Royal Thai Air Force

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In February 1911 the Belgian pilot Charles Van Den Born displayed the first aircraft in Thailand at the Sa Pathum Horse Racing Course. The Thai authorities were impressed enough by the display that on 28 February 1912 they dispatched three officers to learn to fly in France, a leading aviation country. The three officers (Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut (Sunee Suwanprateep), Captain Luang Arwut Sikikorn (Long Sinsuk) and First Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat) learned to fly and on 2 November 1913 returned to Thailand with eight aircraft (four Breguets and four Nieuports). They are today regarded as the forefathers of the Royal Thai Air Force. In March of the next year they moved from Sa Pathum airfield to Don Muang. The Ministry of Defence put the early air force under the control of the Army Engineer Inspector General Department. Prince Purachatra, Commander of the Army Engineers, and his brother Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath were instrumental in the development of the army's Royal Aeronautical Service, a forerunner to the Air Force.

    During the French-Thai War, the Thai Air Force scored several air-to-air-victories against the Vichy France Armée de l'Air. During World War II the Thai Air Force supported the Royal Thai Army in its occupation of the Burmese Shan States as allies of the Japanese in 1942 and defended Bangkok from allied air raids during the latter part of the war. Some RTAF personnels also assisted the anti-Japanese resistance. After World War II, the Thai Air Force sent three C-47s to support the United Nations in Korean War. The victorious Wings Unit, operating C-47, also joined the US Force in Vietnam War. Along the border, Thai Air Force launched many campaign against the communists, such as Ban Nam Ta Airfield Raid in Laos, and clashes between Thai and Vietnamese troops along the Thai-Cambodian border. When the cold war ended, the Thai Air Force participated in Operation Border Post 9631 along the Thai-Burmese border in 1999, and launched the evacuation of Thais and foreigners during the 2003 Phnom Penh riots in Cambodia.

    I must confess I am a little bit dissapointed about this thread; I have been looking for pictures and information for long time, with a very poor results. However I have been able to find some pictures very interesting that deserve to be showed in their own thread. I promise I will try to provide you with more and better pictures, but by the moment this is all I have.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #2 gekho, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
    The Breguet 14 was a French biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was built in very large numbers and production continued for many years after the end of the war. Apart from its widespread usage, it was noteworthy for becoming the first aircraft in mass production to use large amounts of metal rather than wood in its structure. This allowed the airframe to be lighter than a wooden airframe of the same strength, in turn making the aircraft very fast and agile for its size, able to outrun many of the fighters of the day. Its strong construction was able to sustain much damage, it was easy to handle and had good performance. The Breguet 14 is often considered one of the best aircraft of the war.

    The Breguet 14 showed at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum is a replica built 1980-1981 by Roland Payen for Salis Aviation as F-AZBH, and appears in some French TV series. Under the wings you can see the two containers for postal use, but for this replica they are additional fuel tanks. Visible on the engine cowling you can see a row of exhausts, the replica flew with an Hispano 12 X, instead of the unobtainable Renault. Also visible is a tail wheel , which does not appear on original versions. In France there is still another replica of the same batch which flies regularly airshows, as does another, more precise, with good wings profile. There is also an original model in the Le Bourget museum.This aircraft displays the Thai symbol for the numeral '1' on the fin and along the side of the rear fuselage. Some sources say that this represents the first aircraft in Thai military service, but given that the Bre.14 was a 1916 design and the first Thai military aircraft were imported from France in 1913, this does not seem feasible. There are claims that this honour belongs to a Nieuport monoplane.
     

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  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    This one I am going to enjoy....any chance of Obs at critical moments for the thai AF, like at points in WWII.

    Some sources in the past have claimed Zeroes given to the Thais during the war. Thats a furphy however. Anyway, looking forward to this one Gekho
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice stuff!
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #5 vikingBerserker, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
    I've always had an interest in this topic as well, really looking forward to this one!

    A good source I had came across was this one Royal Thai Air Force Museum
     
  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Thanks for the site; I already knew it and indeed is one of my main sources, but anyway your help is always welcome. In any case I am afraid that you all have deposit many hopes in this thread.
     
  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Douglas DC-3 was born of the intense competition for modern commercial aircraft that characterized the post-World War I era. It was the direct descendant of the DC-1, which first flew in 1933 as Douglas' initial response to a short supply of competitor, Boeing Aircraft's, landmark 10-passenger 247, the first, low-wing, all-metal airliner. With only one 12-passenger sample flying, and already a record-breaking success, the DC-1 was quickly made obsolete, replaced by an a more powerful version with greater seating capacity, the 14-passenger DC-2, of which 193 were built. When, in 1934, American Airlines asked Douglas for a larger version of the DC-2 that would permit sleeping accommodations for transcontinental flights, Douglas responded with the 24 passenger (16 as a "sleeper" craft) DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport), the 24-passenger version of which was designated DC-3. The DC-3 is given most of the credit for an almost 600% increase in airline passenger traffic between 1936 and 1941. Recognizing its great potential as a military transport, the United States Army specified a number of changes needed to make the aircraft acceptable for military use, including more powerful engines, the removal of airline seating in favor of utility seats along the walls, a stronger rear fuselage and floor, and the addition of large loading doors. A large order was placed in 1940 for the military DC-3, which was designated C-47 and became known as "Skytrain," a name it would soon be asked to live up to.

    Used as a cargo transport to fly the notorious "Hump" over the Himalayas after the Japanese closed the Burma Road, and as a paratroop carrier in various campaigns from Normandy to New Guinea, the Douglas C-47 was one of the prime people movers of WWII where, in one form or another, it was manufactured by belligerents on both sides, after first having been licensed to Mitsui before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and to the Russians, who manufactured it under license as the Lisunov Li-2. During the war, Mitsui built their own version, via contract with the Showa and Nakajima companies, which built about 485 "Tabbys" (the code name given to the aircraft by the Allies) as the Showa L2D.

    Known also as "Dakota" (British designation), R4D (U.S. Navy), "Skytrooper" and "Gooney Bird," the Douglas C-47 (USAAF) went through many modifications during its long service life, largely with respect to engine power ratings, but also with structural modifications for specific tasks like reconnaissance and navigation training. It was even tested as a floatplane, and as an engineless glider, a task it performed well, but too late in the war to matter. It was also used as a fighting machine as the AC-47D gunship ("Puff, the Magic Dragon") of the Vietnam war, where the plane was equipped with three modernized Gattling guns (General Electric 7.62mm "Miniguns," each mounted and firing from the port side) for use as a "target suppressor," circling a target and laying down massive fire to eliminate or at least subdue the enemy position. By war's end, 10,692 of the DC-3/C-47 aircraft had been built, with 2,000 Li-2s by the Soviets, and 485 Showa L2Ds by the Japanese, for a total of about 13,177. Between its first flight on December 17, 1935, and this writing, the DC-3 will have had over 70 years of continuous service. From its pioneering of military airlifts over the hump, to its perfecting of the technique during the Berlin Airlift, the C-47 has been prized for its versatility and dependability, factors that explain its remarkable longevity as an active carrier worldwide.

    The US military transported by the mid 70's tons of war materials from Vietnam to Thailand, as this conflict came to an end in 1975. Helicopters, Half Tracks, Jeeps, Trucks and Aircraft came by the masses and were handed over to the Royal Thai Army, Navy and Air Force. In this transfer, there were also dozens of Douglas C-47's / Dakota's involved, right away from the Vietnam frontline into the more peaceful Thai Kingdom. In total 55 C-47's flew with another 15-20 years of service in the Thai Forces following. The Dakota's were finally phased out from operational life in the early /mid 90's, and ever since stored outdoor on Lopbhuri Air Force Base and U Tapao Navy base. Their role seemed at its end, but after 50 years of active flying and some 15 years of silent retirement, there was an unexpected grandfinale to come for the war weary planes.


    Source: Warbird Alley: Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
    Avion Art newsletter Thailand - Dakota Hunter
     

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  8. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In ordinary service, the Martin B-10 classic airplane was used to develop the tactics and the leaders that would bear the brunt of the U.S. air effort during World War II. Its most important task, perhaps, was to prepare the way for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which would have the development potential to fight the air war over Europe. Martin was spurred on by its success with the Martin B-10 to develop the later Maryland, Baltimore, and Marauder bombers. Martin sold 154 of the B-10 and the basically similar B-12 and B-14s to the Air Corps, which, somewhat remarkably, allowed Martin to sell the basic design to overseas customers. As a result, Martin sold 189 export models to Argentina, China, Holland, Siam (present-day Thailand), Turkey, and the USSR. The Royal Thai Air Force received six Model 139W aircraft in April 1937 and used them during the French-Thai War of 1940-41 and during the 1942 invasion of Burma. It was given a further nine ex-Dutch aircraft by the Japanese in 1942. They remained in service until 1949.

    Source;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_B-10
     

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  9. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking forward to this one, too.

    FYI the Thai did receive Ki-43s and other types from Japan during the war (and many books refer to any Japanese fighter as a Zero)!
     
  10. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    The 4th and 6th pics of the Martin bombers look more like the WH-3 variants that were supplied pre-war to the Dutch East Indies. I wonder if the Japanese gave an ex-Dutch airframe (or airframes) to the Thai?
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #11 parsifal, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011

    Short answer is yes. Thais purchased 6 from the Us prewar, and then acquired a further 9 intact in 1942 given to them by the japanese. Ive also read the Japanese provided spares taken from grounded and wrecked B-10s in both the Indies and the PI.


    Thanks for the information on the Ki-43s. I did already know that. They received most of their Oscars in '43 (I think). They also received quite a number of Nates. Later in the war there were several incidents with US Liberators and Nates ....the Nates apparently did rather well, which if true is amazing.

    A bit of trivia....Phibul, the thai leader is the only active axis leader to get re-elected post war
     
  12. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    They get to fly Bearcats .... :)

    MM
     
  13. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting thread. I'm looking forward to any info or pictures you have in the Hawk 75 in Thai service. I intend to build one for the upcoming Group Build.
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    When I was station at Nakhon Phanom , Thailand in 67 there was a RTAF Bearcat that was the Thai base commander's personal aircraft. I never did see it fly, but it did get flown.
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I'd heard about the B-10's but never have seen a picture of one, Outstanding!!
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    They are unusual because they were the fixed undercarriage type, similar to those that were sold to the Argentines I believe.

    By all accounts the Thais like their fixed undercarriage H-75s.

    Ive got some colouration profiles, but no actual photos
     
  17. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    There's one in the RTAF museum:

    hawk75.jpg
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again BF.....what is the gun fitted to the wing????/ was that how they were delivered or was that armmaent fitted after delivery???
     
  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #19 gekho, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
    The North American T-6 Texan was known as "the pilot maker" because of its important role in preparing pilots for combat. Derived from the 1935 North American NA-16 prototype, a cantilever low-wing monoplane, the Texan filled the need for a basic combat trainer during WW II and beyond. The original order of 94 AT-6 Texans differed little from subsequent versions such as the AT-6A (1,847) which revised the fuel tanks or the AT-6D (4,388) and AT-6F (956) that strengthened as well as lightened the frame with the use of light alloys. In all, more than 17,000 airframes were designed to the Texan standards.

    During 1948, the Royal Thai Air Force purchased thirty North American T-6 Texan trainer from the United States, costing $ US 19,935 each and named Trainer Type 8, more aircraft were received later; 138 of these aircraft were delivered to Thailand, where they were active from 1948 to 1981.
     

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  20. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In May 1936 the Imperial Japanese Army issued its specification for a light bomber required to supersede the Mitsubishi Ki-2 and Kawasaki Ki-3 then in service. The Mitsubishi Ki-30 prototype that resulted was of cantilever mid-wing monoplane configuration with fixed tailwheel landing gear, the mam units faired and spatted, and powered by a 615kW Mitsubishi Ha-6 radial engine. Flown for the first time on 28 February 1937 this aircraft performed well, but it was decided to fly a second prototype with the more powerful Nakajima Ha-5 KAI radial engine. This aircraft showed some slight improvement in performance but, in any case, exceeded the army's original specification, so there was no hesitation in ordering 16 service trials aircraft. These were delivered in January 1938 and, two months later, the Ki-39 was ordered into production.

    First used operationally in China during 1938, the Ki-30s proved to be most effective, for in that theatre they had the benefit of fighter escort. The situation was very much the same at the beginning of the Pacific war, but as soon as the Allies were in a position to confront unescorted Ki-30s with fighter aircraft they immediately began to suffer heavy losses and were soon relegated to second-line use. The Allied codename 'Ann' was allocated to the Ki-30, but few were seen operationally after the opening phases of the war. A total of 704 had been built when production ended in 1941, 68 manufactured by the First Army Air Arsenal at Tachikawa, and many of these ended their days in a kamikaze role during the closing stages of the war.

    From late 1940, the Ki-30 was in service with the Royal Thai Air Force, and saw combat in January 1941 against the French in French Indochina in the French-Thai War. Additional Ki-30s were transferred from Japan in 1942.

    Source: Mitsubishi Ki-30 ANN - light bomber
     

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