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Third series of fatigue tests completed on L-39NG
The third phase of the ground life-cycle fatigue tests for the Aero Vodochody L-39NG has been completed at the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLÚ) in Prague.
Tests were carried out on the third prototype and follows the aircraft’s international type certification that was awarded in September 2020.
According to Shephard’s Defence Intelligence, the Czech Air Force is committed to buying up to six L-39NG aircraft under the terms of a $48.47 million contract.
According to Aero Vodochody, the tests have shown that the L-39NG, ‘should have three times longer lifespan than the original Albatross’. The company is predicting a service-life of 15,000 flights hours ‘depending on how the aircraft is used’.
Each test equates to 5,000 flight hours. (Photo: Aero Vodochody)
‘The complete L-39NG fatigue test is going to run a total of five life cycles. One fatigue life cycle on the ground test corresponds with 5,000 flight hours,’ explained Vojtěch Labuda, L-39NG project manager at Aero Vodochody.
The aircraft has now completed 15,000 simulated flight hours and according to David Novotný from VZLÚ, ‘a detailed inspection confirmed only minor and expected failures on the airframe structure,’ were noted.
The fatigue test at VZLÚ started on 25 May 2020 and is scheduled for two years. With the fourth fatigue life cycle of the aircraft now underway, the completion of all fatigue tests is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
Aero Vodochody is offering the L-39NG as an advanced trainer or light ground attack aircraft. Although a crowded marketplace, its L-39 predecessor gained significant international success; an achievement that the company hopes will be repeated.
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