The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engine short-range transport aircraft designed and produced by the Czech aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice (named Aircraft Industries since 2005).

L-410 Turbolet
Role Regional airliner, cargo aircraft
Manufacturer Let Kunovice
First flight 16 April 1969[1]
Introduction 1970
Status In service
Produced 1971–present
Number built 1,200[2][3]
Variants Aircraft Industries L 410 NG

It was developed as the L-400 during the 1960s in response to an Aeroflot requirement for an Antonov An-2 replacement and performed its maiden flight on 16 April 1969. Since 1970, the L-410 has been in operation with a variety of customers, having been typically used as an airliner and a utility transport aircraft, numerous military air services have also adopted the type. The aircraft is capable of landing on short and unpaved runways and operating under extreme conditions from −50 to +50 °C (−58 to 122 °F).

Various models of the L-410 have been produced over the type’s production run of over fifty years; while initial aircraft were powered by imported Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-27 engines, most models have been powered by domestically built Walter M601. Both the size and capabilities of the aircraft differ across the family; during the 1990s, the company pivoted towards the Western market and pursued type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of its later models. Perhaps the most substantial variant to date is the L 410 NG, which has double the range of the original model, as well as other improvements such as a glass cockpit. By 2016, in excess of 1,200 L-410s had been constructed while in excess of 350 aircraft were reportedly in service with operators across more than 50 countries.[2]

Development edit

Development of the L-410 was started during the mid-1960s by the Czechoslovak aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice.[4] The company had decided to launch the project with awareness that the Soviet airline Aeroflot was actively seeking a turboprop-powered replacement for the Antonov An-2 biplane, which was viewed as a potentially lucrative opportunity for a suitable aircraft.[5] Preliminary studies performed by Let centred around a design referred to as the L-400. In addition to its use as an airliner, equal attention was paid towards its suitability for the role of a cargo aircraft.[1]

Following considerable revision of the original concept, a new version was produced, which the company called the L-410 Turbolet. On 16 April 1969, the first prototype, designated XL-410, performed its maiden flight, piloted by Vladimir Vik and Frantisek Svinka.[1][5] The prototype was not only used for test flights but also to promote the aircraft to potential customers, appearing at various air shows, including the 1969 Paris Air Show.[5] As a consequence of the delayed development of a suitable Czech engine, the Walter M601, both the prototype and the initial production model were powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-27 engines and Hartzell HC-B-3TN-3D three-blade propellers, both of which were imported from North America.[6]

Once development of the M601 engine had been completed, it was quickly adopted and coupled with Avia-built V 508 three-blade propellers to replace the PT6 engine on the second production model, designated L-410M.[6] A further version, the L-410 UVP, was specifically developed for Aeroflot, who had expressed dissatisfaction in the performance of the initial model.[5] In comparison with earlier models, the revised aircraft provided improved performance in take-off and landing, which are largely due to its increased wing and tail area, making it a Short take-off/landing (STOL) aircraft. As a consequence of its increased empty weight and a shift in the center of gravity, the L-410 UVP has a decreased seating capacity of 15 passengers.[7]

The most common variant of the type, the L-410 UVP-E, possesses an increased maximum take-off weight of 6,400 kg (14,100 lb), is equipped with more powerful M601E engines that drive new five-blade propellers designated V 510, and is provisioned for equipping wing tip tanks that increase the aircraft's overall fuel capacity.[6] The L-410 UVP-E performed its first flight in 1984 while quantity production of the model commenced during 1986. By 1990, in excess of 1,000 L-410s had been constructed.[8]

The L-410 UVP-E9 and L-410 UVP-E20 are versions which vary from each other only minorly, these were produced to satisfy the differing regulations of various certifying authorities of different regions. Later production L-420s have been outfitted with a newer Walter engine variant, the M601F. Production of the L-410 UVP-E20 was underway in the early twenty-first century, being powered by the latest derivative of the M601 engine, designated GE H80-200, and outfitted new Avia Propeller AV-725 five blade propellers.[9]

Following the end of the Cold War, company officials opted to pursue opportunities for the aircraft in Western markets. On 11 March 1998, the L-410 first received approval for its use in North America by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the improved L-410 UVP-E20 was similarly certified on 30 June 2015.[10][3] On 4 February 2005, this same model of the L-410 had been certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) while all other production variants followed on 28 March 2007.[11] In the mid-2010s, a typical production rate of 15 L-410 UVPs were being completed each year.[12]

On 3 September 2013, the Russian company UGMK (Iskander Machmudov) became the majority owner of LET Kunovice Aircraft Industries. At the time of the acquisition, it was announced that a new production line for the L-410 would be established within Russia within one year.[13] As part of this strategy, the company developed the most substantial variant of the aircraft to date, the L 410 NG, which can be visually distinguished from its predecessors by its considerably longer nose as well its enlarged rear area, the latter change being made to accommodate the carriage of double the luggage. It is also furnished a new wing design and has been fitted with a modernised Garmin G3000 glass cockpit. The propulsion system has also been redesigned, featuring more powerful and quieter GE H85 engines that drive Avia-725 propellers. The L 410 NG can fly for double the range of the original model of the aircraft.[14][5]

On 7 July 2015, the company displayed the first L 410 NG, which had been manufactured in Russia;[15] it performed its first flight on 29 July 2015.[14][16] Power grew up to 850 shp (630 kW) instead of the previous 800 shp (600 kW) GE H80-200, speed increased to 223 kn (413 km/h). Maximum take-off weight rose 500 kg (1,100 lb) to 7,000 kg (15,000 lb) and range to 1,350 nmi (2,500 km) up from the original 820 nmi (1,520 km). Fuel capacity rose from 1,300 to 2,450 kg (2,870 to 5,400 lb) and endurance from five hours to nine hours. FAA, EASA and Russian certification took place in late 2017.[17] Serial production of the L 410 NG commenced in March 2018.[18]

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which led to sanctions against the Russian Federation by the European Union and other Western countries, Aircraft Industries lost its main customer for its passenger aircraft – Russia. Due to the subsequent financial difficulties, the Kunovice based aircraft factory was acquired by the OMNIPOL Group in 2022.[19]

Design edit

Head-on view of a L-410 landing upon snow

The Let L-410 Turbolet is an unpressurized all-metal high-wing commuter aircraft. It is characterised by its relatively low maintenance and operating costs, as well as its adaptable design, which includes special interchangeable configurations.[20] All models are equipped with a retractable undercarriage. The L-410 UVP-E features two hydraulic circuits, one being the primary and the other intended for emergencies; the main electrical system operates with 28V DC. The de-icing system is leading edge pneumatic deicers and electrical heating of propellers, cockpit windshields and pitot-static system heads. The maximum take-off weight of the L-410 UVP-E is 6400 kg with the possibility of an increase to 6,600 kg (14,600 lb) for the E9 and E20 variants, possessing a maximum seating capacity of between 17 and 19 passengers. The L-410 UVP-E is equipped with Avia V 510 five-blade propellers.

The L 410 UVP-E20 is certified on the basis of FAR 23 either Amendment 34 or Amendment 41. It is certified by the European Union, the Russian Federation, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, India, Nepal, Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Republic of South Africa, Algeria, Australia, Taiwan, Turkey, and many other countries accepting some of the previous certificates.[21] The aircraft has also been approved for operation in a number of other countries, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Tunisia, Colombia, Venezuela, South Korea and others. The airplane is certified for IFR operation, CAT I ILS approaches, and flights in icing conditions.

Variants edit

Cockpit of a L-410UVP-E
A L-410UVP-E20 taxiing
  • L-410: Prototype, three units built.
  • L-410A: First series with Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 turbo-prop engines. Twelve built.
    • L-410AB: Version with four-bladed propellers.
    • L-410AF: Aerial photo version supplied to Hungary.
    • L-410AG: With modified equipment. Never built.
    • L-410AS: Test aircraft, supplied to the USSR. Five airplanes built
  • L-410FG: Aerial photography version based on L-410UVP
  • L-410M: Second series with Walter M601A engines.
    • L-410AM: Version with improved M601Bs, also known as L-410MA or L-410MU.
  • L-410 UVP: (Ukorochennaya vzlot-posadka, "short take-off and landing") Third series, fundamentally modified. The principal changes are a trunk, an extended wingspan by 0.80 m (2.6 ft), M601Bs, a higher horizontal stabilizer. The UVP variants possesses STOL characteristics.
    • L-410 UVP-S: Salon variant of the UVP with upward hinged entrance hatch.
    • L-410 UVP-E: Re-equipped with M601Es, five-bladed Avia V510 propellers, additional fuel tanks at the wing ends.
    • L-410T: Transport variant of the UVP with larger loading hatch (1.25 by 1.46 metres or 4.1 by 4.8 feet), can transport 6 stretchers as a medical airplane with a medic, or 12 parachutists. It can also carry 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) of cargo containers.
  • L-420: upgraded L-410 UVP-E - new M601Fs, certified variant of the L-410 UVP-E20
  • L 410 NG: Substantially redesigned and expanded version, powered by new GE H85 engines and a glass cockpit. Capable carrying twice as much cargo as well as roughly double the endurance of the original model.

Operators edit

The L-410 has been a popular aircraft for skydivers

Large numbers of L-410s were delivered to the Soviet Union; by 1985, 500 aircraft had reportedly been obtained by various operators within the USSR alone.[22] Accordingly, the type has been heavily operated by various ex-Soviet states, in particular Russia. Furthermore, numerous L-410s have been sold to airlines across Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. Forty aircraft are in use throughout Europe for commercial operations, including skydiving.

Civilian edit

In July 2015, 178 Let L-410 were in airline service: 73 in Africa, 58 in Europe, 41 in Americas and 6 in Asia Pacific and the Middle East; its airline operators with four or more aircraft were:[23]

Accidents and incidents edit

According to statistics, the L-410 Turbolet can be considered a safe aircraft because it has had 118 accidents during its development out of a total of 1,200 aircraft produced and exported.[24][25] This popular aircraft went through a number of improvements and modernization and the latest types, the L 410 UVP-E20 and L 420 are EASA and FAA certified respectively.[7] While only a few of these accidents were fatal, some say the safety record of the aircraft is influenced more by operational practices than its design. Some customers and regulators have chosen certain practices that impact the overall safety performance.[26][27]

Specifications (L-410 UVP-E20) edit

View of an overflying L-410
The cabin of a L-410 in a typical commuter configuration
Walter M601 engine upon the wing of a L-410

Data from LET[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 19 passengers / 1,800 kg (3,968 lb) payload
  • Length: 14.42 m (47 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 19.98 m (65 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 5.97 m (19 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 34.86 m2 (375.2 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 11.45
  • Airfoil: root: NACA 63A418; tip: NACA 63A412[28]
  • Empty weight: 4,200 kg (9,259 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,600 kg (14,551 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,300 kg (2,866 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric H80-200 turboprop engines, 597 kW (801 hp) each
  • Propellers: 5-bladed Avia AV 725, 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) diameter


  • Cruise speed: 405 km/h (252 mph, 219 kn) max cruise
  • Range: 1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi) 1,800 kg (3,968 lb) payload, ISA, FL140, 45 min reserve
  • Endurance: Five hours and six minutes
  • Service ceiling: 8,382 m (27,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8.5 m/s (1,670 ft/min)
  • Fuel consumption: 240 kg/h (529 lb/h)
  • Take-off run: 510 m (1,670 ft) (ISA, SL, MTOW)
  • Landing run: 500 m (1,600 ft) (ISA, SL, MTOW)

See also edit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References edit

Citations edit

  1. ^ a b c Jane’s 1980, p. 725.
  2. ^ a b c L 410 UVP-E20 brochure (PDF), LET, 2016, archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2019
  3. ^ a b Polek, Gregory (15 July 2015). "Updated L-410 Turboprop Rolls Out in Czech Republic". AIN Online.
  4. ^ Stoffels, Felix (11 September 2019). "The L-610 shall rise from the dead". Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d e Cross, Lee (16 April 2023). "4/16/1969: Maiden Flight of the Let L-410".
  6. ^ a b c Cecrdle 2023, p. 267.
  7. ^ a b "L 410 / L 420 Short-Range Aircraft". Aerospace Technology. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  8. ^ Kingsley-Jones, Max (14 July 1999). "Ageing airliner census 1999".
  9. ^ Cecrdle 2023, pp. 267-268.
  10. ^ Type Certificate data sheet No. A42CE (PDF), Federal Aviation Administration, 24 June 2016
  11. ^ Type Certificate data sheet A.026 Issue 22 (PDF), European Union Aviation Safety Agency, 14 August 2017, archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2017
  12. ^ Steenhuis and Eriksson 2015, p. 327.
  13. ^ "Новости :: Чешский самолет L 410 окончательно станет российским". 25 July 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Let L-410NG". Airliner World: 19. October 2015.
  15. ^ "ВЗГЛЯД / УГМК представила новый российский самолет L-410 NG". Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Czech Mates: Once Bound for Siberia, this Airborne Duo Keeps Climbing Higher". General Electric. 29 July 2015.
  17. ^ "ILA: Aircraft Industries targets 2016 sales for new L 410 turboprop". Flight International. 31 May 2016.
  18. ^ E. Howard, Courtney (8 March 2018). "Aircraft Industries launches New Generation aircraft". Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  19. ^ "About Us - Omnipol". Retrieved 2023-11-16.
  20. ^ "L 410". Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  21. ^ "Certificates L-410". LET. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  22. ^ Indian Trade Journal. Department of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics. 1985.
  23. ^ "World Airliner Census" (PDF). Flight Global. August 2015.
  24. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Aircraft type index > Let L 410 > Let L-410 Statistics".
  25. ^ Smith, Oliver (19 June 2013). "'Least safe' aircraft models revealed". The Telegraph.
  26. ^ Smith, Christine Forbes (26 June 2013). "Design of aircraft is rarely a crash factor".
  27. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (19 February 2020). "Eager first officers pose risk at difficult Nepalese airports".
  28. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.

Bibliography edit

External links edit