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.
|11 July 1960||Katanga Government Aviation Unit created|
|21 Jan 1963||Katanga surrenders|
The Katanga Government Aviation Unit was disbanded in January 1963.
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.
Coding system not used.
None – Manufacturers designations used.
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
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.
Luano Airfield, Elisabethville.
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
Historical Orders of Battle
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
The main air base was Luano, but Kolwezi, Jadotville, Kisenge, Dilolo and Kipushi were also used.
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)
To be added.
To be added.