L-159, the latest program led by Aero Vodochody, involves several of the world's major aircraft and aircraft systems manufacturers as subcontractors, e.g. Boeing, AlliedSignal, GEC Marconi, FIAR, Honeywell, etc. Aero L-159 ALCA was developed according to Czech Air Force operational requirements for Light Multi-role Combat Aircraft. The L-159 ALCA benefits from the well proven airframe design and aerodynamic configuration of the highly successful L-39/L-59 family and incorporates:
The first prototype flew on August 2, 1997. The Czech Air Force, the launch customer, will obtain the 72 ordered L-159s in 1999-2002.
The first prototype flew on August 2, 1997.
- AlliedSignal F124-GA-100 (28.0 kN) military turbofan engine, advanced sensors and avionics integrated via MIL-STD-1553 databus
- Doppler radar
- Seven external store stations
- OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generating System)
- OBIGGS (Fuel tanks inerting system),
- VS-2A zero/zero ejection seats
- Armour protected cockpit
| ENGINE||1 x Allied Signal / ITEC F124-GA-100, 2860kg|
| Take-off weight||8000 kg||17637 lb|
| Empty weight||4160 kg||9171 lb|
| Wingspan||9.54 m||31 ft 4 in|
| Length||12.53 m||41 ft 1 in|
| Height||4.77 m||16 ft 8 in|
| Max. speed||930 km/h||578 mph|
| Ceiling||13200 m||43300 ft|
| Range||1570 km||976 miles|
| ARMAMENT||up to 2300kg of weapons|
After suspending production for some 13 years the L159 line was reopened in 2016 to produce one two seat model for the nascent Iraq Air Force to complete an order for ten single seat and two two seat aircraft from an original order for 72. The aircraft will remain in the Czech Republic whilst Aero Vodchody help train Iraqi crew. With the line back up and running Aero Vodchody are pursuing a requirement for the Argentine air force to supplement their rather dated fleet of A4N Skyhawk and FMA IA 58 Pucaras backed up by FMA IA 63 Pampas.
|Tomáš Müller, 21.01.2011|
The aircraft S/N 5831 in the picture above is not any real L-159. Two of remaining L-59 airframes (S/N 5831 and 5832) intended for maybe next business cases (Tunisia, Algeria, ... , which never came) were finally re-constructed for prototypes or better to say flight demonstrators of the intended L-159 combat aircraft. Contrary to the real L-159A they remained two-seaters with the integrated canopy for both pilots, but they did not get most of military equipment, especially radar, OBIGGS, armour and their 7 hardpoints had limited load capacity. They were the only "L-159's" with dual controls for long time and therefore beside the development and testing programs they were used for conversion of some Czech military pilots for the new L-159A ALCA model. Nowadays both of them are scrapped.
The Czech Air Force refused to order (and to participate in paying the design of) any L-159 two-seater. The military officials underestimated complexity of their pilots' conversion for combat AC featuring completely new instrument and control layout (glass cockpit). They even did not order any special groung flight simulator and it resulted in several serious incidents, there was also one fatal loss of ALCA (but the reason probably was different). Although the L-159A has two canopies, it is only single-seater, attacker, not any trainer. There is avionic compartment and additional fuel tank under the rear canopy. Finally, Aero designed and built one piece of L-159B two-seat version by its own resources to be able to show it to potential customers (and to perform really exciting sightseeing flights for theit VIPs).
After some time four of the produced L-159A AC from redundant reserve of the Czech Army were re-constructed for the L-159B version.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?