Air Force of Zimbabwe Aircraft Types Not Used
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Aircraft Types NOT Used

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

Aeritalia AM.3C
There are reports of 43 aircraft being used between 1971 and 1984. The Aeritalia AM.3C was not operated by the Rhodesian Air Force. Possible confusion with Aermacchi AL.60.

Aerospatiale SA.330 Puma
Two Pumas are reported to have been in RhAF service 1972/79. On 4 September 1979 a Puma was shot down by an RPG-7 over Mozambique, killing 12 on board. Presumably this was an SAAF example on loan to the RhAF.

Aerospatiale SA332 Super Puma
The AFZ would like to have brought some Super Pumas, but none were acquired due to budget limitations. Two AS.532 Cougars were obtained subsequently.

Airspeed Oxford
A quantity of 87 aircraft in service 1945-58 has been quoted. These may have been RATG aircraft, rather than with the SRAF.

Atlas Kudu
7 aircraft reported in use in 1981. Possible confusion with Aermacchi AL.60 Trojan.

Atlas Impala
Licence-built version of the MB.326 used by the SAAF. Reported in RhAF service in 1981, but not used. RhAF pilots were sent to South Africa for advanced pilot training on SAAF Impalas, but these aircraft stayed with the SAAF.

Auster AOP.6 & AOP.7
These military versions of the Auster were reported use in 1961. Probable confusion with the J/1 and J/5 civil versions actually used, but these two types had retired 5 years previously!

Avro Anson T.20
Used by the RATG during the late 1940s for navigator training, but not by the SRAF. Possible confusion with the Anson C.19 transports actually operated by the SRAF.

BAC Jet Provost T.52
There are reports of 13 Jet Provost T.52 being used 1973-1980. This type was not used. Probable confusion with piston-engined Provost actually used.

BAe Harrier GR.3/T.4
During 1989 the AFZ expressed an interest in acquiring the type. None were delivered.

BAe 146
One BAe 146-200 was ordered in 1987 for Government VIP transport use. It was actually operated in Air Zimababwe colours and registered Z-WPD (c/n E2065).

Boeing 720-025
One aircraft for Government VIP transport use. Not operated by the Air Force.

Cessna 182 Skywagon
As many as 17 examples reported in service 1969-84. Probable confusion with Cessna 185 actually used.

Cessna 206 Super Skywagon/Super Skylane
One example operated, reportedly for Government use. There is no evidence of Air Force use of this type.

Cessna 310
There are various reports of between 3 and 10 examples operated 1970s/80. Not operated by the Air Force.

Cessna 320C
One example operated, reportedly for Government use. There is no evidence of Air Force use of this type.

Cessna 402 Utililiner
One example reportedly operated 1981/82. Not operated by the Air Force.

Dassault Mirage III
In 1977 there were reports of 6 Mirage IIIBZ aircraft being loaned by SAAF. In 1980 there were reports 6 Mirage IIIE and 16 Mirage IIIR-2Z in Air Force service. Rhodesian pilots are known to have undergone training in South Africa on SAAF Mirages, but none were loaned to the RhAF. In any case, the SAAF only received 8 IIIRs of all versions.

De Havilland D.H.60G Moth Major
Two examples possibly impressed into RATG use 1939+. Not operated by the SRAF.

De Havilland D.H.84 Dragon
One example impressed from civil airline RANA, and operated by the SR government 1939/44.

De Havilland D.H.87 Hornet Moth
Three examples impressed from civil ownership and operated by the SR government 1939/44.

Douglas C-117A
One C-117A reported in service 1980/81. Probable confusion with the DC-7F actually used.

Gloster Gauntlet II
Three Gauntlets are reported to have been used by No.237 Squadron 1939/41. They were not operated while the unit was No.1 Sqn SRAF.

Harbin Y-12
There are reports of this Chinese STOL light transport being used by the Government. Not operated by the Air Force.

Hawker Hunter Mark?
The proposed sale of 31 Jordanian Hunters, plus 16 spare engines and ammunition, was prevented in the early 1970s.

Lockheed C-130B Hercules
Two ex-USAF C-130 aircraft were offered to Zimbabwe during 1996, but the offer was not taken up.

North American F-86K Sabre
The planned purchase of 28 ex-Luftwaffe F-86K all-weather interceptors from Venezuela was blocked.

North American OV-10F Bronco
Late in 1978, Indonesia was claimed to have supplied Rhodesia with 4 of its 16 OV-10 Broncos for COIN operations. Possible confusion with the twin tail-boom FTB.337 Lynx which was already in service.

North American T-28 Trojan
Five T-28 Trojans or Fennecs were reported in RhAF service. Possible confusion over the use of the 'Trojan' name for the Aermacchi AL.60.

The sale of 14 CT-4 basic trainers to the RhAF was vetoed by the New Zealand government.

Percival Vega Gull
One example reportedly used between 1939 and 1944. Possible confusion with RATG operation of RAF aircraft.

Piaggio P.166
Some 6-7 P.166s were reported in use 1967+. The SAAF operated the P.166, but none were trasnferred or loaned to Rhodesia.

Shenyang J-6
Two examples of the Chinese-built copy of the MiG-19 were reportedly delivered before August 1986, but none have ever been noted in use. Possible confusion with the two FT-5s delivered.

Yakovlev Yak-40, Codling
Three are reported to have been operated circa 1996/97. This report was false.

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First Created: 17 January 2003 - Last Revised: 3 March 2003
Copyright 2003 John Hayles.     e-mail: