In the district of Don Mueang in the city of Bangkok is the Museum of the Royal Thai Air Force, with more than 60 aircraft on display.
This museum was inaugurated in 1952 and in 2012 began a renovation process that ended in 2020. Its contents cover more than 100 years of aircraft history, since the oldest of its aircraft is a Breguet 14, a 1917 model of which the Royal Air Force of Siam (as this country was then called) operated more than 40 examples. Silent Sightseer published three weeks ago an interesting video taking a tour of this museum:
This museum has some very interesting aircraft. One of them is this JAS-39A Gripen fighter donated by the Swedish Air Force. A very modern fighter to be already in a museum.
In the museum there is also a General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon, the 79-0324. Interestingly, it is a model still used by the Royal Thai Air Force.
The museum also includes World War II gems, such as this Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver dive bomber (the 83410), along with a Fairey Firefly Mk I fighter (the c/n F.7402, an aircraft that belonged to the British Royal Navy). Both models were used by the Royal Thai Air Force.
Among the aircraft on display is also this Vought A-7E Corsair II attack aircraft of the Royal Thai Navy, the 160563, a model that was withdrawn from service in 2007. Next to it is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter of the Vietnam Air Force.
In the museum there are also two Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopters that belonged to the Royal Thai Air Force, one of them with an original presentation.
Although the Silent Sightseer video is good, I did not watch it because I have a special interest in Thai military aircraft, but because of the following aircraft:
It is one of the nine AV-8S Matador fighters (7 AV-8S single-seaters and 2 TAV-8S two-seaters) that were sold by Spain to Thailand in 1996. This Spanish version of the first Harrier was operated in Spain by the 8th Squadron of the Aircraft Fleet, flying from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier "Dédalo". The aircraft on display at the museum has four external fuel tanks on its underwing supports.
Thailand bought these aircraft to operate from the HTMS Chakri Naruebet aircraft carrier, the flagship of the Royal Thai Navy, built at the Bazán (today Navantia) shipyard in Ferrol, Spain. She is a sister ship of the defunct Spanish aircraft carrier "Príncipe de Asturias".
The AV-8S were operated by the 301 Squadron of the Royal Thai Navy, being withdrawn from service in 2006. The aircraft on display in Bangkok is the old VA.1-10 / 01-814 of the Spanish Navy (with construction number 161178 and numeral 3109 in the Royal Thai Navy), that we saw here recently in this photo from 1988, taken from a Corsair II of the US Navy:
According to Aviation Spotters Online, this Matador arrived at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum in June 2017, along with the Royal Thai Navy Corsair II seen above.
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