Built as the successor to the L-29, the L-39 first flew in 1968. After entering production in 1972 the L-39 had great success as a jet trainer and light attack aircraft throughout the world, at one point being used by nearly forty air forces. It is still flown by numerous militaries including Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, the Czech Republic and Egypt.
The L-39 was built in three primary variants, the C, ZA and ZO. The C is a trainer with some weapons training capability and two hardpoints on the wings while the ZO and ZA are light attack versions with four hardpoints. The ZA also has a 23mm gunpod mounted under the fuselage.
With a maximum speed of 490 knots or .8 mach and a +8/-4G load limit, the L-39 is easy to fly, comfortable due to a modern environmental control system and has a final approach speed around 120 knots.