17. April 2024

Two anniversaries, two icons of Czech aviation

Two anniversaries, two icons of Czech aviation
The 17th of April 2024. The L-29 Delfín and the L 410. These two legends of Czech aviation, have both just celebrated significant anniversaries since their first flights. The wings of the L-29 Delfín lifted off the ground,60 years ago on the 5th of April 1959.The L410 first test flight took place 50 years ago on the 16th of April 1969.

Both aircraft are closely connected with the 90-year history of our  OMNIPOL industrial Group. Over the decades, we have exported both of these aircraft all over the world.


The L-29 Delfín Training Jet was highly successful in it’s time. It was created by the designers Zděnek Rublič and Karel Tomáš, who responded to the demand of that period, namely, to create a jet plane on which young military pilots could train. The first test flight was performed by Rudolf Duchoň on the 5th of April 1959.


The key moment for the future success of the L-29 came in 1961, when the aircraft won the competition for the best aircraft of the Warsaw Pact countries. It outperformed both the Soviet Yak-30 and the Polish TS-11 Iskra.


Thanks to this, the Delfín became the exclusive training jet for pilots in the thirteen states of the  Warsaw Pact. It was flown not only in Czechoslovakia, but also in Poland or Hungary.


A total of 3,665 of both of these legendary aircraft were produced L29 at AERO Vodochody, near Prague and the L410 at Let in the Czech town of Kunovice  (now Aircraft Industries).


Furthermore, even after many years of active service, the L-29 training jet became very popular among private owners in many countries worldwide.  Some of them still fly even today in the Czech Republic and, it is possible to experience a flight in one of them!


The most successful civilian aircraft

Development of the most successful passenger aircraft, the L 410, began in the mid-1960s under the leadership of chief designer Ladislav Smrček. The first test flight, which lasted 45 minutes, and took place on the 16th of April 1969. Flight tests continued in the following days and weeks.


Already, the first model of the L 410 had, a timeless design and a very spacious cockpit. The aircraft also had, right from the start the ability to take-off and land on unpaved runways.


Over the years, the L410 has been in great demand around the world. Not least because, it can take off and land over very short distances including on unpaved runways.


The year 1984, was a another milestone for the aircraft, when the prototype L 410 UVP-E,  was created. This improved version, the L 410 UVP-E20, is still produced by our Czech  daughter company Aircraft Industries and it remains very popular and still in Customer demand around the world.


Today, this icon of the Czech aviation industry is known in more than 60 countries around the world, where OMNIPOL has exported over 1,200 aircraft since 1969.


The future of the aircraft is  now in the safe hands of the OMNIPOL Group, which since 2022 became the 100% owner of Aircraft Industries the manufacturer of the L 410, still produced on the same factory in the Czech town of Kunovice. Work continues on development, and thus on improving the flight characteristics of the Aircraft. There are also new customers all over the world, most recently two Aircraft flew to Senegal, Africa.

Other press releases

01 / 03
Privacy and cookie settings 🍪

The website uses cookies to provide services, personalise ads and analyse traffic.


By choosing the following, you agree to our policy of personal data protection and cookies. You can change your settings at any time.