|Honduras Air Force|
|Comandante General||General de Brigada Miguel Palacios Romero|
History[edit | edit source]
The first Honduras military flying took place on 18 April 1921 in a Bristol F.2b Fighter biplane flown by an American contracted pilot, while in 1923 the first government flying school was founded with the assistance of Italian investors. The forerunner of the modern air force, the Escuela Nacional de Aviación, or National Aviation School, came into being on 14 April 1931; and in 1938, it was renamed the Escuela Militar de Aviación y Fuerza Aérea Hondureña or Military Aviation School and Honduras Air Force when its first combat aircraft were acquired. During World War II it fought against the Axis powers, between 1942 and 1944 performing anti-submarine patrols along its Caribbean coastline.
After the war the HAF re-equipped with aircraft from United States Army Air Forces and Royal Canadian Air Force stocks including five Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and five Bell Bell P-63 Kingcobras which were its first high performance fighters. Honduras ratified the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance in 1947, and within the next 10 years the United States supplied new aircraft including 19 Vought F4U Corsair fighter bombers; several Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports; and six North American AT-6C armed- and six T-6G advanced trainers.
In 1969 Honduras fought the so-called Football War with El Salvador. The HAF managed to successfully bomb the Salvadorean fuel supplies at Acajutla and Cutuco and fight the enemy's air force out of the sky. Later, it provided close air support to the Honduras Army. After the cease fire, both countries tried unsuccessfully to acquire their first jets to replace their old propeller-driven aircraft. However, the political climate eventually changed and by the mid-1970s the HAF re-equipped with 10 old ex-Yugoslav Canadair CL-13 Mk.4 Sabre, 16 ex-Israeli Dassault Super Mystère B2 and six new Cessna A-37B Dragonfly Counter-insurgency jets; plus several Bell UH-1B Iroquois assault helicopters. The HAF was also reorganized, several new air bases were created and its name changed to Fuerza Aérea Hondureña only. These airplanes were used during the 1980s confrontation with the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
Later that decade, these were augmented or replaced with 11 ex-USAF OA/A-37B Dragonflies, 12 ex-USAF Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II interceptors, 12 new Embraer T-27 Tucano armed trainers and four new CASA 101BB-02 attack airplanes; and supported with five ex-USAF Lockheed C-130A Hercules transports; and five armed MD500D and 10 new Bell 412SP utility helicopters; which are all in use to this day.
Bases[edit | edit source]
The FAH operates from 4 air bases at Tegucigalpa, Comayagua, San Pedro Sula, and La Ceiba. Additionally, 3 air stations located at Catacamas, Alto Aguán (bomb range) and Puerto Lempira airstrips serve as forward operations locations-FOL. Also a radar station operates at La Mole peak. With the exception of Soto Cano Air Base, all other bases operates as dual civil and military aviation facilities.
Aircraft inventory[edit | edit source]
|Aero Commander 690||United States||utility transport||2||FAH 016, FAH 030|
|Beechcraft Super King Air 200||United States||utility transport||1||FAH 015, equipped for long range surveillance and motion detection|
|UH-1H Iroquois||United States||utility helicopter||2||2||26(16x UH-1B+10 UH-1H) FAH-947 and FAH-948 in Active Service|
|Bell 412||United States||transport helicopter||412SP||5||3||10 Bell-412SP Received|
|Cessna T-41 Mescalero||United States||trainer||T-41B/D Mescalero||1||1||9 (3xT-41B+6xT-41D)|
|Maule MXT-7-180||United States||trainer||7||1||8 (FAH 271 Crash Nov 2009 in La Lima, Cortes)|
|Cessna 180 Skywagon||United States||utility||1||1|
|Cessna 182||United States||utility||2||FAH 239 and 240|
|Cessna 210||United States||utility||3||5 Received, FAH 243 Lost in Crash in La Ceiba, Atlantida 06/07/2012, FAH 280 crash in La Ceiba, Atlántida 08/27/2013 (FAH-241,242,244 in Service)|
|Cessna 185 Skywagon||United States||utility||1||3||7|
|Eurocopter AS-350||utility Helicopter||1|
|Cessna A-37 Dragonfly||United States||attack
|6||17 A/OA-37B Delivered|
|Douglas C-47 Skytrain||United States||tactical transport||C-47||7||16|
|Embraer EMB 312 Tucano||Brazil||trainer||9||12 Received (3 Lost in Crashes )|
|CASA C-101||Spain||trainer||C-101 Aviojet||4||4|
|IAI Arava||Israel||tactical transport||IAI201||1||2 Received 1 Lost in Crash FAH 316|
|IAI Westwind||Israel||VIP transport/Executive||1||2|
|Lockheed C-130A Hercules||United States||tactical transport||C-130A||1||3||5 Received 1 Lost in Crash near Wampusirpi F.A.H. 556|
|MD 500D Defender||United States||utility helicopter||MD 500D||2||1||5 Received 1 Lost in Crash Tegucigalpa 1998|
|Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II||United States||fighter
|F-5E Tiger II
F-5F Tiger II
|10xF-5E and 2xF-5F, 1 F5-E Lost in Crash in 1999 FAH 4004 and 3 Status Unknown FAH 4003, 4010, 4012|
|Piper PA-28 Arrow||United States||utility transport||1||FAH 124|
|Piper PA-31 Navajo||United States||utility transport||2||1||3 (FAH 011 Stored, FAH 014, FAH 018)|
|Piper PA-34 Seneca||United States||utility transport||1||FAH 017|
|Piper PA-42 Cheyenne||United States||utility transport||1||FAH 012|
|IAI\Dassault Super-Mystere B.2\J-52 S'aar||France Israel||FGA||6||6||16 Delivered some lost in crashes|
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force of Honduras.|
- Hagedorn, Daniel P. "From Caudillos to COIN". Air Enthusiast, Thirty-one, July–November 1986. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. ISSN 0143-5450. pp. 55–70.
[edit | edit source]
- Official Honduras Air Force pages (Spanish)
- Official Honduras Air Force Academy page (Spanish)
- Honduras Air Arms - Scramble.nl
- Aeroflight - Honduran Air Force
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