The Czech Army is Slowly Saying Goodbye to the JAK-40 Aircraft
In the coming weeks, the Army of the Czech Republic will lose the legendary JAK-40 transport aircraft. The army currently has two pieces and both, according to our information, will be decommissioned in the oncoming days, during the month of September. This loss will further deepen the already insufficient air capacity of the ACR.
Residents of Prague, the Central Bohemian Region, as well as the entire Czech Republic have recently been witnesses of considerable flight activity of this pair of legendary aircraft. Pilots seem to try to enjoy the last moments before these machines are taken out of service for good. The pair of aircraft that have been serving in the Army of the Czech Republic for decades have been unsatisfactory for a long time, mainly due to high fuel consumption and high emission limits. On the other hand, these are reliable machines that are very agile and their piloting is a pleasant experience.
The decommissioning of the above machines therefore again raises the question of what will happen next? To date, the Ministry of Defence has not been able to successfully carry out a tender for the purchase of at least one new or lightly flown machine. At the moment, several Casa aircraft with limited transport capacity remain in the "armament" of the Air Force, as well as the old L-410 Turbolets, which are hardly suitable for transporting constitutional officials, the obsolete Challenger and a pair of Airbus A-319. Transport capacities are thus without exaggeration on the brink of sustainability.
What are the solutions? At the present time, when the leaderships of the army and the state are making promises of new purchases, a tender would suggest itself for the purchase of at least one, ideally two aircraft. What would be quite logical is one business jet with a transport capacity of up to twenty people and another aircraft, possibly a turboprop, with a significant transport capacity and the possibility of configuring the cabin according to present needs. However, the question is whether all the promised purchases and tenders will really be carried out and whether there will not be a period of significant cuts. The budget deficit is threatening and other promises of distributing money from the state budget, which is in deficit, mean the certainty of significant indebtedness in the years to come. The real state of the Army Air Force in the coming years is therefore uncertain.
Serial production of the Jak-40 type, which took place in the years 1967–1985, gave rise to thousands of aircraft. Three jet engines allow takeoff and ascend even if one of them is stopped and horizontal flight with a single engine running. The pressurized and air-conditioned cabin has a high degree of variability of the internal arrangement. The ACR Air Force has machines in a configuration for 18 and 28 passengers. The dual control pilot area is equipped with a range of radio and navigation systems for flights in difficult meteorological conditions and at night. These are, for example, the ARK-10 automatic radio compass, the RV-5 radio altimeter, the Groza 40 weather radar, the VOR/ILS system and others.