CZECH REVOLUTION

Aero Vodochody has experienced some fairly tough times over the past decade or so. But as AFM‘s Alan Warnes discovered, with L-159 ALCA production resumed and the new L-39NG on the scene, the future looks much brighter.

L-39/L-159

Main photo: US company Draken International has purchased 21 L-159Es, which are used as ‘Red Air’ tactical aircraft in US military exercises. See also ‘Enter the dragon’, May 2017, p60-67.
José M Ramos

THINGS ARE looking up for Praguebased Aero Vodochody. New life has been breathed into a company that celebrates its centenary in 2019. Having built its reputation with the manufacture of more than 6,000 L-29 and L-39 jet trainers at the height of the Soviet era, the company faced uncertainty with the collapse of communism in the early 1990s. However, acquisition by Czech/Slovak-owned Penta Investments in January 2007 has seen millions of dollars of investment. One of the private equity group’s shrewdest moves came in May of last year, when it appointed the charismatic Giuseppe Giordio as president and CEO.

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