March 5, 2011
Countdown to My Flight in the L-39 Albatros
Since becoming an active member of the aviation community, I have been blessed that people who own or have access to some cool planes have offered to share their aircraft with me. As a result I have been blessed to fly-in the Blue Angels Fat Albert, B-17 Flying Fortress, Waco Bi-plane, T-34 Mentor and the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter to name a few. I have also had the opportunity to fly the T-6 Texan and learn aerobatics in the Extra 300.
A week from today I will have an opportunity to log my first time behind the controls of a jet aircraft. My friends at Gauntlet Warbirds have offered to give me an an hour of instruction in their L-39 Albatros. The Czechoslovakian made L-39 Albatros is a high-performance turbofan jet trainer. At its peak it was used by nearly forty air forces as a light attack aircraft and jet trainer. The L-39 Albatros is still in use by the military of more than 30 countries. I am told this is an easy to fly jet aircraft that packs the ability to fly at just under 500 knots nearly three times as fast anything I fly on a regular basis.
Gauntlet Warbirds is an aerobatic, tailwheel and wardbird training center based outside of Chicago at the Aurora Airport. They offer training and rides in the T-6 Texan, Extra 300 and Decathlon. The L-39 Albatros is not approved by the FAA for rides but Gauntlet Warbirds is one of a dozen schools in the U.S. that offer training in the aircraft. Follow them on Twitter (@gwarbirds) to be entered in a quarterly drawing to win a flight in the T-6 Texan.
I am like a kid before Christmas, filled with anticipation for this flight. I have become a 10-day weather forecast addict (so far the weather looks good) and I might have accounted for the majority of the views of this L-39 video. I look forward to sharing this experience with you all in the coming week!
This flight has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 2nd after the flight on the original date was canceled due to excessive winds.Posted by Todd McClamroch at March 5, 2011 2:05 PM