Honduran Air Force

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Honduras Air Force
Logo Fuerza Aérea Hondureña.jpg
Logo
Active 1931–present
Country Honduras
Commanders
Comandante General General de Brigada Miguel Palacios Romero
Insignia
Roundel Roundel of Honduras.svg

The Honduras Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea Hondureña, sometimes abbreviated to FAH in English) is the air force of Honduras. As such it is the air power arm of the Honduras Armed Forces.

History[edit]

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.[1] 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.

Chance Vought F4U Corsair sold to Honduras (s/n FAH-609) in 1956.

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 and UH-1H Huey 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.[2]

Bases[edit]

The FAH operates from 4 air bases at Tegucigalpa, Comayagua,[3] 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]

As of August, 2014:[4][5]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Stored Delivered
Aero Commander 690  United States utility transport 1 1 FAH 016 in reserve, FAH 030 in active service
Beechcraft Super King Air 200  United States utility transport 1 FAH 015
UH-1H Iroquois  United States utility helicopter 2 2 26(16x UH-1B+10 UH-1H) FAH-947 and FAH-948 in Active Service, 4 more will be delivered to FAH in 2014 from Taiwan
Bell 412  United States transport helicopter 412SP 5 3 10 Bell-412SP Received
Bell 429  United States VIP transport/Executive 429 1 1 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 5 8 Received,(Serials: FAH(241,242,243,244,245,280,281,282) FAH 243 Lost in Crash in La Ceiba, Atlantida 06/07/2012, FAH 280 crash in La Ceiba , Atlántida 08/27/2013 this aircraft was fixed and is back in service, 245 crash in Gracias, Lempira 08/16/2014 , FAH 280 crash 08/29/2014
Cessna 185 Skywagon  United States utility 1 3 7
Eurocopter AS-350  France utility Helicopter 1
Cessna A-37 Dragonfly  United States attack
reconnaissance
A-37B
OA-37B
5
5
2 17 A/OA-37B Delivered
A Honduras Air Force A-37 Dragonfly aircraft during a combined U.S./Honduras training operation in 1983.
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 ) In 2014 all aircraft are begin updated by Embraer
Honduran EMB-312 Tucano
CASA C-101  Spain trainer C-101 Aviojet 4 4
A C-101 Aviojet aircraft of the Honduras Air Force. This particular aircraft shot down a drug-smuggling C-47 in 1987.
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 Used for Honduras Militar Police, 5 Received 1 Lost in Crash Tegucigalpa 1998
Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II  United States fighter
trainer
F-5E Tiger II
F-5F Tiger II
6
2
3 10xF-5E and 2xF-5F, 1 F5-E Lost in Crash in 1999 FAH 4004 and 3 in reserve.
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 11 16 Delivered some lost in crashes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hagedorn 1986, p. 57.
  2. ^ http://www.scramble.nl/hn.htm
  3. ^ http://www.academiamilfah.com
  4. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2008, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 28, 2008.
  5. ^ FAH
  • Hagedorn, Daniel P. "From Caudillos to COIN". Air Enthusiast, Thirty-one, July–November 1986. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. ISSN 0143-5450. pp. 55–70.

External links[edit]