Polish Border Guard

Operator Profile

Key Facts

History

Narrative Summary

The Straz Graniczna was first established in 1928, but no aircraft were operated until after World War Two. Between 1945 and 1989 the task was performed by a military force called Wojska Ochrony Pogranicza (Border Defence Army or Frontier Protection Forces), which was a part of the Army. This included one Independent Recce. Aviation Squadron based at Wicko on the Baltic Coast. In 1972 there was a big re-organisation of Police and interior forces. The 103. Air Regiment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MI) was established. The WOP Aviation Squadron was disbanded and replaced by aircraft borrowed from 103. Air Regiment. In 1990 a parliamentary act was passed which authorised the transformation of the WOP into a civilian agency under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On 16 May 1991 the frontier force became the Border Guard, with the main roles of border policing and coastal patrol. The first dedicated helicopters (three PZL Kania) were delivered in October 1996 to 103. Regt. The Border Guard Aviation Unit was established in 2000 after the disbanding of 103 Air Regiment. It started with four Mi-2, one W-3 and one PZL M-20. Six PZL-104M were delivered later.

Key Dates

1950s    Frontier Protection Forces aviation unit established.
1972    103 Air Regt. established for Ministry of Internal Affairs use.
12 October 1990    Parliamentary act establishing civil Border Guard approved.
16 May 1991    Frontier Protection Force becomes civil Border Guard.
2000    103 Air Regt. disbanded, Border Guard Aviation Unit formed.

Current Status

The SG operates aviation units under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerstwo Spraw Wewietrnych). It’s main task is to monitor the movements of people in border areas.

Future Plans

The purchase of two more twin-turbine coastal patrol aircraft is planned – probably more PZL M28s.

Markings

National Insignia

National Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Police and Border Guard aircraft initially carried semi-civilian registrations with the prefix ‘PL’, e.g. PL-43YG. From December 2002 the prefix was changed to ‘SN’. All Border Guard aircraft then carried registrations in the SN-xxXG (helicopters) or SN-xxYG (fixed-wing) series, e.g. SN-50YG. In 2011 the aircraft were re-registered with fully civilian registrations in the series SP-VSA to SP-VSM. In 2014 the SN-xxxG sequence was reinstated, with aircraft reverting to their previous serials. This history explains why SG aircraft have multiple previous identities.

Unit/Base Codes

None used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

HQ Aviation Branch, Border Guard Aviation:
Lotnictwo Strazy Granicznej, Gdansk-Rebiechowo International Airport.

Organisational Structure

The SG is organised into a number of Border Guard Departments and Units: oddzialy-sg. Some of these have fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters attached.

Current Unit Assignments

To be added.

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Main and central base is at Gdansk Rebiechowo, with other bases at Bialystok Krywlany, Ketrzyn Wilamowo, Lublin Radawiec, Nowy Sacz, Rzeszów Jasionka and Zielona Góra Przylep.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

See above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

Air Forces Monthly December 1996
Fojtik, J., ‘Lotnictwo Policji a Straz Graniczna’, Letectvi and kosmonautika 10/2006

Websites

Straz Graniczna

Wikipedia: Border Guard (Poland)

Airliners.net

Lotnictwo.net

new aircraft and a new vessel for the polish border guard

Thanks to Jakub Fojtik for providing this information.

Swedish Defence Materiel Administration

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Swedish Defence Materiel Administration is a government agency tasked with supplying weapons and equipment to the Swedish Armed Forces. It is a department of the Ministry of Defence, and not a unit of the Swedish Air Force. As such it is comparable to the French Direction générale de l’armement or the British (pre-privatisation) Qinetiq.

The history of this organisation goes back to 1926, when an Aviation Board (Flygstyrelsen) was established to oversee equipment purchases for the just formed Swedish Air Force. In 1936 the Aviation Board was renamed the Royal Aviation Administration (Kungliga Flygforvaltningen), and expanded to comparable status with the already existing Army and Navy Administration organisations. In 1968 the Army, Navy and Aviation Administrations were merged into a single Defence Materiel Administration.

Key Dates:
1926    Aviation Board established
1 July 1936    Aviation Board renamed Royal Aviation Administration
1 July 1968    Swedish Defence Materiel Administration formed

Current Status

The FMV is responsible for the program management, development and purchase of all weapon systems for the Swedish Armed Forces.

Future Plans

Manage the development and introduction into RSwedAF service of the JAS 39E Gripen.

Markings

National Insignia

FMV aircraft carry the standard Swedish national markings – i.e. the three crowns roundel. Some aircraft carry SWEDISH AIR FORCE titles, even though they are not in fact service aircraft.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

FMV aircraft follow the Swedish military serial numbering system, which consists of a five or six-figure number. The the first two or three numbers being the aircraft type designation number, and the remaining three numbers an individual identity number, which normally starts at 001 for each type, e.g. JAS 39C 39230.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

FMV aircraft use the Swedish military aircraft designation system.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports of aircraft on order or in service known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

FMV, 115 88 STOCKHOLM.

Organisational Structure

The FMV is divided into a number of directorates, including the Systems and Production Management Directorate; the Procurement and Logistics Directorate and the Test and Evaluation Directorate. The latter conducts ground and flight testing of aircraft and weapons from a number of airfields around the country.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Arboga, Karlsborg, Linkoping-Malmen and Vidsel.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

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

More Information

Books

Swedish Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

FMV Official Website

wikipedia: Defence Material Administration

wikipedia: Swedish Air Force Material Administration

Facts about Test and Evaluation

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Air Services Branch provides a number of services for the RCMP as well as the Canadian general public. Air Services is responsible for providing operational standards for aircraft and pilots in Canada. These services include pilot development and certification; maintenance and safety programs; air support and assistance; and air surveillance systems.
Duties of the Air Service Branch include northern and regional patrols; transporting personnel, prisoners, and supplies; and undertaking aerial searches.

The idea of a RCMP Air Services Branch was thought of as early as 1919. In that year, Commissioner Perry suggested that patrolling Canadian coastal waters and establishing faster communications with remote northern portions of Canada would more easily be undertaken with the aid of a permanent Police Air Service.

However, it wasn’t until 1932, that the idea of a Police Air Service became a reality. In this year, the RCMP obtained the aid of several RCAF planes to assist in anti-rum running cases along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Unfortunately, this relationship dissolved soon after.

By 1937, the RCMP had purchased their own aircraft: four de Havilland Dragonflies. In 1938, a Noorduyn Norseman was added to the Dragonflies. With the call of WWII, the Dragonflies were given to the war effort. The Norseman also continued to be used throughout the war to destroy gasoline caches throughout the arctic, eliminating the threat of invasion by enemy U-Boats and aircraft.
After 1946, more aircraft and personnel were acquired by RCMP Air Services. Two Beech 18s and a Grumman Goose were quickly added to the fleet. Beechcraft were top of the line, faster than the airlines of the day. The Goose was used as a mobile detachment undertaking patrols from coast to coast.

In 1947, a Stinson 108 was added to the fleet. This craft, capable of flying on wheels, skis, or floats, was used to transport prisoners and personnel in addition to its use as a search vessel. Over the next few years, two de Havilland Beavers and a de Havilland Otter were added to the fleet. These aircraft focused on both coastal and remote northern activities.
The turbine era brought several new acquisitions to the RCMP Air Services Branch in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The first was a Beechcraft A90. The second was a Turbo Beaver. Soon after, ten Twin Otters were acquired. Then, in 1971, Air Services acquired its first helicopter, a Bell 212. Today, the RCMP Air Services Branch has personnel in ten divisions coast to coast. Air Services personnel log more than 23,000 flying hours per year. Current aircraft include Bell Long Range Helicopters, Eurocopters, Twin Otters, and the Pilatus PC-12.

Key Dates

1919    RNWMP Commissioner recommends air police service using surplus WW1 aircraft. Not accepted.
1920    Royal NorthWest Mounted Police renamed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
1921    Sergeant H. Thorne becomes the first serving officer to fly while on duty – in a Junkers of Imperial Oil
1932    RCMP borrows several RCAF aircraft to assist in anti-rum running coastal patrols
1936    Loan of RCAF aircraft discontinued
1 April 1937    RCMP Air Section established. First aircraft acquired – 4 D.H. Dragonflies
22 May 1937    First official patrol by an RCMP aircraft
1940    RCMP aircraft and air personnel transferred to RCAF service
1946    RCMP Air Division re-established
1953    RCMP aircraft fleet comprises 9 aircraft
1966    First turboprop aircraft acquired – a Beech King Air A90
1971    First helicopter acquired – a Bell 212
1973    RCMP Air Division re-organised into the RCMP Air Services Directorate
1987    First jet aircraft acquired – a Cessna Citation

Current Status

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. The RCMP is unique in the world since it is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. It provides a policing service to all Canadians and policing services under contract to the three territories and to eight provinces (except Ontario and Quebec).

The main task of Air Services is to provide air support and assistance to operational personnel. This includes northern and regional patrols; transporting personnel, prisoners and supplies; and carrying out searches for personnel and vehicles.

Future Plans

No new procurement plans known.


PC-12/45 C-GMPZ at Trois-Rivieres Airport, 18 June 2003.
(photo, Jean-Luc Poliquin)

Markings

Special Markings

Special Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Initially, all RCMP aircraft carried civilian registrations in a sequence specially allocated to the RCMP. Prior to 1st January 1974, this sequence was CF-MPA to CF-MPZ. For example, DHC-2 Beaver CF-MPM. From January 1974 the prefix for Canada was changed from CF- to C-F and C-G, so the existing RCMP sequence became C-FMPA to C-FMPZ. All aircraft then in service subsequently had their registrations amended. With the continuing expansion of Air Services, a parallel registration sequence of C-GMPA to C-GMPZ was introduced at this time. Since the 1980s, increasing use of registrations outside this sequence has taken place, eg: P.180 Avant C-GFOX. However, the C-Fxxx and C-Gxxx sequences are both still used, with letter allocations being re-used as older aircraft are withdrawn and new aircraft are acquired.

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

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

Reports in 2003 of an order for 12 Diamond DA42 TwinStar MPP aircraft for border patrol work proved to be false.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

RCMP Headquarters, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2.

Organisational Structure

The RCMP is divided into 15 Divisions, plus Headquarters, Ottawa. Each Division is managed by a Commanding Officer and is alphabetically designated. Divisions roughly approximate provincial boundaries with their headquarters located in respective provincial or territorial capitals (except “National Division”, Ottawa; “C”, Montreal; “O” London; and “E”, Vancouver). Air Services provides support direct to the Divisions.

In 1996 the Divisions were organised into four Regions – Atlantic, Central, Northwestern and Pacific. Within each Region were between 2 and 5 Divisions. At some subsequent date this changed, as the Divisions are now organised into a simple East – West split, with 7 Divisions and the National Headquarters in the East, and 8 Divisions in the West.

Each Division normally has one detachment from the Air Services Branch, called an ‘Air Section’, centred on the major city or town in the area, although Saskatchewan has two, British Columbia five and Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have none. There are 20 Air Sections, designated numerically, e.g. Air Section 16. It is not at all clear what the match-up between Division letters and Air Section numbers is.

Current Unit Assignments

Air Services Branch

Historical Unit Assignments

No information.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current unit assignments above.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The Dragonflies operated from Toronto, Ontario from 1937. By 1953 air bases included St. John’s, Newfoundland and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, together with a new detachment at Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories. In the 1970s Air Division Detachments stretched across southern Canada from St. John’s, NF to Victoria, BC. In the north bases were at Whitehorse, Inuvik, Yellowknife and Frobisher Bay.

Apart from the bases listed in the ‘unit assignments’ above, RCMP Air Services also flies into numerous small community airfields throughout Canada. Too many to list here!

More Information

Books

Canadian Aviation Bibliography

Magazines

to be added

Websites

Official RCMP website

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame – RCMP

RCMP History Module III

RCMP FLEET LIST 1937 to Present

ALEA Unit Photographs: RCMP

RCMP Flight Operations Program Evaluation

Additional information by T. R. Brady

Katanga Government Aviation Unit

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The former Belgian Congo was given independence on 30 June 1960, amid a prolonged period of political and economic upheaval. Very shortly afterwards, the Province of Katanga declared unilateral independence from the newly established Republic of Congo. The breakaway province took over many of the assets of the former colonial policing air arm, the Aviation de la Force Publique du Congo, and formed a new air arm, the Katanga Air Force. A few AFP aircraft were also used to establish a Katanga Government Aviation Unit, for the transport of supplies and government officials. Several additional civil aircraft were later impressed into government service. This page covers the non-military transport aircraft used by the Katanga Government. Katanga Air Force aircraft are covered elsewhere.

After the Congo government received substantial outside help, the rebels were put on the defensive and the Katangan capital Elisabethville was captured by pro-government forces on 30 December 1962. On 21 January 1963, the last rebel stronghold of Kolwezi surrendered, formally ending the war.

Key Dates

11 July 1960    Katanga Government Aviation Unit created
21 Jan 1963    Katanga surrenders

Current Status

The Katanga Government Aviation Unit was disbanded in January 1963.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

No special markings were carried. Aircraft normally retained their previous colour scheme.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Katangan Government aircraft retained their previous registration, or used the unofficial registration prefix ‘KA’, e.g. Heron KA-TUR.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

A variety of semi-fictional airlines and aircraft operators were involved in smuggling weapons and equipment to the Katanga forces. These unofficial operations are not included here, only the officially operated aircraft.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

See individual aircraft histories.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Luano Airfield, Elisabethville.

Organisational Structure

Katanga Government Aviation was an ad-hoc entity that operated without much central organisation or structure. There were no subordinate units.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main air base was Luano, but Kolwezi, Jadotville, Kisenge, Dilolo and Kipushi were also used.

More Information

Books

African Military Aviation by Winston A. Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1994)

African Air Forces by Winston Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1999)

Air Wars and Aircraft by Victor Flintham (Arms and Armour Press, 1989)

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

To be added.

Biafran Government Aviation Unit

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Eastern Region of Nigeria announced its secession as the State of Biafra on 30 May 1967. Having no existing air transport, the Biafran Government was forced to obtain aircraft from abroad. These aircraft were delivered via a variety of legal and illegal means. During the civil war that erupted in July 1967, Biafran Government aircraft operated extensively, carrying equipment and personnel both within the country and importing equipment from abroad. This page covers the non-military transport aircraft used by the Biafran Government. Biafran Air Force aircraft are covered elsewhere.

In December 1969 Nigerian Federal forces launched a final offensive and Biafra surrendered in January 1970. Most airworthy aircraft fled abroad at this time.

Key Dates

July 1967    First aircraft obtained
July 1967    Biafran Government Aviation Unit created
13 Jan 1970    Biafra surrenders

Current Status

The Biafran Government Aviation Unit was disbanded in January 1970.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

No special markings were carried. Aircraft normally retained their previous colour scheme.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Biafran Government aircraft retained their previous registration, or used fictional registrations from neighbouring countries, e.g. L-1049 Constellation 5N-07G.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

A variety of semi-fictional airlines and aircraft operators were involved in smuggling weapons and equipment to the Biafran forces. These unofficial operations are not included here, only the officially operated aircraft.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

See individual aircraft histories.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Biafran Government Aviation was initially centred at Enugu.

Organisational Structure

Biafran Government Aviation was an ad-hoc entity that operated without much central organisation or structure. There were no subordinate units.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main air base was Enugu, but Port Harcourt, Orlu and Uli were also used.

More Information

Books

African Military Aviation by Winston A. Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1994)

African Air Forces by Winston Brent (Freeworld Publications, 1999)

Air Wars and Aircraft by Victor Flintham (Arms and Armour Press, 1989)

Shadows: Airlift and Airwar in Biafra and Nigeria 1967-1970 by Micheal I Draper (Hikoki Publications, 1999)

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

wikipedia: Biafra – Military

Biafra 1966

H.M. Coastguard

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Her Majesty’s Coastguard or, more commonly, H.M. Coastguard, is a division of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). It’s main duties are coastal surveillance and pollution patrol. Aircraft are supplied and operated by civilian contractors.

The Coast Guard was first established in 1822, primarily as an anti-smuggling force. It also had the secondary duties of safeguarding shipwrecks and life saving. The growing influence of the Royal Navy within the service resulted in the Coast Guard being placed under the control of the Admiralty in October 1856. Thereafter, the service also performed a formal role as a naval reserve force. By the early 1900s the anti-smuggling role had greatly diminished and the Admiralty was proposing to drastically scale-down the Coast Guard. This was opposed by the public, the Board of Customs and the Board of Trade, who championed the need for life saving and revenue protection.

After a major inquiry, in 1923 the service was placed under the Board of Trade and specifically tasked with marine safety and life saving. This was confirmed by the Coastguard Act of 1925, which formally defined it’s roles and powers. This act also introduced the ‘Coastguard’ title as one word instead of two words.

After using military helicopters for urgent marine rescues since the 1940s, in 1983 the first dedicated Coastguard helicopters were obtained from a private contractor. These helicopters operated off the coast of Scotland, filling the gap where the normal military Search and Rescue (SAR) service seen in the rest of the UK was not available. This service became known as the UK Gap SAR service. Fixed-wing aircraft were also contracted for pollution control work. In 1994 the Coastguard service became a Government Agency and in 1998 the Marine Safety Agency was combined with the Coastguard Agency to form the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The success of the Scottish operations lead to similar contractor-operated SAR services at two locations on the south coast of England.

After awarding a new SAR helicopter contract to CHC Scotia on 13 December 2005, the Coastguard took delivery of four new Sikorsky S-92 and three new AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters to replace the ageing Sikorsky S-61Ns then in service at the four contractor-operated SAR bases. The five year contract ran from 1 July 2007 until 2012. Plans were announced in May 2006 for the merger of UK military and civil SAR helicopter provision from 2012, under a single civilian contractor. This target date was later moved to 2015. In 2012 Bristow Helicopters won the UK Gap SAR contract and took over operations from CHC in 2013. In March 2013 Bristow also won the new UK-wide SAR contract, committing to operate two helicopters each from 10 bases around the British Isles from 2015 onwards. The bases were to be operational 24 hours a day. Seven of these bases were new to contractor SAR operations and required significant infrastructure investment before operational flying could commence. Bristows ordered 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189s to provide this service. Unfortunately, the bad weather certification of the AW189 was delayed, and some AW139s and additional S-92s had to be drafted in, to provide temporary cover until full certification was received. Validation of the full-ice protection system on the AW189 was achieved in June 2016, allowing entry into service to commence. The complete SAR service is expected to be fully operational by mid 2017.

Key Dates

15 Jan 1822    Coast Guard first established by Board of Customs
Oct 1856    Control of the Coast Guard passed to the Admiralty
1923    Coast Guard placed under the Board of Trade, specifically dedicated to marine safety and life saving
1925    Coastguard Act passed, formally defining it’s powers and responsibilities
1983    First dedicated Coastguard helicopters obtained
April 1994    Coastguard Agency formed
1 April 1998    Marine Safety Agency and Coastguard Agency combined to form Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
13 Dec 2005    CHC Scotia wins UK Gap SAR contract
2012    Bristow wins UK Gap SAR contract
Mar 2013    Bristow wins 10-year UK SAR contract to replace all military SAR services
29 June 2016    AW189 fully certificated for SAR operations

Current Status

Bristow has commenced operations at all ten SAR locations required under the 2013 UK SAR contract. The full service will be available in mid-2017.

Future Plans

Take delivery of 11 AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters by mid 2017, to replace the AW139s and S-92s used pending full AW189 certification.

Markings

Special Markings

No national markings are carried. The service titles HM COASTGUARD or COASTGUARD RESCUE are displayed on the fuselage sides of aircraft and helicopters. Some anti-pollution spraying aircraft carry POLLUTION CONTROL titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All aircraft and helicopters carry civil registrations. Recent helicopters have been assigned registrations in the G-HMCx sequence.

Unit/Base Codes

Unit coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designation used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Total
Del'd
Total
Now
Still On
Order
Role
AgustaWestland AW139330Search and Rescue
AgustaWestland AW1891147Search and Rescue
Cessna 404 Titan II220Pollution Control
Cessna F406 Caravan II220Pollution Control
Lockheed L-188 Electra220Pollution Control
Sikorsky S-9218110Search and Rescue

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

MCA Headquarters, Bay 3/25 Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG.

Organisational Structure

The aviation units of the MCA come under of the Directorate of Operations (DO), which is split into a number of Branches looking after Counter Pollution, Search and Rescue, Ship Inspection and Law Enforcement. Coastguard SAR helicopters are currently based at eleven different locations in the UK, but Portland will close in 2017. Fixed-wing pollution control aircraft are based either at the contractors home airfield, or at Inverness in Scotland.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

Table of Unit Assignments for 2000
Table of Unit Assignments for 2007

All-Time Flying Units List

Dover Surveillance
Pollution Control North
Pollution Control South
Counter Pollution Unit
Caernarfon
Humberside
Inverness
Lee-on-Solent
Lydd
Newquay
Portland
Prestwick
St Athan
Stornoway
Sumburgh

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current unit allocation table.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As for current bases plus Southend (Essex) and Manston (Kent).

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Maritime & Coastguard Agency

wikipedia: Her Majesty’s Coastguard

Bristow Helicopters: UK SAR

RVL Group

S-61 in HM Coastguard

helis.com: hm coastguard

Finnish Border Guard

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Border Guard operates in a dual border guard/coast guard role. Responsibilities include maritime pollution detection, transport, Search and Rescue and surveillance.

Key Dates

19 March 1921    Border Guard first formed.

Current Status

Responsibilities include maritime pollution detection, transport, Search and Rescue and surveillance.

Future Plans

None known.


Markings

National Insignia

CurrentHistorical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All Border Guard aircraft and helicopters carry civil aircraft registrations, in the series OH-HVx for helicopters and OH-MVx for fixed wing aircraft, e.g. AB412 OH-HVH.

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

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

PL3041161, Tikkakoski, Jyväskylä.

Organisational Structure

The Border Guard Air Patrol Squadron is located at two air bases.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main bases are Turku and Rovaniemi.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

Combat Aircraft Aug-Sept 1997

Websites

Official Border Guard webpage

wikipedia: Finnish Border Guard

Airliners.net

French Air Ministry

Operator Profile

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 Out of Service 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 Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

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.

Service Technique de l’Aéronautique

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Service Technique de l’Aéronautique (STAe) was the French national agency for coordinating aeronautics research. It was first created in 1916 under the name Section technique de l’aéronautique. A comprehensive set of research facilities was build at Issy-les-Moulineaux, including wind tunnels and other laboratories. In 1918 the functions of the STAe were formally defined as responsibility for prototypes, test and research and was divided into five services (aircraft, engines, armament, flight test and inventions).

Circa 1919/1920 the STAe was renamed Service Technique de l’Aéronautique. Until 1940 the STAe was deeply involved in defining the technical aspects of aircraft airworthiness regulations. In 1945 it lost its flight test function to the CEV. Thereafter the service became more of a research organisation. Additional sections set up over the years included rotary wing, armament and ‘special equipment’ (i.e. missiles). On 1 January 1980 the STAe was broken up and its facilities assigned to other government departments.

During the interwar years, and even into the 1950s, the STAe was responsible for drawing up all the official requirements for military, (both air force and navy), and government aircraft, against which manufacturers would tender their designs. The STAe would then conduct flight tests on the selected prototypes and recommend to the operator which type, (if any), should be chosen for production.

Key Dates

21 February 1916    Section technique de l’aéronautique first established.
1919?    Renamed Service Technique de l’Aéronautique.
1945    Flight test role passed to CEV.
1 January 1980    STAe broken up between various government agencies.

Current Status

The STAe was broken up on 1980.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

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

Aircraft Serial Numbers

STAe aircraft carried standard French civil registrations, e.g. Farman F.290 F-AKET.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

The STAe must have used a significant number of aircraft for flight testing of aerodynamics, engines, weapons and systems but very little appears to have been published that identifies specific aircraft. Additional information is welcome.

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Farman F.60 Goliath 1 1922 1925+ France
Farman F.290 1 1933 1934 France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Service Technique de l’Aeronautique, Paris, France.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the STAe.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The research centre was at Issy-les-Moulineaux, but the main air base for flight testing was Villacoublay.

More Information

Books

To be added

Magazines

To be added

Websites

wikipedia.fr: Service Technique de l’Aeronautique
Le Farman Goliath
Le Farman 190

Any further photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

French Government Aviation Unit

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

On 21 August 1937 the SCTA – Section Centrale des Transports Aériens (Central Air Transport Section) was formally established. The SCTA was tasked with transporting top civil and military officials from all branches of the government around France and to the overseas territories. It also was made responsible for Air Force aircraft temporarily loaned to pilots for record breaking long distance flights.

After the armistice of June 1940, this unit was replaced by the SSLA – Section spéciale de liaisons aériennes (Special Air Liaison Section) – with the main base moved from Villacoublay to Maison Blanche in Algeria. After the start of the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in late 1942 the unit moved to Boufarik and took the name Lignes Aériennes Militaires (LAM). In early 1943 the unit became Section de Liaison Aérienne 352 (SLA 352) of the Free French Air Force, thus ceasing to be a government agency.

Key Dates

21 August 1937    SCTA established.
29 October 1940    SCTA becomes SSLA.
November 1942    SSLA becomes LAM.
early 1943    LAM becomes SLA 352.

Current Status

The SCTA was eventually replaced by the GLAM units of the French Air Force.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

SCTA/SSLA aircraft often operated in a natural metal finish with rudders stripes in the national colours and air force style roundels on the wings. No service titles wwere carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

SCTA/SSLA 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 Out of Service Origin
Amiot 340 1 1938 1938 France
Caudron C.270 Luciole ? 1940 1943 France
Caudron C.410 Phalene ? 1940 1943 France
Caudron C.445 Goeland ? 1940 1943 France
Caudron C.635 Simoun ? 1940 1943 France
Liore et Olivier LeO 45 1 1942 1943 France
Lockheed C-60A Lodestar ? 1943 1944 USA
Martin 167F Maryland 1 1940 1943 USA
Potez 39 ? 1940 19?? France
Potez 58 ? 1940 19?? France
Potez 62 1 1937 19?? France
Potez 540 1 1937 1943 France
Potez 541 1 1940 1943 France
Potez 662 1 1938 1941 France

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

SCTA, Villacoublay.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were operated by the SCTA/SSLA.

Current Unit Assignments

Not applicable

Historical Unit Assignments

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 Villacoublay, Maison Blanche and Boufarik.

More Information

Books

Du Trimotor au Quadrijet by Vital Ferry (2006)

Magazines

Icare No.102 (1982) – LAM feature article

Websites

wikipedia: Potez 662
wikipedia.fr: Lignes Aeriennes Militaires
ANTAM info 42
Les Ailes Francaises 1939-1945 #12
REPRISE DES LIAISONS AÉRIENNES AU SEIN DE L’EMPIRE
GLA 45 history

Unresolved Research Issues

Several aircraft types are reported to have been operated by the “French Government”, but it is not clear which branch or agency was the actual operator. These include: Bleriot 110, Curtiss JN-3 & JN-4, de Havilland DH.4, de Havilland DH.88 Comet, Dewoitine D.338, Douglas DC-2, SCAN 30 (Grumman Widgeon), Lockheed 9 Orion, Vertol 44B, Wibault-Penhoet 280. Additional information is welcome.

Any further photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.