miles with internal fuel; 995 miles with external tanks.
Armament: (L-39ZO): Up to 2,425 pounds of weapons on four underwing hardpoints, including bombs, 57- or 130-mm rocket pods, gun pods, a five-camera reconnaissance pod, or two fuel drop-tanks. Centerline point carried a pod-mounted 23-mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon with 180 rounds.
Number Built: 2800+