This year Aircraft Industries, a.s. is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the L 410’s first flight, which took place on the 16th April 1969. This year, on this day, approximately 150 distinguished guests and business partners visited the company, to commemorate the work of the former employees of LET Kunovice and familiarise themselves with the current state of the company and our development over the past few years. During the celebration our general manager Ilona Plskova, the mayor of Kunovice Mgr. Ivana Majickova and the current chief designer Ing. Miroslav Pesak did speeches and chief designer told the audience about the development of the L 410 from the start of its production until now. The speakers also thanked not only our employees for their hard work, but also remembered those who worked in the former company who are sadly no longer with us.
The company and the aircraft have undergone massive development since 1969. From that time, the company experienced a less productive period, however since 2005 when the new owners took over, the production and number of employees has been steadily rising. In 2006, we produced 2 aircraft, and the plan for this year is to produce 16 aircraft. In 2006 we had 457 employees, and this year we plan to have 1008 employees. Due to the planned production increase we are investing in significantly upgrading production technology and the company premises, which we have already put hundreds of millions of Czech Crowns into lately. Since 1969 the company has sold more than 1200 aircraft worldwide. Since becoming Aircraft Industries, a.s. in 2005, more than 65 aircraft have been sold, mainly to the Russian Federation.
Eventhough the L 410 aircraft has undergone development without very major changes in its structure, is up to now in demand thanks to its timeless design. Each model in the course of its development differs, for example an increased number of passengers or more efficient engines. On top of that new systems have been gradually installed (such as collision warning systems or enhanced ground proximity warning system). A number of quick change kits have been introduced (e.g. foldable seats kit for quick change to combination cargo/passenger version, a skydiving version and an air ambulance version). Last year a new power plant was installed. The aircraft is continuing to be modernized, and will be able to have a higher payload and the modified wing structure with integral fuel tanks, which will allow longer range. The power plant will be more efficient and will enable a longer TBO. The cabin and cockpit will be modernized and the luggage compartment will be extended. The first test flight of the modernized version of the aircraft is expected to take place by the end of the year and the demanding certification process will follow. Our long term production plan is 24-30 of such aircraft yearly.