Martin Mattes of Bandit Airshows
This spectacular Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin Jet is owned by Retired Captain Martin “Bandit” Mattes of Bandit Airshows.
Martin is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He’s an experienced Aerobatic Pilot with an incredible passion for aviation, fast aircraft, and advanced aerobatics. Having met Martin before, at the Midland Air Show, I had already heard about Martin’s incredible L-29 Delfin Jet. And, I was looking forward to seeing his L-29 Jet up close!
Only 3 in Canada!
There are only three Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin Jets flying in Canada. I had already met with Jeff “Biscuit” Lewis and Richard “COOP” Cooper of Viper North to see their L-29 up close and personal. But, this was my first time seeing Martin Mattes’ L-29 Delfin Jet.
LearnToFly.ca Editor Geoff McKay takes to the cockpit of this high performance Russian Fighter Jet.
Primary Jet Trainer
The L-29 Delfin is a Czechoslovakian built aircraft used by Russia as their primary Jet Trainer. The L-29 became the standard trainer in all Eastern-bloc counties except Poland, and it’s still being flown in a number of third world countries as a ground attack strike aircraft today.
Two Seat Fighter Aircraft
The L-29 is a two seat fighter jet aircraft. The Soviet Air Force utilized over 2,000 of these aircraft in their military. The Czech Air Force maintained an additional 400 more L-29 Jet fighters. L-29 Jets were also supplied to Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary and Romania. The L-29 Delfin was a straightforward, rugged and easy to fly, jet aircraft. This made it ideal as both a primary jet trainer and also as an advanced combat/weapons trainer.
L-29 Delfin Cockpit
Surprisingly, the cockpit gauges and instrumentation of the L-29 Delfin seemed somewhat utilitarian rather than fancy. For such a high-performance jet, you might expect a more advanced looking cockpit. For the vintage of the aircraft, the cockpit was extremely advanced and modern in it’s day. However, with today’s “Glass Cockpits” becoming the norm, it was quite incredible to see this “old school” cockpit in this high performance jet.
Climbing inside the cockpit felt almost surreal. This was an actual Russian Jet, flown by a Russian Military pilot during the days of the cold war.
When asking Martin about the performance of his L-29, he calmly and casually explains the jet is a “Dream to Fly”, with a top speed of .7 Mach or 700 kilometres per hour. (Remember, an aircraft is flying at Mach 1 if its speed is equal to the speed of sound.)
Martin goes on to explain the L-29 can handle G-Force loads of Plus 8 G’s and Minus 5 G’s, although he modestly emphasizes he has only had it up to Plus 6 G’s.
Interview with Martin Mattes and his L-29 Delfin
Captain Martin “Bandit” Mattes with LearnToFly.ca Editor Geoff McKay
Martin talks with Geoff to explain the performance characteristics of the Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin Jet Trainer. Martin’s refreshingly quiet and calm demeanour is an incredible contrast to the jet he flies.
L-29 Delfin Jet Takeoff!
Here you see Martin’s Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin Jet takeoff from the Brantford Airport. The L-29 leaps into the air above the Harvard Aircraft you see in the foreground.
Martin’s L-29 was a huge hit at the Brantford Charity Air Show 2010. The crowd loved the roar of the jet engines, and the impressive performance of this Russian Fighter Jet. Considering there are only three flying in Canada, it was a very special treat for the entire crowd at the Air Show.
Amazingly, the actual L-29 Delfin Jet owned by Martin Mattes was previously flown by Russian Pilot and Female Model Natalia Gynku.
Look closely at these L-29 pictures, and painted on the side of the L-29 fuselage, just above and in front of the large 77 number, you will see “Natalia Gynku”.
Natalia Gynku is a well known Russian fashion model who works photo shoots for fashion, glamour and beauty magazines. (www.gynku.ru)
Natalia Gynku is the only female Russian Model who is also a jet Pilot having flown advanced military jets including the L-29 Delfin, (the actual same aircraft now registered to Martin Mattes), and also the popular Russian Yak-52. Incredibly, Martin Mattes of Bandit Airshows also owns his very own Yak-52 Soviet Trainer Aircraft!
Yes, this Soviet Fighter Jet was previously flown by Russian Female Model and Pilot Natalia Gynku. However, we now find it in the capable hands of Captain (Retired) Martin “Bandit” Mattes of Bandit Airshows of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
For more details, visit Martin’s website:
Martin is a great guy, and an incredible pilot who owns some amazing aircraft! Watch for Bandit Airshows at your next Air Show event.