The Aero L-39 Albatros had great success in the past.

Why didn't the later versions of AeroVodocody L-39 Albatross find much marketing success in the post-cold war modern aircraft market, like Aermacchi M-346, BAE Hawk, Korean T-50 golden eagle, Hongdu JL-8, and so on?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is kind of vague, what do you mean by "competitive and advanced aircraft"? This questions would be greatly improved if it were made more specific... $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Jun 8, 2015 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


It was, although it's not in widespread use.

The L-39 was developed into the L-59 and from that into the L-159 Alca. It's radar-equipped, can carry just over 5,000lb (2,340 kg) of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and is in service with the Czech Air Force. According to Wikipedia, 72 were built between 1997 and 2003.

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Given that it's an aircraft designed in the former USSR's influence, it's not unsurprising that it didn't get a lot of customers. Russia prefers to buy Russian; Russia's friends also prefer to buy Russian. America's friends are strongly encouraged not to buy anything that isn't American. And thus a small Czech single-seater is not likely to become very popular.

  • $\begingroup$ the, what about chinese aircrafts? they were marketed aggressively. now koreans are also very active. And, aerovodocody seems to be working only with one design and equipped the same aircraft with multiple configurations. and, wt about bae hawk? $\endgroup$
    – user8792
    Jun 8, 2015 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ I can't speak to sales numbers and why governments choose aircraft types - that's a geopolitical thing, not an aviation thing. My answer was mostly meant to address your false assumption, that the L-39 was not developed into a relatively advanced single-seat fighter. Outside of major manufacturers in the US and Russia, there are relatively little export sales - that doesn't mean there is zero. I think that explains exports from China, Korea, and India. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jun 8, 2015 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ And, fwiw, the Yak-130 has a single customer (Russia); the JL-8 and T-50 both have 4 users, some with very-low-double-digits fleets. The BAe Hawk is British, which basically makes it unsurprising that it had some export success. In fact, Boeing produces the Goshawk for the US Navy. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jun 8, 2015 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Also the economical and political situation after end of communism. The privatization was not well managed and it had set the development back a couple of years. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jun 9, 2015 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ Also there is now first export for military use pending, 15 aircraft to Iraqi Air Force (there are already some owned by civilian companies). $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jun 9, 2015 at 6:00