The L-39NG fatigue test has started

The fatigue test of the L-39NG jet aircraft, proving the service life of the new airframe in the length of 5,000 flight hours, has started in the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLÚ).

The process of airframe tests will be performed by fatigue load sequence simulating the real operating loads of the aircraft. In total, up to five service lives will be tested, where 1 life (5,000 flight hours) will consist of at average 650,000 cycles. The number of proven service lives is in accordance with the European military regulation EMACC, which defines the rules for the L-39NG type certification.

Compared to its predecessor L-39 Albatros, the new generation aircraft should have three times longer lifespan. “Depending on how the aircraft is used, according to the loads on the structure during flights, the estimated life of the L-39NG is up to 15,000 hours, which is significantly higher than the lifespan of the L-39 Albatros. This is one of many arguments for our potential customers, confirming that their investment in the new aircraft will bring them great benefit,” said Dieter John, President & CEO of AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE.

For the purpose of the fatigue test, the company Aero Vodochody produced an aircraft with manufacturing serial number 7003. “The aircraft 7003 was delivered to VZLÚ in several parts. After installation of some testing equipment, it was assembled by experts from Aero. The testing equipment consists mainly of units for load transfer and balancing of own weight,” says David Novotný, the test engineer of VZLÚ responsible for this project.

The fatigue test at VZLÚ has begun on May 25, 2020 and will take almost two years. For the purpose of certification, Aero Vodochody has committed to test the first two service lives, which is expected by autumn 2020 thanks to the continuous run of the test, interrupted only by regular inspections.

The airframe was placed in a sophisticated test rig that will simulate operation of the aircraft through controlled loading of individual parts of the aircraft. The testing will simulate take-offs and landings, the flight itself, as well as various additional cases specific for aircraft with underwing weapons. Thanks to the 24/7 test regime, interrupted only by regular inspections, it is expected to prove the 1st and 2nd life by the autumn 2020.

The L-39NG is a joint project of two private companies, the largest Czech aerospace manufacturer AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE and its strategic partner, business and military manufacturing company OMNIPOL.

 

The L-39NG aircraft overview:

Production Serial Number Type Role
7001 Prototype flight tests, ground vibration tests, weapon tests
7002 Prototype static tests
7003 Prototype fatigue tests
7004 Pre-serial A/C flight tests
2626 (fuselage number) technological demonstrator flight tests, demonstrator of new technologies

 

L-39NG

The L-39NG aircraft is a modern and effective light jet capable to serve in a role of light attack and/or unified, comprehensive training system for modern air forces. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 with optimized features to reduce resistance and increase efficiency and utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Power is provided by the modern FJ44-4M engine supplied with the TAP Blue engine support service to ensure unprecedented airworthiness and predictable maintenance costs. The aircraft’s avionics are prepared to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft and can be tailored to the customer’s requirements. The L-39NG is equipped with five hard-points for weapons. The aircraft also features a broad range of simulation technologies, including the integration into high-tech tactical simulation centres with the goal to increase training efficiency. Strategic partner of the L-39NG project is the Czech company OMNIPOL by having 50% of share and financial contribution in the project.

VZLÚ

Czech Aerospace Research Centre is a national centre for research, development and testing in aeronautics and space. Its mission is to provide scientific support and create innovative solutions that can be applied in industry.

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE

AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. focuses on the design, manufacturing maintenance, overhaul and upgrade of military and civil aircraft and is the largest aviation manufacturer in the Czech Republic and one of the oldest aerospace companies worldwide. In the field of military aircraft, Aero has been a reliable long-term partner to many of the world’s air forces and it has a strong position on the market of military training and light combat aircraft.

With a track record of 11.000 aircraft produced over the last 100 years, a broad coverage of 60 military operators and 15 demo teams, a huge existing fleet of L-39 Albatrosses and with a brand new aircraft, the L-39NG now, Aero is maintaining its positioning as a leader in the jet training market. In the field of civil aviation, Aero collaborates with many of the world’s largest manufacturers in a diverse range of projects.  More recently, Aero became a full partner in several risk-sharing programmes, taking responsibility not only for the production of structures but also for development.

OMNIPOL

OMNIPOL is a Prague headquartered investment and trading group with more than eighty-five years of experience in both the domestic international markets. The company provides cutting-edge solutions for the defence and security sectors.

OMNIPOL is the owner of two very well known subsidiaries namely ERA and MESIT. They are both production companies with advanced technologies, which mainly focus on passive systems for monitoring air, land and naval targets, military communications, aircraft instruments and precision engineering production, including its own foundry together with galvanic processes. They also deal with related software products, but also cybersecurity, both for the military and civilian sectors. The entire OMNIPOL Group employs more than 1,400 professionals, of which over 200 employees are involved in research and development of new products.

 

Tobiáš Tvrdík, PR manager

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