The Aero L-29 Delfín (or Dolphin; NATO reporting name “Maya”) was the first indigenously produced jet aircraft in Czechoslovakia, and it served as a mainstay jet trainer across the Warsaw Pact throughout the Cold War. In this role, the L-29 was very stable, hard to spin, and forgiving. It was also rugged, capable of operating from unimproved runways, grass landing strips, and a later version even saw combat owing to the design’s latent air-to-ground capabilities. The L-29 was adopted by all of the Warsaw Pact nations and was exported to several Middle Eastern and African countries. As the direct ancestor of the L-39 Albatross, it’s an interesting exercise to study just how much of the ‘DNA’ of the Delfín can be seen in the later L-39 design.
The kit consists of 108 grey injection molded parts on four sprues, one clear sprue with eight parts, and one photoetched metal fret containing 11 parts. The kit features finely recessed panel lines and screw details. Everything is packaged in re-sealable, self-adhesive clear plastic bags. The build progresses over 15 steps, which are printed on a single, double-sided instruction sheet folded into the size of a small booklet. Decals are provided for six L-29s, and cover natural metal to various camouflage schemes:
- L-29, Kharkiv Aero Club (Ukraine), 2010
- L-29, 07 Red, Soviet Air Force (no date)
- L-29 3244, Czechoslovakian Air Force, early-mid 1970s
- L-29 3244, Czechoslovakian Air Force, 1978
- L-29 1033, Egyptian Air Force Academy, Bilbeis
- L-29 338, East German Air Force, mid-late 1980s