Half a century since its first flight and almost two decades after production ended, the latest iteration of one of the most ubiquitous Cold War jet trainers is set to take to the skies. Thousands of pilots for Warsaw Pact air forces and other Soviet allies learned their combat aviation skills in the Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros. Now the Czech company has begun building the first four examples of the L-39NG, or Next Generation – those latest-generation features include a new engine and modern avionics. Aero Vodochody hopes to have the type in flight-test later this year, with service entry targeted for early 2020.
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