MIAMI – Today in Aviation, the Czech Let L-610 prototype aircraft first flew in 1988 after its 1,358 kW (1,822 shp) turboprop engines were completed.
The aircraft was to be produced by the Czech civil aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice, aka LET Aircraft Industries (LET) from 1988 to 1997. There were eight types produced (six flying and two for structural tests).
Unlike the L-610, LET’s most successful design has been the L-410 Turbolet, of which more than 1200 units have been built.
Design and Development
The Soviet airline Aeroflot (SU) requested that LET build a replacement for the Antonov An-24 aircraft in the late 1970s, following the success of the LET L-410 twin-engine turboprop.
The L-610 was planned as such. It had a seating capacity of 40 people and was powered by the new Czech engine, Walter M602. Because engine development took longer than airframe development, flight testing was postponed.
Although one aircraft was displayed in SU insignia during the Paris Air Show in the 1990s, no aircraft was ever delivered to a commercial customer. The Czech Air Force received one Let 610 M to help with the manufacturer’s certification and test flights.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, LET attempted to westernize the plane in order to broaden its appeal. The L-610G, a new type with General Electric CT7 engines, Rockwell Collins Pro Line II digital EFIS, weather radar, and autopilot, was the result.
Featured image: L-610M X01 OK-130 in Staré Město. Photo: By Sled2050 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27499286