PRAGUE ($1 = 23.52 Czech crowns) — The Nigerian Air Force has recovered its jet trainers from the Czech Republic. These are three Aero L-39ZA Albatros aircraft. They were sent to the Czech Republic in 2020 for repair and modernization. Then an Antonov An-124 transport plane loaded them and transported them to the base in Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
The Nigerian L-39ZA Albatros received a new digital cockpit. The EFIS system is already working there. It is a digital information system processing and providing flight data to the pilot. Also, for convenience when riding, the Czechs installed a digital head-up display.
The L-39ZA Albatros will be used by Nigerian airmen for training before sitting in the cockpit of the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder. Nigeria acquired three such fighters at the end of 2020. It is the most advanced combat fighter in the Nigerian Air Force inventory [NAF]. The NAF’s equipment also includes 13 Franco-German Alpha Jets, with the Chinese Zhengju F7 fighter, and six Brazilian EMB 314 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. According to former Pakistani pilot and now analyst Kaiser Tufail, the Nigerian government will use [already uses] the Pakistani fighter jet to fight the terrorist organization Boko Haram.
Czech L-39ZAs were delivered to Nigeria more interestingly – flying on their axis. In principle, these deliveries take place after the dismantling of the aircraft, its transport by cargo plane to the customer, its assembly by Czech specialists on site and the first test flights of the modernized aircraft.
Flying on its axis means that the three planes covered a distance of 5,000 km in direct flight. The Czech company informs that the three pilots flew 13 hours a day. Five gathering places were used – Dijon [France]Valence [Spain]Gardaye [Algeria]Tamanrasset [Algeria]and Agadez [Niger].
This mode of transport is practical when carried out over short distances. But in this specific case, it is risky, because in addition to being accompanied by dozens of administrative activities [permission to fly in the airspace of each country] it is also linked to complex logistical support. For example, sufficient oxygen must be provided to pilots. A military escort in the air must be provided to ensure the safety of pilots and the preservation of equipment. Last but not least, the exact landing coordinates, where refueling is allowed, must be calculated.
One of the three riders shared that the last stage seemed to be the hardest. Before the planes headed for the runways at Kano Air Base, the weather conditions were very bad. Thunderstorms above the airport and heavy showers complicated the landings of the three planes. Piloting skills were on display as the three managed to land the machines using an appropriate weather window.
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