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Aircraft Review: Aero L-29 Delfín XP12 by MLADG

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Aircraft Review: Aero L-29 Delfín XP12 by MLADG

By Stéphane Tolédo-Paul

Aero Vodochody, a Czechoslovak automobile and aircraft manufacturing company, was established in 1919 in Prague by Vladimir Kabes. Originally specialising in aircraft repair and maintenance, the company eventually began designing its own aircraft, such as the Aero A.01 and A.14. It later manufactured reconnaissance and bomber aircraft like the Aero A.11. After the war, the company produced MiG-15s, MiG-19s, and MiG-21s under license. In 1959, in response to a request from Soviet authorities, it introduced the Aero L-29 Delfín, which is the subject of this review. After the fall of communism, Aero Vodochody shifted its focus to manufacturing aeronautical parts, for example, for the McDonnell Douglas F-18 or for Boeing, where it produced parts for the 757 airliner.

The Aero L-29 Delfín, known to NATO as "Maya," is a two-seat trainer originally developed as a training aircraft for Warsaw Pact countries. It's a monoplane with a straight, cantilevered mid-wing and a T-shaped tail. Powered by a Motorlet M-701C engine with a thrust of 888 kg, the aircraft's dimensions include a length of 10.81 m, a wingspan of 10.29 m, a wing area of 19.8 m2, and an empty weight of 2,280 kg. It has a maximum armed weight of 3,286 kg and its top speed is Mach 0.8 (840 km/h), with a ceiling of 11,500 meters and a range of 640 km. During its production run from 1963 to 1974, over 3,665 units were produced. Following the fall of the USSR, many of these aircraft were sold to private owners, with some being converted into high-speed transport jets, complete with leather and wood interiors, state-of-the-art avionics, and customized paintwork.



Purchase & Installation
This X-Plane 11 and 12 rendition of the Aero L-29 Delfín, created by MLADG studio, weighs in at 446 MB and can be easily downloaded from the X-Plane.Org Store. It falls under the categories Warbirds and Military/Trainers and can be purchased for $19.95. The file includes two aircraft: the L-13 Blanik glider, and the Aero L-29 Delfín, our sole focus in this review. The included documentation consists of a single PDF document listing technical data, cockpit layout, plus checklists and procedures. 




The Aero L-29 Delfín is available in several variants, including a racing version for the Reno races, equipped with a 3750 lbs thrust engine, a single-seater "Akrobat" version, another "Akrobat" version also with a 3750 lbs thrust, and a military version, all of which come with six different liveries. After downloading the file, simply unzip it and place it in your X-Plane "Aircraft" folder. 


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Exterior Model 
In line with the MiG-15 from the same studio which I previously reviewed, the external appearance of the aircraft is impeccable. It is very well-modelled, accurate in proportions, and shows significant attention to detail. The aircraft's grounded stance exudes its weight, and a close examination reveals the meticulous effort put into the 3D model. Various elements of the Delfín, from the antennas on the fuselage to the reflections and wear marks on the canopy, are well represented. The rivets are realistically depicted, and I particularly admire the rendering of the tires and air intakes.


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The all-aluminium livery suits it especially well, as does the military camouflage, which enhances its robust, rustic appearance, a trademark of aircraft produced in communist countries of the time. I'm less enthusiastic about the other liveries, but that's a matter of personal taste. Ultimately, there's something for everyone, so credit to MLADG for their inclusive approach.


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Cockpit & Functionality 
Entering the cockpit is akin to travelling back in time. As someone who appreciates traditional mechanics and watchmaking, I found the steam gauges in the cockpit to be wonderfully authentic, a far departure from the modern glass cockpits of today. All the instruments are impressively represented and are available in both metric and imperial versions. However, I wish they had taken the concept further and incorporated Cyrillic characters throughout the cockpit. I agree that this might have made things harder to understand, but it would have added to the authenticity. The attention to detail inside the cockpit is as commendable as it is for the fuselage. This is exemplified by the indented markings of the serial number on the onboard clock's dial. My only qualm is with the lever switches, which appear somewhat too simplistic and thin for my liking. The textures of the cockpit are excellent, with a flawless patina, and the complex animation of the rudder assembly is particularly noteworthy. In summary, this is a meticulously modelled, comprehensive, and fully functional cockpit.


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Cockpit Lighting

The interior lighting in the Delfín is simple yet functional. The cockpit lamps are capable of sufficiently illuminating the array of dials and gauges, allowing for an easy read even during night flights. The side panel switches also come equipped with their own light, adding to the overall utility of the aircraft's interior lighting system.


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Flight Characteristics 

Our exploration of the Aero L-29 Delfín's performance was conducted with a short circuit around Kaunas International Airport (EYKA). Nestled in the heart of Lithuania, Kaunas served as the ideal backdrop for testing this historic piece of aviation.


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Upon beginning our flight, the checklist was followed closely, ensuring everything was as it should be. Once we pushed the throttle to max, an immediate sense of the aircraft's training roots was felt; the acceleration was manageable but not overly punchy. The aircraft easily lifted off at around 97 kt, gracefully ascending into the Lithuanian sky.


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Reaching cruising altitude, the flight controls felt intuitive and precise. The Delfín's stable flight performance and gentle roll rate, which measured at 360° in 5 seconds, reaffirmed its role as a training aircraft. Despite not being a speed demon like some of its modern counterparts, the cruising phase was enjoyable and straightforward.


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The landing phase of the Delfín was likewise, a joy. The approach was stable and predictable, and the aircraft's forgiving nature shone through once again. The descent required close monitoring of speed, with flaps adjusted accordingly. A firm but graceful touchdown at approximately 100 kt illustrated the Delfin's unpretentious, reliable character.


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From a sound perspective, the experience is utterly immersive, owing to the exceptionally realistic and successful FMOD implementation. While I am no expert, I've observed that MLADG consistently puts great effort into this area. The audible change in sound when the canopy is opened, or when flying around the jet in an external view, truly enhances the experience. Sounds such as taxiing, gear and flap retraction, wind noise, and clicks of various cockpit controls, all contribute significantly to the comprehensive and effective sound experience.

My computer, which isn't the latest system by any means, handled this add-on exceptionally well, without any noticeable slowdowns or stutters. During my testing in X-Plane 12, framerates remained fluid and stable, providing a thoroughly enjoyable flying experience. 


Much like the MiG-15 I reviewed previously, this is another model from MLADG that I thoroughly enjoyed. The high-quality modelling of the fuselage and the cockpit, the excellent texture levels, and the solid and enjoyable flight model, all help create a package that oozes quality. Although the L-29 Delfín’s flight characteristics might come across as somewhat lazy, this can be attributed to the aircraft's original design as a trainer. 


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To conclude, I would recommend this add-on to those interested in a historic aircraft that is easy to fly, beautifully rendered, relatively inexpensive, and a perfect fit for enthusiasts of Eastern European aviation during the Cold War. It may not be the most agile, powerful, or modern aircraft, but I personally value it for all the reasons mentioned above, and, most importantly, for its rugged charm, unique to Soviet-era craftsmanship. It's like the "Lada of the Sky", robust and reliable, and I firmly believe it deserves a place in every aviation enthusiast's hangar! 





The Aero L-29 Delfín XP12 by MLADG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here:


Aero L-29 Delfín XP12

Priced at US$19.95



  • Both X-Plane 12 and X-Plane 11 Versions are included
  • Four versions are included:
  • Racing version used in Reno with 3750 lbs thrust
  • Single seater "Akrobat" version
  • "Akrobat" version with 3750 lbs thrust
  • Militarized version
  • New Bonus Aircraft
  • LET L-13 Blanik Glider now included as a bonus plane
  • Plane useful for VFR, IFR-procedure and aerobatics flying
  • Custom, interactive 3D cockpit
  • Front and rear cockpit available and usable for flying
  • Animated controls, flaps, and gear
  • Custom instrumentation and cockpit layout based on real documentation
  • IFR equMAC,ent: VOR, DME, NDB
  • Basic weapons model
  • Seven liveries included, inspired by real L-29s flying in the past and today
  • Instruments/ Procedures manual included



X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux 
Support: Support forum for the L-29
Current version: 2301 (February 7th, 2023)


Review by Stéphane Tolédo-Paul

20th July 2023

Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications: 

Windows 10, Intel i5 8400 2.8GHz, 16GB, Nvidia GTX 1060


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved




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  • 3 months later...

Great module, I just have 1 problem. The Master Arm switch won't exactly turn on. When I click on it, it just turns on for a blink and then instantly reverts to off, basically preventing me from using the weapons. Im using Xplane11 (since its compatible with 11 too). Any help?

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