Friendly visit from foreign fighter plane

One of the most unusual arrivals taxied in at the Richards Bay airport on Wednesday – a Russian combat aircraft.

Piloted by Richard Lovit of Middelburg, the tandem L39 Albatros proved an imposing, if brief, attraction at the airfield.

‘The aircraft is mostly flown at air shows and besides a governed top speed of around 800km/h, as a fighter plane it is obviously also capable of manoeuvres such as loops and barrel rolls,’ said Lovit.

‘This particular model, the L39 ZA was used in combat and was armed with canons and missiles; other models were used as trainer aircraft.

‘There is no shortage of available spares and fortunately I have a Russian aircraft mechanic based at Vereeniging to do the maintenance.’

As a matter of interest, a Google search revealed that such an airplane would cost close to R6-million.

Source: Zululand Observer