SLOVAK AIR FORCE L-39CM ALBATROS
The Czechoslovak-built Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros basic and advanced jet trainer made its maiden flight in 1968, and remains an abundant, if somewhat ageing, aircraft today. Not only is it still in service with many air arms, but the L-39 is also now a highly popular civilian mount. The Slovak Air Force inherited its own Albatros fleet upon the break-up of Czechoslovakia at the turn of 1992-93, and used to have an aerobatic team equipped with the type, the Biele Albatrosy (White Albatroses), originally formed in Czechoslovak days - it appeared at several Air Tattoos. At RIAT 2015 will be exhibited in the static park an L-39CM version, this an upgraded derivative of the L-39C basic trainer, operated by the 2nd Squadron of the Slovak Air Force at Sliač. On its tail is worn an image of Slovak-born pilot Sqn Ldr Otto Smik DFC, who flew with the RAF during World War Two, and lost his life in 1944.