Flying a 1964 Aero L-29!

Have you taken a real-life flight lately? Tell us about it.

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Location: Iowa City, IA

Flying a 1964 Aero L-29!

Post by Northwestdc9 » 01 Apr 2010, 05:16

Last time I'm gonna brag I promise. :laugh:

I thought you guys would like to know (and see pictures) of what it's like to fly a 1964 Aerovodochody L-29 Fighter Jet because that's what I got to do today after finishing three weeks of it's annual maintenance check. (B, C and D checks performed this past month)
After getting all the thousands of screws and numerous panels put back on, engine tests complete, fluids changed out and every square inch of that baby polished to perfection, it was time to run a flight check, just to make sure everything was ok. Seats back in, parachutes strapped down, fueled up and ready to go, I was asked if I wanted to go along as copilot, to which I replied, "what kind of question is that?!?" and immediately suited up in full flight uniform and helmet. (I get to fly onboard this stunning airplane as a part of my job at Iowa, this won't be the last trip… I wonder if Delta will give me miles?)

Hawk 1
March 31, 2010
Aerovodochody L-29
Iowa City IOW - Iowa City IOW
Scheduled Departure Time: 1800
Actual Departure Time: 1755
Departure Gate:… umm… 1? Haha
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1845
Actual Arrival Time: 1845
Arrival Gate: Ramp
Class: Crew
Seat: 0B

Sitting directly on top of a turbine is definitely an experience, the feeling and sound is insane but it gets very quiet and smooth as soon as the pressurization kicks in.
Canopy closed, checklists complete and engine running it's a quick taxi out to the runway and a thunderous takeoff into the evening sky. Feels sort of like flying on a really small, fast, DC9, sounds kind of like it too. Just screamier. Haha. It even smells like a DC9, which is amazing, just saying.

Flying a jet is nothing like flying a prop, it's remarkably silky and quiet, even when people on the ground are going deaf from the 1960s turbojet engine. It streaks through the sky with incredible power and sensitivity, I have to move my hand less than 1/4 of an inch to really get crazy on the controls, you can feel every single bump and it's so in tune with your hand that you barely notice you're hanging onto the control stick after just seconds. It's a lot like what you think flying like a bird would be like, just so smooth and powerful.

Aerobatic maneuvers are just badass. Loops, rolls, dives, vertical climbs and pulling some crazy (up to 5.5) Gs is really quite something. Indescribable but imagine a roller coaster, except a thousand times more breathtaking. After about 45 minutes of testing and checking, we went for a pass over the city at sunset, a beautiful sight and then lightly touched down back home. I walked away with a smile on my face, no doubt. It was great.

Yes, I did get to wear the Top Gun helmet and it was pretty sweet, I even have my own wings with my name on it and such.
An absolutely unbelievable experience, one that I am fortunate enough to get to do quite a bit in the duration of my job in an aviation engineering lab.
This is something everyone needs to try at least once in their lifetime, it's just amazing.

Pictures (taken on my iPhone, I didn't have time to get the good camera) available below! Enjoy!
Aviation Research Engineer - University of Iowa

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Re: Flying a 1964 Aero L-29!

Post by caps1237 » 01 Apr 2010, 14:56

Very, very cool. Have always wanted to fly a jet, especially something that light and agile. Nice callsign btw...I was going to say Quattro is for Shick Quattro since you've got the stubble going on there, but you do roll up in your Audi every day, so yeah. :laugh:
Private Pilot - Single Engine Land

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