Aircraft Type History
The Aero L-29 Delfin (dolphin), NATO designation Maya, was Czechoslovakia’s first locally designed jet aircraft, produced by Aero Vodochody. First flown in 1959, production commenced in 1963 and ceased in 1974 with over 3600 built. The L-29 won a Soviet design competition and became the standard jet trainer for most Eastern Block countries, except Poland. It was also exported to a number of countries. The Soviet Air Force was the largest operator, obtaining more than 2000 Delfins. The aircraft is now mostly retired from military service, however is still very popular among civil operators.
The military L-29 Delfin was powered by a Czech Motorlet M701 turbojet engine. It was a simple, easy to maintain aircraft which could operate from unprepared airfields. It also had an impressive safety record for the type. Both instructor and pilot had ejection seats. Straightforward, rugged and easy to fly, the L-29 was ideal as both a primary jet trainer and as an advanced combat/weapons trainer.
Our L-29’s History
Waterloo Warbird’s L-29 was built in 1972 for the Soviet Air Force and imported to the United States in 2002 from Estonia. Viper North acquired our aircraft in 2007 and brought it to Canada in 2011. Just prior to Viper North’s acquisition, the original jet engine was upgraded to a Rolls Royce Viper 540, resulting in a 70% increase in thrust. The increase in power has given this aircraft amazingly high performance for its size and weight. Our L-29 is one of the favourites at Waterloo Warbirds, being very stable as well as a thrill to fly in and is an excellent aircraft for those wanting to learn about or experience flight in jet warbirds.
The Technical Stuff
- Crew: one/two
- Length: 10.81 m (35 ft 5½ in)
- Wingspan: 10.29 m (33 ft 9 in)
- Height: 3.13 m (10 ft 3 in)
- Empty weight: 2,280kg (5,027lbs)
- Max. takeoff weight: 3,280kg (7,321lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Viper 540
- Maximum speed: 655kph (353 knots, 407mph)
- Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,100 ft)