The Joseph Airport Fly-in is set to start on Friday morning. Today, two outstanding jet aircraft, a yellow L-39 and a blue Alpha flew in from Boise to get things started. The bright yellow L-39 jet will remain here for most of the show. The blue Alpha is heading back to Boise this afternoon.
The blue Alpha Dassault/Dornier Jet, piloted by Mark Peterson, is a light attack jet and advanced jet trainer co-manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France and Dornier Flugzeugwerke of Germany.
"It's a joy to fly," Peterson said. "It's the closest to pure flight I've ever experienced. It handles like a little German sports car."
was developed specifically to perform the trainer and light attack missions, as well as to perform these duties more ideally than the first generation of jet trainers that preceded it.
Both the French Air Force and German Air Force procured the Alpha Jet in large numbers, the former principally as a trainer aircraft and the latter choosing to use it as a light attack platform. As a result of post-Cold War military cutbacks, Germany elected to retire its own fleet of Alpha Jets in the 1990s The Alpha Jet is still used by about 8 air forces across the world, including Nigeria and Egypt and has also seen active combat use by some of these operators.
The bright yellow L-39, piloted by Phil Fogg, is a high-performance jet trainer developed in Czechoslovakia by Aero Vodochody. It was designed during the 1960s. The plane was exported to a wide range of countries as a military trainer.
To date, more than 2,800 L-39s have served with over 30 air forces around the world. The Albatros is the most widely used jet trainer in the world; in addition to performing basic and advanced pilot training, it has also flown combat missions in a light-attack role.