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Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya

Trainer / Light Strike Jet-Powered Aircraft

The Aero L-29 was an important trainer for the Soviet Union and its sattlelite states
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 4/11/2018
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Year: 1963
Status: Active, Limited Service
Manufacturer(s): Aero Vodochody - Czechoslovakia
Production: 3,600
Capabilities: Training;
Crew: 2
Length: 35.47 ft (10.81 m)
Width: 33.76 ft (10.29 m)
Height: 10.17 ft (3.1 m)
Weight (Empty): 5,214 lb (2,365 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 7,804 lb (3,540 kg)
Power: 1 x Motorlet M 701c 500 turbojet engine generating 1,960lbs of thrust.
Speed: 407 mph (655 kph; 354 kts)
Ceiling: 36,089 feet (11,000 m; 6.84 miles)
Range: 398 miles (640 km; 346 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 2,755 ft/min (840 m/min)
Operators: Angola; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Soviet Union; Georgia; Ghana; Iraq; Mali; Romania; Syria; Slovakia
The Czech designed and produced Aero L-29 Delfin (translating to "Dolphin"; NATO designation of "Maya") series was a highly utilized Cold War jet trainer aircraft for the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The twin-seat aircraft was capable of speeds over 400 miles per hour and a ceiling of over 36,000 feet. Seeing large numbers, the L-29 was produced up until 1974 with many still in service in poorer military units around the world.

The single engine performer was built from two XL-29-designated prototypes - one fitted with a British Bristol Siddeley Viper turbojet engine and another fitted with an indigenous M 701 turbojet. Further development saw a three-way competitive fly-off occur against the Yak-30 design and the PZL Mielec TS-11 Iskra with the L-29 coming out ahead (Poland would go on to utilize the TS-11 trainer however). From there, the L-29 system would be fielded throughout the Soviet Bloc countries as the premiere jet trainer aircraft.

With two available underwing hardpoints, a light attack strike aircraft was designed that could carry gun pods, drop bombs and rockets. Specialized aerobatic performers were also devised from the existing base L-29 airframe and production of the entire L-29 series amounted to well over 3,600 strong.


Mission-specific ordnance can include any of the following (limited to two external underwing hardpoints):

2 x 7.62mm Gun Pods
2 x 220lb Drop Bombs
8 x High Explosive Light air-to-surface rockets

Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models

• XL-29 - Prototype series; first prototype fitted with Bristol Siddeley Viper turbojet engine; Second prototype fitted with M 701 turbojet powerplant.
• L-29 - Base Series Designation; basic trainer.
• L-29A - Delfin "Akrobat" - Acrobatic Performer.
• L-29R - Dedicated Light Strike Aircraft Variant
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