Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody AEROSPACE has revised the certification plan of its L-39NG turbofan-powered military trainer aircraft.

According to the new plan, the company seeks to proceed with the certification of the L-39NG in full trainer configuration as opposed to the previous plan of securing certification for basic training configuration.

Aero stated that the revision in the development and certification plan is driven ‘mainly by customer demands’.

The company also noted that the move will help improve the overall certification process in terms of costs and administrative requirements.

Scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of next year, the full trainer configuration of the L-39NG aircraft will be able to support advanced and LIFT training.

Aero Vodochody president and CEO Dieter John said: “There are two main reasons that led us to change the plan.

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“The full trainer configuration has received such outstanding market resonance that we decided to merge the basic and full trainer certification because the majority of our customers are interested in a full trainer aircraft, in which pilots can be exposed to complex operational scenarios thanks to a state-of-the-art Virtual Training System. The second reason is to reduce costs by combining two steps into one.”

The new schedule seeks to achieve Light Attack certification in the third quarter of 2021, as originally planned.

The first prototype under the L-39NG project made its maiden flight in December 2018 at Aero Vodochody Airport.

Aero is currently performing ground vibration tests on this prototype and will resume in-flight tests from next month.

Meanwhile, the second prototype has started static tests in the Czech Aerospace Research Centre in Prague.

Aero added that the fourth L-39NG aircraft will join flight tests in October while the third will undergo fatigue tests at the end of this year.

Omnipol president Jiří Podpěra said: “Progress of the L-39NG project to the next stage and subsequent acquisition of an internationally respected certification is a key step for our dealing with business partners.”

Omnipol is the strategic partner of the L-39NG project.