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First Czech Gripen Makes Maiden Flight (Read 1876 times)
Roger Whitcomb

First Czech Gripen Makes Maiden Flight
Nov 12th, 2004 at 8:40pm
Confirmation that the first six Gripens for the Czech AF should be delivered in April 2005 and operational by June:

Czech Pilots Train in Sweden to Fly Gripens

Excerpt from report by Czech TV on 1 November

[Announcer] Eight Czech Army pilots are training at the Skaraborg air base west of Stockholm to fly Gripen jets. These supersonic jets will replace the outdated Soviet jets MiG-21 in the Czech Army air forces . The Czech Republic has leased 14 new Gripens from Sweden for 10 years for less than 20bn korunas.

[Reporter] This is the Skaraborg military base in southern Sweden were the Czech pilots have been training for almost two months now. They are already flying Gripens on their own, without an instructor.

[Michal Boruvka, a Czech pilot] The aircraft is very simple. We underwent very good preparations and so I have no special feeling about flying this aircraft on my own.

[Henrik Holm, a Swedish instructor, in English with Czech translation superimposed] The Czech pilots are good. They learn very fast. They are already as good in flying Gripens as Swedish pilots.

[Reporter] The Czech pilots' days look almost alike: They get up early in the morning and they fly most of the day. In the evening they learn the theory.

Previously, the Czech pilots flew Russian MiG-21s at the Caslav base [the Czech Republic].

[Jiri Verner, commander of the Caslav air base] This makes an enormous difference as the MiG-21 is already a very, very old aircraft and the avionics on board of the fourth-generation Gripen are totally different.

[Petr Mikulenka, a Czech pilot] It is beyond any comparison. I had been flying MiG-21 for a long time. Simply, it cannot be compared. I cannot say it is better or worse. It simply cannot be compared.

[Reporter] Alongside pilots, 40 ground staff specialists are preparing for handling Gripens. They will be here for three months to learn about the technical handling and operational servicing of the aircraft. [passage omitted]

The first six Gripens will arrive in the Czech Republic at the end of April. As of 1 June they should join in monitoring the Czech airspace.

Source: BBC Monitoring European (1st November, 2004)
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Roger Whitcomb

Re: First Czech Gripen Makes Maiden Flight
Reply #1 - Nov 13th, 2004 at 6:20pm
The following JAS39C are to be Czech Air Force

39234 9234
39235 9235
39236 9236
39237 9237 first roll out
39238 9238
39239 9239
39240 9240
39241 9241
39242 9242
39243 9243
39244 9244
39245 9245
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