Portuguese Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Air Force History

Key Dates

Air Force Timeline

Current Status

The aircraft of the FAP are fully operational.

Future Plans

None known.


Markings

National Insignia

National Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

From 1952 FAP serial numbers comprised a four digit number, the first number indicating the aircraft class, the second the aircraft type and the last two the individual identity – Republic F-84G 5121 being the 21st example of class 5 (fighters) type 1.

In 1993 a revision to the numbering system meant that the prefix ‘1’ was placed in front of the old serial of existing aircraft as each airframe came up for in-depth maintenance.

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

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Avenida Leite Vasconcelos, 27 Alfragide, 2700 Amadora.

Organisational Structure

FAP is divided into three commands:-
COFA – Comando Operacional da Força Aérea (Air Force Operational Command)
CLAFA – Comando Logístico-Administrativo da Força Aérea (Air Force Logistics and Administration Command)
CPESFA – Comando de Pessoal da Força Aérea (Air Force Personnel Command)


COFA is distributed geographically to Base Aéreas (BA, air bases), each of which comprises three Grupos (Groups):-
Operacional (Operational) – flying units & airfield services
Material (Material) – maintenance & supply
Sustentação (Support) – base infrastructure


The basic flying unit is the Esquadra (Squadron).

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 List

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Sintra, Lajes, Monte Real, Montijo, Beja and Ovar. In addition, aircraft are detached from the parent units to another one or two air bases.

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

Portguese Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.1 p.146
World Air Power Journal No.24 p.148-157
Air Forces Research Nos.11
Air International April 1996
Air Enthusiast No.73 Jan-Feb 1998
Air Enthusiast No.75 May-Jun 1998

Websites

Aeroflight Pictorial – Portuguese Air Force

Portuguese Air Force Homepage

wikipedia: Portuguese Air Force

Scramble: Portuguese Air Force

PlanePictures.net

Airliners.net

Photos of Portugal Air Force and Navy aircrafts

Air-Britain Photos: Portugal Air Force

Voaportugal.org

Current Order of Battle
Portuguese Air Force

Squadron Type Base
Academia de Forca Aerea
Esquadra de Motorplanadores 802 Chipmunk, Let L-23 Super Blanik, ASK-21 BA1 Sintra
Esquadra de Instrucao Elementar de Pilotagen 101 TB-30 Epsilon BA1 Sintra
CFMTFA
  various Ota
Grupo Operacional 41
Esquadra 502 (det.) Casa C-295M BA4 Lajes
Esquadra 751 (det.) AW101 BA4 Lajes
Grupo Operacional 51
Esquadra de Caca 201 F-16AM/BM BA5 Monte Real
Esquadra de Ataque 301 F-16AM/BM BA5 Monte Real
Grupo Operacional 61
Esquadra de Transporte 501 C-130H/H-30 BA6 Montijo
Esquadra de Transporte 502 C-295M/MPA BA6 Montijo
Esquadra de Transporte 504 Falcon 20C/50 BA6 Montijo/Lisbon IAP
Esquadra de Busca y Salvamento 751 AW101 BA6 Montijo
Grupo Operacional 111
Esquadra de Instrucao Complementar de Pilotagen de Avioes de Caca 103 Alpha Jet A BA11 Beja
Esquadra de Transporte 552 SA 316 Alouette III BA11 Beja
Esquadra de Reconhecimento Maritimo 601 P-3P Orion BA11 Beja
Grupo Operacional 113
Esquadra de Transporte 552 (det.) SA 316 Alouette III BA13 Ovar

CFMTFA = Centro de Formacao Militar e Tecnica da Forca Aerea (Air Force Technical School)
.

 

Aircraft Not Used
Portuguese Air Force

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

Saro Skeeter
In July 1961, West Germany sold 10 non-airworthy Skeeters to the Portuguese Air Force but Westland subsequently abandoned a project to restore them to flying condition.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Portuguese Air Force

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale TB-30 Epsilon 18 1989 current Portugal
Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma 13 1969 2006 France
AgustaWestland AW101 12 2004 current Italy
Airspeed Oxford II 22 1952 1969 Army/Navy
Auster D.4/108 15 1961 1976 UK
Auster D.5/160 Husky 84 1962 1976 Portugal
Avro Anson I 10 1952 1956 UK
BAC Jet Provost T.2B 1 1959 1959 UK
Beech C-45/AT-11 25 1952 1976 Army/Navy
Beech A35 Bonanza 1 1952 1955 Army
Boeing 707 2 1971 1976 USA
Boeing SB-17G Flying Fortress 5 1952 1960 Army
Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 50 1970 1980 Canada
CASA 212 Aviocar 26 1974 20?? Spain
CASA C-295 7 2008 current Spain
CASA C-295MPA 5 2008 current Spain
Cessna 185A Skywagon 5 1968 1974 USA
Cessna U206 Stationair 6 1 1968 1974 USA
Cessna 310B 1 1969 19?? USA
Cessna T-37C 30 1963 1992 USA
Cessna F.337G Super Skymaster 16 1975 1998 France
Cessna FTB.337G Milirole 16 1974 1998 France
Cessna 401B 1 1968 1974 local civil
Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver 24 1952 1956 Navy
Dassault Falcon 20DC 3 1984 2005 France
Dassault Falcon 50 3 1990 20?? France
Dassault/Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet A 50 1993 current Germany
de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth 111 1952 1952 Army/Navy
de Havilland DH.84 Dragon 3 1952 1952 Army
de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide 1 1952 1968 Army
de Havilland Vampire T.55 2 1952 1961 UK
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 76 1952 current Army/Portugual
Dornier Do 27A 149 1961 1996 Germany
Douglas B-26B Invader 7 1965 1975 USA
Douglas C-47 Dakota 29 1952 1976 Army
Douglas C-54 Skymaster 19 1952 1976 Army
Douglas DC-6A 10 1961 1978 USA
Embraer KC-390 6 Brazil
Fiat G.91R-3 65 1976 1993 Italy/Germany
Fiat G.91R-4 40 1965 1992 Germany
Fiat G.91T-1 30 1976 1988 Italy/Germany
Fiat G.91T-3 12 1976 1995 Italy
Fournier RF-10 4 1984 1998 France
Grumman HU-16A Albatross 3 1954 1962 USA
Junkers Ju 52/3m 26 1952 1970 Army/France
Let L-23 Super Blanik 3 1996 current Czechoslovakia
Lockheed C-130H Hercules 6 1977 current USA
Lockheed SP-2E Neptune 12 1960 1978 USA
Lockheed P-3C Orion 5 19?? current Netherlands
Lockheed P-3P Orion 6 1985 20?? USA
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon 42 1954 1974 USA
Lockheed T-33A/RT-33A 35 1953 1991 USA
Lockheed Martin F-16A Block 15 17 1994 current USA
Lockheed Martin F-16AM 21 2005 current USAF
Lockheed Martin F-16B Block 15 3 1994 current USA
Lockheed Martin F-16BM 4 2005 current USAF
Max Holste MH.1521M Broussard 5 1961 1975 France
Miles Magister 16 1952 1952 Army
Miles Master II/III 12 1952 1952 Army
NHI NH90 10 Italy?
Nord Noratlas 36 1960 1978 France/Germany
North American T-6 Texan/Harvard 267 1952 1979 Army/Navy
North American F-86F Sabre 65 1958 1980 USA
Northrop T-38A Talon 12 1977 1993 USA
Piper L-18 Super Cub 8 1954 1976 USA
Piper L-21 Super Cub 19 1954 1976 USA
Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six 4 1968 1975 USA
Republic F-84G Thunderjet 125 1953 1974 USA
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 50 1952 1956 Army
Schleicher ASK-21 4 1989 1996 Germany
Sikorsky UH-19A 3 1954 1962 USA
Sud Aviation SE3130 Alouette II 18 1958 1976 France
Sud Aviation SA 316 Alouette III 149 1963 current France
Supermarine Spitfire V 50 1952 1954 Army
Vought A-7P Corsair II 44 1981 1999 US Navy
Vought TA-7C Corsair II 1 1982 1985 US Navy
Vought TA-7P Corsair II 6 1986 1999 US Navy

Additional information is welcome

Current Aircraft Inventory
Portuguese Air Force

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale TB-30 Epsilon 18 16 0 Trainer
AgustaWestland AW101 12 12 0 SAR/Transport
CASA C295 7 7 0 Transport
CASA C295 MPA 5 5 0 Maritime Patrol
D.H.C. Chipmunk 76 6 0 Glider Tug
Dassault-Breguet Alpha Jet A 50$ 8 0 Attack/Trainer
Embraer KC-390 0 0 6 Transport
LET L-23 Super Blanik 3 3 0 Glider Training
Lockheed P-3C Orion 5 5 0 Maritime Patrol
Lockheed C-130H/H-30 6 6 0 Transport
Lockheed Martin F-16A Block 15 17 16 0 Int./Attack
Lockheed Martin F-16AM 21 17 0 Int./Attack
Lockheed Martin F-16B Block 15 3 2 0 Trainer
Lockheed Martin F-16BM 4 3 0 Trainer
NHI NH90 0 0 10 Utility
Schleicher ASK-21 4 3 0 Glider Trainer
Sud Aviation SA 316 Alouette III 156 7 0 SAR/Comms/Liaison/Utility

 

National Markings
Portuguese Air Force

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



  
Main MarkingFin Flash

1945-present
The main marking is displayed in 6 positions (ie above and below each wing, and on each side of the fuselage) on aircraft – but on fuselage sides only on helicopters. The fin flash is displayed on the tailfin. Aircraft do not carry service titles.

Narrative History
Portuguese Air Force

1912 Institute of Portuguese Military Aviation founded with aircraft brought by public subscription. 1914-1915 Army officers flying training with France, Britain and USA. 1917 Arma da Aeronautica formed as separate branch of the Army. 1927 Army aviation considerably expanded and reorganised – now operates practically autonomously under Ministry of War. Late 1937 reorganised and expanded again. 1 July 1952 Army and Navy air arms amalgamated into independent Portuguese Air Force.