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Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya

Czechoslovakia (1963)
Picture of 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

Detailing the development and operational history of the Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya Trainer / Light Strike Jet-Powered Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 4/11/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

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.

Any available statistics for the Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya Trainer / Light Strike Jet-Powered Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (407mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
Graph showcases the Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
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Aero L-29 Delfin / Maya Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 1963
Status: Active, Limited Service
Type: Trainer / Light Strike Jet-Powered Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Aero Vodochody - Czechoslovakia
Production: 3,600
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 35.47 ft (10.81 m)
Width: 33.76 ft (10.29 m)
Height: 10.17 ft (3.10 m)
Empty Weight: 5,214 lb (2,365 kg)
MTOW: 7,804 lb (3,540 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Motorlet M 701c 500 turbojet engine generating 1,960lbs of thrust.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 407 mph (655 kph; 354 kts)
Maximum Range: 398 mi (640 km; 346 nm)
Service Ceiling: 36,089 ft (11,000 m; 6.84 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 2,755 ft/min (840 m/min)

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

Operators List
Angola; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Soviet Union; Georgia; Ghana; Iraq; Mali; Romania; Syria; Slovakia

Series Model Variants
• 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

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