The Aero L-29 Delfín (English: Dolphin, NATO reporting name: Maya) is a military jet trainer developed and manufactured by Czechoslovakian aviation manufacturer Aero Vodochody. It is the country's first locally designed and constructed jet aircraft. On 5 April 1959, an initial prototype, designated as the XL-29, performed its maiden flight. The L-29 was selected to become the standard trainer for the air forces of Warsaw Pact nations, for which it was delivered from the 1960s onwards. During the early 1970s, the type was succeeded in the principal trainer role by another Aero-built aircraft, the L-39 Albatros, heavily contributing to a decline in demand for the earlier L-29 and the end of its production during 1974.
During the course of the programme, in excess of 3,000 L-29 Delfin trainers were produced. Of these, around 2,000 were reported to have been delivered to Russia, where it was used as the standard trainer for the Soviet Air Force. Of the others, which included both armed and unarmed models, many aircraft were delivered to the various COMECON countries while others were exported to various overseas nations, including Egypt, Syria, Indonesia, Nigeria and Uganda. Reportedly, the L-29 has been used in active combat during several instances, perhaps the most high-profile being the use of Nigerian aircraft during the Nigerian Civil War of the late 1960s and of Egyptian L-29s against Israeli tanks during the brief Yom Kippur War of 1973.
C-GGRY / ''GreyBird'' / L-29
"Grey" as we fondly call her is a 1972 L29 originally used as number #100 by the Bulgarian Airforce. She's equipped with daytime VFR equipment, external fuel tanks.
C-GDLG / ''RedBird" / L-29
Our beautiful "Red" was our first acquisition, she flew well for us and showed a lot of people just how great these ships can be. She was originally #77 in the Bulgarian Airforce. She has since moved on, and is no longer part of our collection. You can read and see what she's up to here: Project Oscar. We're very happy she's doing this for our environment.
C-GGRI / ''Virginia" / L-29
"Virginia" comes to us via the Czech airforce. She was re-built in 1994, crated and shipped to the US. Our friend Tony flew her for 10 years, and thought that we should have her. Thanks to him, and a generous Ottawa gentleman, we should have her flying this spring.