Aero Vodochody has reaffirmed that its primary strategic focus is on the military jet trainer market, one month after UK start-up Aircraft Integrated Solutions announced it was to resurrect development of the Czech manufacturer’s Ae 270 civil light transport.

The Czech airframer shelved development of the single-engined turboprop in 2007 when its new investors decided to concentrate on military programmes, but the August announcement raised the possibility of a return to the civil segment.

Only eight of the eight-seat aircraft were built by Aero Vodochody and its partner, Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development – a few prototypes of which are still flying - and the type received European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration certification.

A supplier of military aircraft from the 1960s until the 1990s - particularly to the Soviet Union and its satellite states - Aero Vodochody switched to an aerostructures supplier after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

But with introduction of the revamped L-39NG jet trainer it is back in the defence sector, and is carefully analysing its growth path.

“If we need to direct the resources we will direct it into the military market,” says strategy chief Damiano Cotula.

This is currently focused on trainers and light attack aircraft, but Aero Vodochody thinks there may be a requirement for a light transport; Cotula identifies a gap in the market for an aircraft with similar characteristics to the Ae 270.

Ae270 - Aero Vodochody

Aero Vodochody

Around 1% of the estimated €65 billion ($72 billion) market for military transports in the period to 2025 is expected to be accounted for by “very light” models with eight-20 seats.

“I personally think that the very light transport market has a future,” Cotula says, although “we’re not sure that we have a project yet”.

The company is assessing its strategy, and is “deeply analysing” the light transport sector, although Cotula rules out returning to the civil segment.