History: The prototype of the L-29 Delfin ("Dolphin") trainer,
called the XL-29, first flew in Czechoslovakia on 5 April 1959,
powered by a Bristol Siddeley Viper turbojet engine. The second prototype, first flown in
July 1960, was powered by the Czech-designed M701 engine, which was to become the standard
In 1961, the L-29 was entered in a competitive design
evaluation to find a new Warsaw pact basic/advanced jet trainer to replace the
piston-engine trainer fleet. The other competitors were the Russian Yakovlev Yak-30 and
the Polish TS-11 Iskra. The L-29 won and
subsequently became the standard trainer in all Eastern-bloc counties except Poland.
The first production Delfin rolled off the assembly line in
April 1963, and production continued for more than 11 years, a huge statement of its
success. More than 2,000 were eventually supplied to the Soviet air force, and 400 more to
the Czech air force. Others were supplied to Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Romania.
Straightforward, rugged and easy to fly, the L-29 was ideal
as both a primary jet trainer and as an advanced combat/weapons trainer. The Delfin was
later exported to several other nations including Egypt and Indonesia. A small number of a
single-seat version, the L-29A Delfin Akrobat, was produced, but
it never caught on.
In recent years, the L-29 has become popular on the jet
warbird market, mostly in the USA, but also in England, Italy and South Africa.
Nicknames: Maya (NATO Code name)
Engine: One 1,960-lb thrust Motorlet M701 VC-150 or S-50 turbojet
Weight: Empty 5,027 lbs., Max
Wing Span: 33ft. 9in.
Length: 35ft. 5.5in.
Height: 10ft. 3in.
Maximum Speed at 16,000 ft: 407 mph
Ceiling: 36,100 ft.
Range: 397 miles with internal fuel
Number Built: Approximately 3,500
Number Still Airworthy: At least 50
3D Aviation, Chino, California, USA -- L-29
instruction and flights.
Aero Vodochody Home Page
All Red Star --
Information for operators of Eastern-bloc aircraft.
Fast Fun In Saddam's Avenger (Times
article, 6 March 1999.)
Warbird, aerobatic and tailwheel training center
in Aurora, Illinois, USA, that offers flights and shared ownership in
Jetstar, Inc.'s L-29
L-29 Photo Walkaround
Russian Warbird in Texas: The
Delfin L-29 Page
Tiger Formation Aerobatic Team -- 4-ship L-29
airshow team in South Africa.
Yak UK's L-29 Page
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