Royal Thai Air Force

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Royal Thai Air Force
English Title:
Royal Thai Air Force
First Established:
ICAO Code:


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.


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 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.


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


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


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


Official Royal Thai Air Force website

wikipedia: Thai Air Force

Scramble: Thailand

Global Security: Royal Thai Air Force

Thai Aviation

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