For the Air Force pilots to improve their skills, they need training aircrafts. Every student of aviation faculty of the Military Academy knows this axiom. Unfortunately, the “flights” on training aviasimulators alone are definitely not enough. Some time ago the Belarusian military aviators had to train in Vyazma. Now this seems to be no longer needed.
An unprecedented event took place in Chuguyev (Kharkov region). The Belarusian Armed Forces bought 10 L-39 aircrafts from Ukraine. The first 2 of them arrived in Lida where a training squadron had been formed. The other 8 are to arrive there by the end of winter.
— Why did we choose L-39? Everything is simple, — says Minister of Defence, Leonid Maltsev. — This is a reliable aircraft, customary to many Belarusian pilots. It consumes 10 times less fuel than, for instance, Su-27. And the price is reasonable. They were subjected to the before-sale repair at the aircraft repair plants in Chuguyev and Odessa. We shall upgrade them at Baranovitchy aircraft repair plant and the aircrafts will turn into operational trainers. All in all, we are going to purchase 36 training aircrafts. Of what kind? First we’ll try L–39 and then we’ll see.
Meanwhile the aviators make no disguise of their admiration: L–39 can both make a loop-the-loop and gracefully cope with a nosedive. On the airdrome in Chuguyev the nimble and manoeuvrable aircrafts painted the national colours looked very stylish. The Ukrainians at first offered their customary colouring. But the Belarusian party insisted on their variant. And on the words “Belaya Rus” to be written on the board! Indeed, a couple of flying beaux resembles albatrosses as the Czechs felicitously named them for their similarity to the oceanic bird.
Deputy Commander in Chief of the Air Force and Air Defence Team, aviation commanding officer Mikhail Levitsky decided to test the aircraft personally.
— In the USSR pilots were always the best in the world, — deems Mikhail Ivanovich. — Why? They didn’t economize on fuel and diligently trained. I am proud that we belong to the same school. Now we are able to train our military aviators on the same high level.
According to the pilots, one experiences the most pleasant feelings when piloting an L-39. it can be compared to kiting in the air. Cutting the air you want to accelerate and overtake “the cloud over there”. And then make a U-turn and go back.
— This aircrafts are an instrument not for war, but for its prevention, — summarized Leonid Maltsev. — While civil pilots can be taught flying abroad, military aviators should master the piloting skills at home. After all, this is a matter of national security.
By the way, the Belarusian and Ukrainian military have a number of other joint projects. For instance, Baranovitchy aircraft repair plant has good prospects of winning the tender for modernization of the Ukrainian MiG–29.