Aero L-59 Super Albatros

The Aero L-59 Super Albatros is a Czech military trainer aircraft 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. At the time of its first flight on 30 September 1986, it was designated the L-39MS. Aero no longer produces this aircraft.

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.

Aero L-59 Super Albatros
Class Aircraft
Type Trainer
Manufacturer Aero Vodochody
Production Period 1986 - 1996
Origin Czechoslovakia
Country Name Origin Year
Czechoslovakia 1986
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Czechoslovakia View
Egypt View
Tunisia View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Aero Vodochody 1986 1996 View


L-59 : Standard production version (six L-39MS for Czechoslovak Air Force). Later four in Czech Air Force, two in Slovak Air Force.

    L-59E : Export version for Egypt. 49 x L-59s for Egyptian Air Force.

    L-59T : Export version for Tunisia. 12 x L-59s for Tunisian Air Force.

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.

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

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2: student and instructor
  • Length: 12.20 m (40 ft 0¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 9.54 m (31 ft 3½ in)
  • Height: 4.77 m (15 ft 7¾ in)
  • Wing area: 18.80 m² (202.4 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 4,030 kg (8,866 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lotarev DV-2 Turbofan, 21.57 kN (4,850 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 865 km/h (467 knots, 537 mph) at 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
  • Stall speed: 185 km/h (100 knots, 115 mph) (flaps down)
  • Range: 2,000 km (1,079 nmi, 1,243 mi) max internal and external fuel
  • Service ceiling: 11,800 m (38,785 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 28 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)

End notes