Hungarian Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Following Hungarian independence in November 1918, a small air arm was established operating surviving aircraft from Hungarian factories and training schools. This air arm became the Hungarian Red Air Force under the short lived Hungarian Soviet Republic, but was disbanded upon its downfall.
Under the Versailles Treaty, Hungary was forbidden from owning military aircraft. However, a secret air arm was gradually established under the cover of civilian flying clubs. During 1938 the existence of the air force was made known. The air arm was reorganised and expanded. On 1st January 1939 it became independent of the army. It subsequently participated in clashes with the newly established Slovak Republic and in the border confrontation with Romania. On 1st March 1942 the air force was returned to army control. In April 1941, operations were conducted in support of the German invasion of Yugoslavia and on 27 June 1941 Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union. In the summer of 1942 and air brigade was attached to the Luftwaffe’s VIII Fliegerkorps on the Eastern Front. From March 1944 Allied bomber raids began on Hungary and progressively increased in intensity. Late in 1944 all efforts were redirected towards countering the advancing Soviet Army, but to no avail. All fighting in Hungary ended on 16th April 1945.
A small air arm was organised along Soviet lines during 1947. Following the communist takeover, Russian military aid was stepped-up and a major expansion programme initiated. When Soviet forces invaded in November 1956, to suppress the national uprising, sections of the Hungarian Air Force attacked Soviet forces and resisted Russian attempts to occupy their bases. The resistance was shortlived and the air force was demobilised soon after. A reconstituted air arm was reformed in the following year, but initially only as an internal security force. Gradually, the air force was expanded again, but it remained an integral part of the army and was essentially a defensive force. During the 1990’s all combat aircraft were fitted with new IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems to enable operations in western airspace. In April 2002 Hungary joined the NFTC pilot training programme in Canada.

Key Dates:
1947    Hungarian Air Force re-established
1952    First jet aircraft delivered – Yak-23
1956    Air Force disbanded following Hungarian Uprising
1957    New Hungarian Air Force formed as part of the Army
1960    First helicopters received – Mi-1

Current Status

To be added

Future Plans

None known at present.

Markings

National Insignia

National Insignia

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Hungarian military serial numbering system consists of a two, three or four figure number taken from part of the aircraft’s individual construction number, e.g. MiG-17PF 403.

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

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Ministry of Defence, Batalon U.7/11,1055 Budapest, V.

Organisational Structure

The flying units of the air force are organised into a single command, Air Command. The main unit is the Ezred (Regiment) or Osztaly (Wing) with between two and five Szàzad (Squadron) each.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Kecskemét, Szolnok and Pápa.

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 Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Hungarian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.3 p.150
World Air Power Journal No.14 p.148
Air Forces Monthly June 1997

Websites

Hungarian Defence Forces Official Website

wikipedia: Hungarian Air Force

Scramble: Hungarian Air Force

PlanePictures.net

Airliners.net

Air-Britain Photos: Hungarian Air Force

Hungarian Air Force

Hungarian Air Force Aircraft in 1956

National Insignia Changes

Romanian Navy

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The original Naval Aviation force was disbanded in 1960. However, the expansion of the naval fleet in the 1980s, and the development of state-owned off-shore oil rigs in the Black Sea led to demands for better helicopter support. In response, the Air Force introduced specially modified IAR 330L Puma, (and later IAR 316B Alouette III), helicopters for this task. Unfortunately, reduced budgets after the end of the Cold War and the retirement of the Alouettes resulted in this role being given a low priority and by 2001 the Air Force had largely abandoned naval operations.

In 2005 the Romanian Navy ordered three specially configured Puma helicopters, with a view to rebuilding it’s aviation capability. In July 2007 the Romanian Naval Air Arm was formally established.

Key Dates:
13 July 2007    Naval aviation resumed using Puma NAVAL helicopters.

Current Status

Romanian naval helicopters are used primarily for shipboard support, surveillance and Search & Rescue (SAR) missions.

Future Plans

Additional helicopters may be required.

Markings

National Insignia




          Main markingFin Flash
The main marking is carried on the fuselage sides of the helicopters. A fin flash is not carried. The service titles RO NAVY are displayed on the tail boom.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Romanian naval helicopters serials comprise a three-digit number for each airframe, e.g. Puma NAVAL 140.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma NAVAL 3 3 0 Naval Support

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma NAVAL 3 2007 current Romania

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service – the Mil Mi-14PL is NOT used. All other types reported since 1960 as being operated by the Navy were actually Air Force aircraft.

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
Not known.

Organisational Structure

The Romanian Naval Air Arm currently comprises one Helicopter Flight.

Current Order of Battle

Squadron Type Base
Helicopter Flight Constanta IAR 330 Puma NAVAL

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Helicopter Flight.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All helicopters are operated from Constanta.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Not applicable.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Official Romanian Navy Website

wikipedia: Romanian Naval Forces

airliners.net

Romanian Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

In 1910 a small Flying Corps (Corpul Aerian Romana) was established by the Romanian Army. During the First World War the Flying Corps disintegrated as the country was overrun by Austro-German forces.
After the Romanian government was reestablished in 1918, it set about forming a new air arm, called the Divisia-I-a Aeriana, under a Directorate of Army Aviation.
The new air arm expanded rapidly, and was able to rely increasingly on the domestic aircraft industry. Unfortunately, when World War Two arrived, most of this equipment was obsolete and, with Romania staying neutral, it became difficult to obtain new aircraft from abroad. In September 1940, a Luftwaffe advisory mission arrived to reorganise the air force, (by now called the Fortelor Aerienne Regal de Romana), and on 23 November 1940 Romania signed the Axis Tripartite Pact.
The number of German ‘instructors’ was progressively increased, as was the quantity of German aircraft supplied. When Germany attacked Russia on 22 June 1941, Romanian air elements supported the German attack on the Bessarabian front. By the beginning of 1944, the Romanian squadrons operating in Russia had suffered huge losses, equivalent to almost half of the total front-line strength of the Romanian air force. The severely weakened force was withdrawn to help with countering growing Allied air attacks on the Ploesti oilfields.
The anti-fascist coup of 23 August 1944 took the Germans completely by surprise. Attempts were made to move German troops into Bucharest by air, but as the Romanians held all the serviceable airfields, the operation was cancelled.
Following the Soviet occupation of Romania, a peace treaty was signed in 1947. The air force was renamed the Fortele Aerienne ale Republicii Populare Romana and reorganised along Soviet lines. In 1953 the first MiG-15 jet fighters were supplied. In 1965 the air force was renamed Fortele Aerienne ale Republicii Socialiste Romana.
Following the general uprising of December 1989, the air force assumed it’s present title of Fortele Aerienne Romane. In the rebuilding process following the change of government, the air force has been accorded priority status. Aircraft serviceability levels have risen from their previously very low levels and the ageing MiG-21 fleet is undergoing the Lancer upgrade with help from Elbit Systems.

Key Dates:
1910    Romanian Flying Corps first established by the Army
1918    Romanian Air Division formed
September 1940    German advisors arrive to re-organise the Air Force
22 June 1941    Romania joins the German attack on Russia
23 August 1944    Romania joins the Allies after anti-facist coup
1951    First jet aircraft delivered – Yak-17
1956    Air Force disbanded following Romanian Uprising
1955    First helicopters received – Mi-1

Current Status

To be added

Future Plans

Possible transfer of helicopter units to Army control.
Take delivery of 24 improved IAR-99 Soim to repace L-39ZA.
Convert 24 IAR.330 Pumas to SOCAT standard for anti-tank role.
Replace An-24/An-26 with C-27J medium transport aircraft.
Acquire another 4 used C-130s when funds permit.
Retire Lancers from service by 2008-2010 and replace them with 40-48 new western fighters.
Obtain 12 new transport helicopters.

Markings

National Insignia

National Insignia

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Romanian military serial numbering system consists of a two, three or four figure number taken from part of the aircraft’s individual construction number, e.g. MiG-21PFM 4708.

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

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Bucharest.

Organisational Structure

The air force is organised into a number of Air Base units, comprising between 2 and 4 squadrons.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Bacau, Boboc, Borcea-Fetesti, Brasov-Ghimbav, Campia Turzii and Otopeni-Bucharest.

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 Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Romanian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

Air Forces Monthly February 1999
Scramble No.217 October 1997

Websites

Romanian Air Force Official Website

wikipedia: Romanian Air Force

Scramble: Romanian Air Force

PlanePictures.net

Airliners.net

Air-Britain Photos: Romanian Air Force

Camouflage & Markings: Fighters of the Romanian Air Force

WW2: Romanian Royal Aeronautics

Axis History: Romanian Air Force

Romanian Military History Forum

Target aviation Photography: Romanian Air Force

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

Royal Canadian Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

A short-lived Canadian Air Force was established in November 1918 in Europe, but disbanded in February 1920. Back at home, a new Canadian Air Force was formed in the same month by the Army as an auxiliary reservist force. On 1 April 1924 the Canadian Air Force was granted the title ‘Royal’ and gained a permanent staff. On 19 November 1938 the RCAF became an independent service, separate from the Army. On 1 February 1968 it amalgamated with the Army and Navy into a single service – the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). In 1975, the various CAF aviation units were reorganised into a single Air Command. On 31 July 1997, the previous organisation of Air Transport Group, Fighter Group, Maritime Air Group and 10 Tactical Air Group was replaced by 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region (1 CAD/CANR). The word ‘Armed’ was dropped from the force title around the same time, resulting in the air force being known as the Canadian Forces Air Command. On 16 August 2011, the CAF Air Command was restored to its traditional title of Royal Canadian Air force.

Key Dates

18 February 1920 Canadian Air Force established.
1 April 1924 Royal prefix added – Royal Canadian Air Force.
1939-1945 RCAF units serve in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the Pacific during WW2.
1949 1st Air Division RCAF established in Europe as part of NATO.
1957 NORAD – North American Air Defence Command – established jointly with USA.
1 February 1968 Canadian Armed Forces formed from amalgamation of Air Force, Army and Navy.
1975 CAF aviation units reorganised into a single Air Command
16 August 2011 CAF renamed Royal Canadian Air Force.

Current Status

All RCAF aircraft and helicopters are currently active.

Future Plans

Take delivery of 65 Lockheed Martin F-35s – subject to final order confirmation.
Buy 18 F/A-18E Super Hornets to supplement the ageing CF-118 fleet – CANCELLED.
Obtain an unspecified number of F-18A/B Hornets from Australia to supplement the CF-118 fleet.
Select a new fighter to supplement or substitute for the F-35 – hopefully the Eurofighter Typhoon
Replace the CH-124 Sea King with 28 Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopters.
Replace the CC-115 Buffalo with 16 CASA C-295 SAR aircraft from 2019.


Markings

National Insignia

National Insignia

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft operating with the RCAF carry numerical serial numbers. The numbers have been issued in four different series:

First Series (1922-1928)
RCAF aircraft initially carried civil registrations in the sequence G-CYAA to G-CYZZ, with only the last two letters actually displayed on the aircraft, e.g. Puss Moth UT.
Second Series (1928-1968)
In 1928 the military aircraft registration system was switched to a numerical sequence. This numerical sequence consisted of a three-digit number allocated in blocks by aircraft function: 1-300 for trainers, 301-400 for fighters, 401-600 for General Purpose, 601-700 for Transports, 701-800 for Bombers, 801-1000 for Flying Boats. As example is Douglas Digby 740.
Third Series (1939-1968)
By 1939 the available numbers in some blocks had been used up, and so a new sequence of four-digit serials was adopted. The numbers were allocated in blocks by aircraft type, with spaces left for future procurement, e.g. Cessna Crane 8000. In 1942 the system was extended to five-digit numbers.
Fourth Series (1968-Present)
For the merger of Air Force, Navy and Army into the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the Canadian military serial numbering system was changed to a six digit number. The first three numbers replicate the aircraft designation number and identify the aircraft type. The last three numbers are the individual airframe identity, and count from x00 or x01 for each type. An example is CF-101B Voodoo 101033. Newly procured aircraft adopted the revised system immediately, but existing aircraft were only renumbered in the period 1970 to 1973. This system was retained when the CAF reverted to its traditional title of Royal Canadian Air Force,
RAF Aircraft
Aircraft operated by 400-series Squadrons in Europe, North Africa and the Far East often used RAF-supplied aircraft, which retained their RAF serials.
Instructional Airframes
Unflyable aircraft used for ground training purposes were allocated a number in the range 1-1000 with a letter prefix of A, B or C, e.g. Harvard A175. After unification in 1968 the prefix was generally replaced by a suffix, e.g. Canadair CF-116 906B.

Unit/Base Codes

A Royal Air Force-style unit coding system was used 1939-1945. Details to be added.


Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

Canadian Military Aircraft Designations.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

Aviation Safety Network: RCAF
Aviation Safety Network: Canadian Armed Forces


Organisation

Main Headquarters

National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, ONT.

Organisational Structure

The RCAF is organised into 1 Canadian Air Division with 10 Wings – one wing for each major air base – and 2 Canadian Air Division with one wing and the Air Force Training Centre. Each wing has up to six Squadrons of aircraft.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Units Listing


Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current order of battle.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

Aircraft-Carrying Ships

Since 1975 all aircraft supporting the Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Command (Royal Canadian Navy from 2011) have been operated by Air Command (Royal Canadian Air Force from 2011).
A list of ships hosting CAF/RCAF aircraft will be added.


More Information

Books

Canadian Military Aviation Bibliography

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.1 p.83
World Air Power Journal No.15 p.134
Air Pictorial February 1998

Websites

Official Royal Canadian Air Force webpage

wikipedia: Royal Canadian Air Force

Scramble: Canadian Armed Forces Overview

PlanePictures.net

Airliners.net

Air-Britain Photos: Canadian Armed Forces

Air-Britain Photos: Royal Canadian Air Force

Aircraft of the Canadian Armed Forces

Air Force Association of Canada

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

Royal Thai Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is one of the oldest air forces in Asia, being formed in 1913. Three Thai Army officers, who had been sent to France for pilot training, returned in November 1913 with eight military aircraft. This formed the basis for establishing the Siamese Flying Corps, which operated under Army control until 1937, when it became an independent service called the Royal Siam Air Force. Two years later the service was renamed the Royal Thai Air force.

Key Dates

28 Feb 1912    First Thai Army officers sent to France for pilot training
2 Nov 1913    Siamese Flying Corps first established
1919    Siamese Flying Corps renamed Royal Siamese Aeronautical Service
1937    Royal Siamese Aeronautical Service renamed Royal Siamese Air Force
1939    Royal Siamese Air Force renamed Royal Thai Air Force

Current Status

The Royal Thai Air Force is fully operational.

Future Plans

To be added.

Markings

National Insignia

To be added.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Since 1949, the RTAF has operated a sophisticated serial numbering system that describes the aircraft role, type, individual number and year of purchase. Full details are given on Steve Darke’s Thai-Aviation website – see link below. The number is displayed in Thai script in a relatively small font. In addition, aircraft often retain the serial number assigned by the previous operator, e.g. the US FMS serial.

Unit/Base Codes

Each RTAF aircraft carries an individual squadron code, in addition to the air force serial, which can be reused as aircraft are retired. For front-line aircraft the code is normally a five-digit number, while for second-line aircraft shorter numbers are often used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

The RTAF has its own aircraft designation system which is incorporated into the aircraft serial number, as mentioned above.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

To be added.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Don Muang Air Base, Bangkok.

Organisational Structure

The RTAF is organised into four Air Divisions, each comprising two or three Wings. Each Wing has between one and six Squadrons.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current order of battle.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

World Air Forces Directory 2013/14 by Ian Carroll (Mach III)

Magazines

World Air Power Journal Vo.8 p.145-146

Websites

Official Royal Thai Air Force website

wikipedia: Thai Air Force

Scramble: Thailand

Global Security: Royal Thai Air Force

Thai Aviation

Eritrean Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Eritrean gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. During the independence war, a number of aircraft and helicopters were captured from Ethiopia. In 1994 an Eritrean Air Force was formally established. The first equipment comprised former Ethiopian Air Force aircraft. To enable a full range of operational capabilities, transport aircraft were obtained from China and training aircraft from Finland and Italy. Following the acquisition of Su-27s by Ethiopia in 1998, a batch of MiG-29s was delivered to maintain military parity.

Key Dates

1994    Eritrean Air Force first established

Current Status

The Eritrean Air Force is fully operational.

Future Plans

To be added.

Markings

National Insignia

To be added.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Eritrean Air Force serial numbering system normally consists of a three digit number plus the prefix ‘ERAF-‘ or ‘ER-‘. Trainer aircraft appear to carry no serial prefix. e.g. ER-102 for MiG-21, ERAF-301 for Mi-17 and 404 for MB339.

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

To be added.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Asmara.

Organisational Structure

The ErAF is organised into 8 Squadrons of aircraft.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

1 Squadron
2 Squadron
3 Squadron
4 Squadron
5 Squadron
6 Squadron
7 Squadron
8 Squadron

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current order of battle.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

African Air Forces by Winston Brent (Freeworld Publications)

World Air Forces Directory 2013/14 by Ian Carroll (Mach III)

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Pictures of the Eritrean Air Force

wikipedia: Eritrean Air Force

Scramble: Eritrea

South Sudan Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

South Sudan gained autonomy on 9 July 2005. Legislation to enable the creation of a South Sudan Air Force (SSAF) was approved in June 2008. The first aircraft was received in February 2010, and the first helicopters from an initial order for 10 was received in December 2010. Full independence from Sudan was achieved on 9 July 2011. Initially called the Sudan People’s Liberation Air Force, it appears to have become the Sudan People’s Air Force by 2010, and later assumed it’s present title.

Continued political instability in the country resulted in a civil war breaking out on 15 December 2015. The Air Force has been involved in supporting government forces in retaining control of most of the country.

Key Dates

24 June 2008    South Sudan Air Force formally created
Feb 2010    First fixed-wing aircraft received – Beech 1900
Dec 2010    First helicopters received – Mi-17

Current Status

The South Sudan Air Force is fully operational.

Future Plans

To be added.

Markings

National Insignia

The South Sudan Air Force uses a black-red-green roundel with a blue leading segment containing a yellow star. The national flag is used as a fin flash.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

SSAF helicopters carry serials consisting of a three digit number and the prefix ‘SPAF-‘ e.g. SPAF-106 for a Mil-17V-5. The Beech 1900 carried the last three letters of it’s civil registration.

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

To be added.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Juba Air Base, Juba.

Organisational Structure

The SSAF is organised into a Helicopter Unit and a Fixed Wing Unit.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Helicopter Unit
Fixed Wing Unit

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are based at Juba IAP.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

World Air Forces Directory 2013/14 by Ian Carroll (Mach III)

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Southern Sudan’s new air force

wikipedia: South Sudan Air Force

Scramble: South Sudan

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.

Katanga Air Force

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 was fortunate in having many of the assets of the former colonial policing air arm, the Aviation de la Force Publique du Congo. All AFP aircraft in Katanga were immediately seized and used to form a new air arm, the Katanga Air Force, or Avikat for short. Additional aircraft were later obtained via a variety of legal and illegal means.

The Congo government successfully appealed from help from the United Nations, and a civil war followed, which saw the Katanga Air Force operate extensively in direct support of the rebel ground forces. The United Nations air and ground forces eventually proved decisive, with the Katangan capital Elisabethville being captured on 30 December 1962 and the remnants of the Katangan forces being rounded up soon after. On 21 January 1963, the last stronghold of Kolwezi surrended, formally ending the war.

Key Dates

11 July 1960    Katanga Air Force created
6 Jan 1963    Avikat disbanded

Current Status

The Katanga Air Force was disbanded in January 1963.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

The Katanga Air Force used a red-green-white roundel.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Katanga Air Force aircraft carried numerical serial prefixed by the letters KAT or KA, e.g. Piper PA-22 KAT-72.

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

To be added.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

See individual aircraft histories.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Luano Airfield, Elisabethville.

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Order of Battle for 1960
Order of Battle for 1961
Order of Battle for late 1962

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

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.

To be added.

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

wikipedia: Katangese Air Force

Katangan Air Force