L-139 Wins “Best Jet” At 2015 EAA AirVenture


The 2015 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has concluded and after a successful event in which approximately 550,000 people attended in Wisconsin; Dianna Stanger has proudly brought home the EAA Warbirds Award for “Best Jet.” The jet, an Aero Vodochody Albatros L-139 is not only a beautiful exemplification of aircraft — it is the only one in the world.

Each year, aviators from around the world prepare their aircraft for judging at AirVenture, hoping that theirs will be selected as the first-level in their category. Their passion and craftsmanship depict the spirit of aviation that has become synonymous with Oshkosh.

“The Jet division at Oshkosh is filled with some of the best jets in the world for competition. It is an extreme honor to have the winning entry with such a distinguished field of competitors.” said Dianna Stanger, owner of the L-139.

Awards presented annually at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh honor and recognize passion and dedication to aviation.

Stanger fits that description perfectly as her love for aviation extends far beyond the cockpit. She is active in multiple non-profit aviation organizations and has an extensive collection of aircraft which she pilots. Stanger acquired the jet in November of 2013 and has since worked diligently to restore the unique warbird. The jet, with origins in the Czech Republic military manufacturer Aero Vodochody, is an upgraded L-39 trainer fighter jet. The L-39 was sold more than any other trainer aircraft in the world. The original manufacture was hardly recognizable by the company representatives while viewing it in Wisconsin with an extensive customized refurbishment.

“We were elated to showcase the Albatros after extensive work restoring this one-of-a-kind jet,” said Nathan Jones, President of Code 1 Aviation. “It has an impressive set up which took approximately 2,700 man hours to restore.”

The aircraft are judged in the following categories: general appearance, fuselage, landing gear and wheel wells, wings and tail surfaces, engine and accessory section, cockpit, authenticity, depth of restoration and difficulty points.

Next on the agenda is the National Championship Air Races, otherwise known as the Reno Air Races. Stanger has entered the L-139 and teamed up with air race pilot, Vicky Benzing. Find out more about the team, Darkstar Air Racing at www.DarkstarAirRacing.com. The race will take place September 16 – 20, 2015.