Aero L-29 Delfín AMK 1-48 Review
Prototype: The Aero L-29 Delfín (NATO code name “Maya“) was the standard jet trainer aircraft for the Warsaw Treaty states in the 1960s. The L-29 was a cantilever mid-wing aircraft in all-metal half-shell construction with a circular fuselage cross-section and a T-tail unit.
The wings were not swept and each had a main spar. Two additional tanks could be carried at external load stations, which increased the range of the machine by 254 kilometers. Alternatively, it was possible to carry 100kg free-fall bombs or rocket containers on the carriers. The single-tire nose wheel landing gear was sprung and fully retractable.
The project planning work was carried out by Karel Tomaš and Zdeněk Rublič and began in 1955. The first flight of the prototype XL-29 (ID: OK-70) took place on April 5, 1959, and was carried out by Rudolf Duchon. In September 1961 a comparison flight between the L-29, the Soviet Jak-30, and the Polish TS-11 Iskra took place in Monino. With the exception of Poland, which wanted to stick to its model, all Warsaw Pact states opted for the L-29. Series production began in February 1962 with the pilot series (WNr. 190001-190010) at Aero in Vodochody and ended in 1974 after 3,665 units were built, 1,722 of which were manufactured at LET in Kunovice.
The L-29 was easy to fly and undemanding to maintain, which made it a popular aircraft. In addition to the normal trainer version, there was also a single-seater aerobatic version (L-29A Delfin Akrobat) and a pure combat and reconnaissance version L-29R with camera equipment in the bow and under-wing outstations for rocket armament. In the second half of the 1970s, the L-29 was replaced by the successor model L-39 Albatros. Even today there are still some dolphins in training with smaller air forces. Various aircraft are also used for civilian purposes and some of them have very colorful paintwork.
Wiki: Aero L-29
Kit: The still relatively young company AMK (AvantGarde Model Kits) has not had any luck with the models that have been released. With both Kfir and Fouga Magister, the competition came before the manufacturer. However, the manufacturer has now brought out the Aero L-29 Delfin and currently has no competition among the plastic models.
What is noticeable about recent releases is the tendency towards training aircraft. T-45 Goshawk, T-38 Talon, Fouga Magister, T-50 Golden Eagle, and Alpha Jet are just a few examples of the new products. Of course, the aircraft cannot be denied a certain elegance and there are often very colorful specimens of the jet trainers. On the other hand, they are a little less bellicose than fighter planes and they have been treated as neglected so far. Wherever the trend comes from, fans of Eastern European planes will definitely get their money’s worth with the Dolphin.
As can often be observed with smaller and new manufacturers, the kit contains rather small injection-molded parts, since large tools (molds) are correspondingly more expensive. The design is conventional, i.e. two fuselage half-shells and two separate upper and lower wings form the basic structure of the model. The surface design is good. The engravings are sharp and even, there are no rows of rivets. The flow marks in the material are somewhat annoying for aircraft that are mainly flown in silver or in natural metal. Maybe the plastic wasn’t hot enough here or the mold was too well cooled. So you should definitely use a primer before painting “metal”.
The level of detail is good. The belts are missing in the cockpit, which is a shame since a small sheet of photo-etched parts is included anyway. The maintenance flap in front of the cockpit can be shown open and also offers a few details. The booklet on the “Dozen Set” by Mark I is ideal for photos of these areas. There are also other painting variants here. However, some are already included in the kit.
The printing of the decals is okay. The instrument decals once as a full film and once restricted to the instruments are a nice addition. The national emblems of the LSK / LV of the GDR are not printed in the register, the rest seems to be quite good. There are replacements for this at TOM Modellbau or in the “Dozen set”.
- Aero L-29 Delfin “blue 38”, Soviet Air Force
- Aero L-29 Delfin “red 07”, Soviet Air Force
- Aero L-29 Delfin “black 1420”, Czechoslovak Air Force
- Aero L-29 Dolphin “black 3401”, “NA-2F”, “D”, Czech Air Force 1996
- Aero L-29 Delfin “black 2846” / “white 2”, Slovak Air Force (camouflaged)
- Aero L-29 Delfin “black 338”, the air force of the NVA of the GDR (the only camouflaged copy of the LSK / LV, is now in Gatow)
- Aero L-29 Delfin “1130”, Iraqi Air Force
- Aero L-29 Delfin “LL-2902”, Indonesian Air Force (gray)