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Aero L-39 Albatros
The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer developed in Czechoslovakia by Aero Vodochody. It was designed during the 1960s as a replacement for the Aero L-29 Delfín as a principal training aircraft. The L-39 Albatros has the distinction of being the first of the second-generation jet trainers to be produced, as well as being the first trainer aircraft to be equipped with a turbofan powerplant. The type was exported to a wide range of countries as a military trainer.
Aero L-29 Delfín
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, as well as likely being the biggest aircraft industrial programme to take place in any of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) countries except the Soviet Union.
The Antonov An-2 (Russian nickname: “Annushka” or “Annie”; “kukuruznik” – corn crop duster; USAF/DoD reporting name Type 22, NATO reporting name Colt.) is a Soviet mass-produced single-engine biplane utility/agricultural aircraft designed and manufactured by the Antonov Design Bureau beginning in 1946. Its remarkable durability, high lifting power, and ability to take off and land from poor runways have given it a long service life. The An-2 was produced up to 2001 and remains in service with military and civilian operators around the world.
The An-2 was designed as a utility aircraft for use in forestry and agriculture. However, the basic airframe is highly adaptable and numerous variants of the type have been developed; these include hopper-equipped versions for crop-dusting, scientific versions for atmospheric sampling, water-bombers for fighting forest-fires, flying ambulances, float-equipped seaplane versions and lightly armed combat versions for dropping paratroops. The most common version is the An-2T 12-seater passenger aircraft. All versions (other than the An-3) are powered by a 750 kW (1,010 hp) nine-cylinder Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engine, which was developed from the Wright R-1820. The AN-2 typically consumes 2.5 litres of fuel per minute.
The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
The Ilyushin Il-28 (Russian: Илью́шин Ил-28 NATO reporting name: Beagle) is a jet bomber of the immediate postwar period that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Forces. It was the Soviet Union’s first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. It was also licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5. Total production in the USSR was 6,316 aircraft, and over 319 H-5s were built. Only 187 examples of the HJ-5 training variant were manufactured. In the 1990s hundreds remained in service with various air forces over 50 years after the Il-28 first appeared. The only H-5s in service currently are approximately 80 aircraft which operate with the Korean People’s Air Force. The Il-28 has the USAF/DoD reporting name “Type 27” and NATO reporting name “Beagle”, while the Il-28U trainer variant has the USAF/DoD reporting name “Type 30” and NATO reporting name Mascot.
Let L-410 Turbolet
The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice (named Aircraft Industries since 2005), often used as an airliner. The aircraft is capable of landing on short and unpaved runways and operating under extreme conditions from +50 °C to -50 °C. In 2016, 1,200 L-410 have been built and over 350 are in service in more than 50 countries.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-15; USAF/DoD designation: Type 14; NATO reporting name: Fagot) is a jet fighter aircraft developed by Mikoyan-Gurevich for the Soviet Union. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful jet fighters to incorporate swept wings to achieve high transonic speeds. In combat over Korea, it outclassed straight-winged jet day fighters, which were largely relegated to ground-attack roles, and was quickly countered by the similar American swept-wing North American F-86 Sabre. The MiG-15 is often mentioned, along with the F-86 Sabre, as the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War.
When refined into the more advanced MiG-17, the basic design would again surprise the West when it proved effective against supersonic fighters such as the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in the Vietnam War of the 1960s.
The MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most produced jet aircraft; in excess of 12,000 were manufactured. Licensed foreign production may have raised the production total to almost 18,000. The MiG-15 remains in service with the Korean People’s Army Air Force as an advanced trainer.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17; NATO reporting name: Fresco) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War. The MiG-17 was license-built in China as the Shenyang J-5 and Poland as the PZL-Mielec Lim-6.
MiG-17s first saw combat in 1958 in the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis and later proved to be an effective threat against more modern supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War. It was also briefly known as the Type 38 by U.S. Air Force designation prior to the development of NATO codes.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21; NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage.
Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight. It made aviation records, became the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history, the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War and previously the longest production run of a combat aircraft now exceeded by both the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-23; NATO reporting name: Flogger) is a variable-geometry fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau in the Soviet Union. It is considered to belong to the Soviet third-generation jet fighter category, along with similarly aged Soviet fighters such as the MiG-25 “Foxbat”. It was the first attempt by the Soviet Union to design look-down/shoot-down radar and one of the first to be armed with beyond visual range missiles. Production started in 1970 and reached large numbers with over 5,000 aircraft built. Today the MiG-23 remains in limited service with some export customers.
The basic design was also used as the basis for the Mikoyan MiG-27, a dedicated ground-attack variant. Among many minor changes, the MiG-27 replaced the MiG-23’s nose-mounted radar system with an optical panel holding a laser designator and a TV camera.
The Mikoyan MiG-29 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-29; NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) is a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. Developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter during the 1970s, the MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1982.
While originally oriented towards combat against any enemy aircraft, many MiG-29s have been furnished as multirole fighters capable of performing a number of different operations, and are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions. The MiG-29 has been manufactured in several major variants, including the multirole Mikoyan MiG-29M and the navalised Mikoyan MiG-29K; the most advanced member of the family to date is the Mikoyan MiG-35. Later models frequently feature improved engines, glass cockpits with HOTAS-compatible flight controls, modern radar and IRST sensors, and considerably increased fuel capacity; some aircraft have also been equipped for aerial refuelling.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the militaries of a number of former Soviet republics have continued to operate the MiG-29, the largest of which is the Russian Air Force. The Russian Air Force wanted to upgrade its existing fleet to the modernised MiG-29SMT configuration, but financial difficulties have limited deliveries. The MiG-29 has also been a popular export aircraft; more than 30 nations either operate or have operated the aircraft to date, India being one of the largest export operators of the type. In 2013 the MiG-29 was still in production by Mikoyan, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) since 2006.
The Sukhoi Su-17 (NATO reporting name: Fitter) is a Soviet variable-sweep wing fighter-bomber developed from the Sukhoi Su-7. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to Eastern Bloc, Arab air forces, Angola and Peru as the Su-20 and Su-22. It is the first variable-sweep wing of Russian/Soviet origin.
The Yakovlev Yak-11 (Russian: Яковлев Як-11; NATO reporting name: “Moose”) is a trainer aircraft used by the Soviet Air Force and other Soviet-influenced air forces from 1947 until 1962.
The Yakovlev Yak-18 (Russian: Яковлев Як-18; NATO reporting name Max) was a tandem two-seat military primary trainer aircraft manufactured in the Soviet Union. Originally powered by one 119 kW (160 hp) Shvetsov M-11FR-1 radial piston engine, it entered service in 1946. It was also produced in China as the Nanchang CJ-5.
Zlín Z 43
The Zlín Z 43 is a Czech four-seat light aircraft. A development of the two-seat Zlín Z 42, it is a low-wing monoplane. A developed version, the Zlín Z 143 remains in production.