Irish Air Corps

History

Narrative Summary

At independence in December 1921, the Irish government took over the existing facilities and aerodromes used by the RFC, RNAS and RAF in the First World War. The Irish Air Corps was formed the following year, as part of the Army. During World War Two, coastal and neutrality patrols were maintained. Following the end of the war, overall strength was reduced. Its main duties are border security, communications, training and fishery protection.

Key Dates

1922    Air Corps formed
1956    First jet aircraft delivered – Vampire T.55
1963    First helicopters received – Alouette III

Current Status

The aircraft and helicopters of the Irish Air Corps are fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.

Markings

National Markings

CurrentHistorical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Irish military serial numbering system consists of a three digit mumber. The numbers are issued in a continuous sequence and not in blocks, e.g. PC-9M 264.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Alphabetical OrderChronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Headquarters, Air Corps Group, Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin 22.

Organisational Structure

The IAC revised its order of battle in early 2002. It now comprises 2 Operational Wings, each with between 2 and 4 squadrons, plus the Air Corps College and its Flying Training School.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Unit Allocations

Historical Order of Battle for 2008

All-Time Flying Units List

List of Flying Units

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air base is Baldonnel.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

In addition to the main bases, here are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.5 p.143
Scale Aircraft Modelling Dec 1996
Scramble 203 (April 1996)

Websites

Official Irish Air Corps webpage

wikipedia: Irish Air Corps

Scramble: Irish Air Corps

PlanePictures.net

Airliners.net

Air-Britain Photos: Irish Air Force

Irish Air Corps Aircraft 1922-1997

New Wings for the Irish Air Corps

Irish Air Pics

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

National Markings

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Irish Air Force since its formation:



Main MarkingFin Flash

1922-1923
The first Irish national marking was a roundel and rudder stripes in the style of the RAF, but using the colours from the Irish flag. The roundel was carried above and below each wing, but not on the fuselage sides.



Main MarkingFin Flash

1923-1939
In 1923 the national markings were changed to simple stripes in the national colours chordwise across the wings. The rudder stripes were retained.



Main MarkingFin Flash

1939-1954
During World War Two, and shortly afterwards, the main marking was changed to a ‘Celtic boss’ insignia of green and orange. This marking was carried on the upper wing surface and fuselage sides. On camouflaged aircraft the fuselage roundel appeared on a white square. The pre-war wing stripes were retained for the wing lower surfaces. The rudder stripes were deleted.




Main MarkingFin Flash

1954-present
In 1954 the roundel was redesigned to include a section of white, restoring the trio of colours shown in the national flag. The main marking is displayed on the fuselage sides of helicopters, and in the standard six positions on aircraft. The national flag is sometimes carried as a fin flash. Most of the larger aircraft carry the service titles IRISH AIR CORPS – AER CHÓR na h-ÉIREANN on the fuselage sides.

All-Time Units Listing

This page lists all the aviation units of the Irish Air Corps, since its formation.

No.1 Operations Wing
No.3 Operations Wing
Training Wing

101 Squadron
102 Squadron
104 Squadron
106 Squadron
301 Squadron
302 Squadron
303 Squadron

Light Strike Squadron
Maritime Squadron
Search and Rescue Squadron

Air Corps College
Flying Training School
Maintenance Depot



Historical Order of Battle for 2008

Wing Squadron Base Type
1 Operations Wing
101 Squadron CN.235 Baldonnel
102 Squadron Beech 200, Learjet 45, Gulfstream IV* Baldonnel
104 Squadron Cessna FR.172H/K Baldonnel
106 Squadron** BN.2T, EC 135 Baldonnel
3 Operations Wing
301 Squadron AW139, Alouette III Baldonnel $
302 Squadron AW139, Alouette III Baldonnel %
303 Squadron SA.342L Gazelle Baldonnel
Air Corps College
Flying Training School PC-9M Baldonnel

* = Based at Dublin IAP

** = Operated by the IAC on behalf of the Garda

$ = Detachment at Sligo, Shannon and Cork

% = Detachments at Finner Camp (Donegal) and Monaghan

 

Aircraft Not Used

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the Irish Air Corps but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.


None known at present.

All-Time Aircraft Used Listing

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Aerospatiale SA330J Puma 1 1981 1983 France
Aerospatiale SA342L Gazelle 2 1979 2005 France
Aerospatiale AS355N Ecureuil ** 1 1997 2007 Garda
Aerospatiale SA365F Dauphin 2 5 1986 2005 France
AgustaWestland AW139 6 2006 current Italy
Avro 504K 6 1922 1932 UK
Avro 621 Tutor 3 1930 1937 UK
Avro 626 Prefect 4 1934 1941 UK
Avro 631 Cadet 7 1932 1945 UK
Avro 636 4 1935 1941 UK
Avro 652A Anson I 9 1939 1948 UK
Avro Anson C.19 3 1946 1962 UK
Beech Super King Air 200T 3 1977 current USA
Bombardier Learjet 45 1 2003 current USA
Bristol F.2B Fighter 14 1922 1935 UK
Britten-Norman BN.2T-4S Defender ** 1 1997 current Garda
CASA CN.235M 3 1991 current Spain
Cessna FR.172H Rocket 8 1972 2000 UK
Cessna FR.172K 1 1981 2004 USA
Cessna 172B? 1 1977 19?? USA
de Havilland DH.9 8 1923 1934 UK
de Havilland DH.60 Moth 4 1926 1935 UK
de Havilland DH.84M Dragon 2 1 1937 1941 UK
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 4 1953 1980 UK
de Havilland Vampire T.11 1 1963 196? UK
de Havilland Vampire T.55 6 1956 1976 UK
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.20/T.22 14 1952 1983 UK
Eurocopter EC.135P2 2 2005 current Germany
Eurocopter EC.135T ** 2 2002 current Garda/Germany
Fairey IIIF Mk.II 1 1928 1934 UK
Fairey Battle TT.I 1 1941 1946 UK
Fouga CM.170R Magister 7 1975 1999 France/Austria
Gloster Gladiator I 4 1938 1944 UK
Grumman Gulfstream III 1 1990 1992 USA
Grumman Gulfstream IV 1 1991 current USA
Hawker Hector 13 1941 1943 UK
Hawker Hind 6 1940 1944 UK
Hawker Hurricane 20 1941 1949 UK
Hawker Siddeley H.S.125-600/700 3 1979 1992 UK
Lockheed Hudson I 1 1942 1945 UK
Martinsyde Type A.2 1 1922 1927 UK
Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard 4 1922 1929 UK
Miles Magister 27 1939 1953 UK
Miles Martinet TT.I 2 1946 1958 UK
Miles Master 15 1940 1949 UK
Percival Provost T.51/53 11 1954 1978 UK
Pilatus PC-9M 8 2004 current Switzerland
RAF S.E.5A 1 1922 1922 UK
SIAI Marchetti SF.260W Warrior 15 1977 2004 Italy
Sikorsky S-61N 1 2003 2004 ex-civil
Slingsby T.13 Petrel 1 1954 1973 UK
Slingsby T.26 Kite 2 1 1954 19?? UK
Sud Aviation SA.316B Alouette III 8 1963 2007 France
Supermarine Seafire LF.III 12 1947 1955 UK
Supermarine Spitfire T.9 6 1951 1961 UK
Supermarine Walrus I 3 1939 1945 UK
Vickers Vespa IV 4 1930 1934 UK
Vickers Vespa V 4 1931 1940 UK
Westland Lysander II 6 1939 1947 UK

* = on order
# = on delivery
** = Operated by the IAC on behalf of the Garda

All-Time Aircraft Used Listing – Chronological

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
RAF S.E.5A 1 1922 1922 UK
Martinsyde Type A.2 1 1922 1927 UK
Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard 4 1922 1929 UK
Avro 504K 6 1922 1932 UK
Bristol F.2B Fighter 14 1922 1935 UK
de Havilland DH.9 8 1923 1934 UK
de Havilland DH.60 Moth 4 1926 1935 UK
Fairey IIIF Mk.II 1 1928 1934 UK
Vickers Vespa IV 4 1930 1934 UK
Avro 621 Tutor 3 1930 1937 UK
Vickers Vespa V 4 1931 1940 UK
Avro 631 Cadet 7 1932 1945 UK
Avro 626 Prefect 4 1934 1941 UK
Avro 636 4 1935 1941 UK
de Havilland DH.84M Dragon 2 1 1937 1941 UK
Gloster Gladiator I 4 1938 1944 UK
Supermarine Walrus I 3 1939 1945 UK
Westland Lysander II 6 1939 1947 UK
Avro 652A Anson I 9 1939 1948 UK
Miles Magister 27 1939 1953 UK
Hawker Hind 6 1940 1944 UK
Miles Master 15 1940 1949 UK
Hawker Hector 13 1941 1943 UK
Fairey Battle TT.I 1 1941 1946 UK
Hawker Hurricane 20 1941 1949 UK
Lockheed Hudson I 1 1942 1945 UK
Miles Martinet TT.I 2 1946 1958 UK
Avro Anson C.19 3 1946 1962 UK
Supermarine Seafire LF.III 12 1947 1955 UK
Supermarine Spitfire T.9 6 1951 1961 UK
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.20/T.22 14 1952 1983 UK
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 4 1953 1980 UK
Slingsby T.26 Kite 2 1 1954 19?? UK
Slingsby T.13 Petrel 1 1954 1973 UK
Percival Provost T.51/53 11 1954 1978 UK
de Havilland Vampire T.55 6 1956 1976 UK
de Havilland Vampire T.11 1 1963 196? UK
Sud Aviation SA.316B Alouette III 8 1963 2007 France
Cessna FR.172H Rocket 8 1972 2000 UK
Fouga CM.170R Magister 7 1975 1999 France/Austria
Cessna 172B? 1 1977 19?? USA
SIAI Marchetti SF.260W Warrior 15 1977 2004 Italy
Beech Super King Air 200T 3 1977 current USA
Hawker Siddeley H.S.125-600/700 3 1979 1992 UK
Aerospatiale SA342L Gazelle 2 1979 2005 France
Aerospatiale SA330J Puma 1 1981 1983 France
Cessna FR.172K 1 1981 2004 USA
Aerospatiale SA365F Dauphin 2 5 1986 2005 France
Grumman Gulfstream III 1 1990 1992 USA
CASA CN.235M 3 1991 current Spain
Grumman Gulfstream IV 1 1991 current USA
Aerospatiale AS355N Ecureuil ** 1 1997 2007 Garda
Britten-Norman BN.2T-4S Defender ** 1 1997 current Garda
Sikorsky S-61N 1 2003 2004 ex-civil
Bombardier Learjet 45 1 2003 current USA
Eurocopter EC.135T ** 2 2002 current Garda/Germany
Pilatus PC-9M 8 2004 current Switzerland
Eurocopter EC.135P2 2 2005 current Germany
AgustaWestland AW139 6 2006 current Italy

* = on order
# = on delivery
** = Operated by the IAC on behalf of the Garda

Current Order of Battle

Wing Squadron Base Type
1 Operations Wing
101 Squadron CN.235 Baldonnel
102 Squadron Beech 200, Learjet 45, Gulfstream IV* Baldonnel
104 Squadron Cessna FR.172H/K Baldonnel
106 Squadron** BN.2T, EC 135 Baldonnel
3 Operations Wing
301 Squadron AW139 Baldonnel $
302 Squadron EC135P2 Baldonnel %
Air Corps College
Flying Training School PC-9M Baldonnel

* = Based at Dublin IAP

** = Operated by the IAC on behalf of the Garda

 

Current Inventory

Aircraft Type Total
Del’d
Total
Now
Role Origin
AgustaWestland AW139 6 # 4 Utility/SAR/Comms Italy
Beech 200 Super King Air 3 1 VIP Transport/Training USA
Britten-Norman BN2T-4S Defender 4000 ** 1 1 Policing UK
Bombardier Learjet 45 1 1 VIP Transport USA
CASA CN.235 3 2 Maritime Patrol/Fishery Protection Spain
Cessna FR.172H 8 5 AOP/Liaison France
Eurocopter EC.135T ** 2 2 Policing Germany
Eurocopter EC.135P2 2 2 Training Germany
Gulfstream IV 1 1 VIP Transport USA
Pilatus PC-9M 8 8 Training/COIN Switzerland
Sud Aviation Alouette III 8 5 Utility/SAR/Comms France

* = on order

# = on delivery

** = Operated by the IAC on behalf of the Garda

 

French Air Ministry

History

Narrative Summary

The French Air Ministry (Ministère de l’Air) was first established in 1928. Within a fews years it appears that a dedicated flying unit had been set up to transport ministry officials around the country. At least one of its aircraft was involved in a fatal accident. This unit was in operation well before the SCTA (Government Aviation Unit), which did not appear until 1937, and so cannot be confused with it. Immediately after WW2 the Ministère de l’Air, Direction Technique et Industrie also operated several aircraft. In 1947 the Ministère de l’Air was merged into the Ministère des Armees which later became the Ministere de la Defense. The flying unit was still active in the 1950s.

Key Dates

14 September 1928    Air Ministry first established.
1933?    First aircraft obtained.
22 October 1947    Air Ministry merged into Defence Ministry.
19??    Flying unit disbanded.

Current Status

The flying unit was disbanded.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

Air Ministry aircraft often operated in a natural metal finish with rudders stripes in the national colours. No service titles wwere carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Air Ministry aircraft carried standard French civil registrations, e.g. Potez 662 F-ARAY.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Amiot AAC.1 (Ju 52/3m) ? 1945 1949 France
Bloch MB.120 1 1933 1934 France
Caudron C.445 ? 1945 1951 France
Douglas DC-3 1 1951 19?? USA
Douglas C-53D 2 1945 1950 USA
Farman F.390 1 1933 1936 France
Liore et Olivier LeO 451 1 1951 19?? France
Lockheed C-60 Lodestar 4+ 1945 1947 USA
Morane Saulnier MS.502 Criquet ? 1945 1966 France
Nord 1000 1 1945 1966 France
Potez 62 1 1936 19?? France
Potez 662 1 1938 1941 France
SNCAC NC.700 1 1945 1947 France
Sud Ouest SO.30P 1 1951 19?? France

(Additional information is welcome).

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Ministère de l’Air, Boulevard Victor, Paris.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the flying unit of the Air Ministry.

Current Unit Allocations

Not applicable

Historical Unit Allocations

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Air bases used include ?.

More Information

Books

To be added.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

wikipedia.fr: Ministère de l’Air (France)
wikipedia: Potez 662
Aviation Safety Network
DTI
French Register

Any further photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

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