The Aero Company of Vodochody, Czechoslovakia developed the L-29 Delfin ("Dolphin" in Czech; NATO code name "Maya") as a basic and advanced trainer in the late 1950s. The first flight was 05 April 1959. In 1961, the L-29 was entered into a competition to provide the first jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact. The L-29 was victorious over the Polish PZL-11 and the Russian Yakovlev Yak-30, and became the standard trainer in all Eastern bloc countries (except Poland, which used the home-grown PZL-11).
The aircraft was easy to manufacture, operate, and fly.
It was extremely rugged and could operate from unprepared landing strips. It had a tandem cockpit, manual flight controls, and large flaps and airbrakes making it docile in all flight regimes. The aircraft served as a basic, intermediate, and advanced trainer. Advanced trainers were equipped with hard points to carry gunpods, bombs, and rockets.
Deliveries of production aircraft began in 1963, and continued into 1974. Over 3,500 L-29s were built. In addition to Warsaw pact countries, Delphins were operated by Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, and several other nations. Egypt used the aircraft in combat against Israeli tanks in the Yom Kippur War.
The Delphin was replaced in the inventories of many of its users by the Aero L-39 Albatros. Following their retirement from active duty, many L-29s were demilitarized and sold to private collectors. The aircraft's relatively low operating costs and ease of operation make it a popular jet warbird for collectors.
Status: Static Display
Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
Model: L-29 Delfin
Max T/O Weight: 7,800 lb.
Span: 33 ft. 9 in.
Length: 35 ft. 6 in.
Height: 10 ft. 3 in.
Maximum Speed: 407 mph
Cruise Speed: 338 mph
Rate of Climb: 2,755 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 x Motorlet M-701C turbojet engine, 1,960 lb. thrust