It’s time to buy Diamond, and RTAF chooses DA42 Twin Star as its new trainer. And French aircraft come back to RTAF again with ATR-72-500.
The requirement of twin-engine trainer came as surprise because RTAF almost never mention about this before. On 22 Oct 2008, RTAF signed the contact with Diamond Aircraft Industries to buy 6 DA42 Twin Stars. The first aircraft will be in service in mid 2009.
Nowaday, RTAF operates many multi-engine aircrafts; C-130, G-222, HS-748, Nomad, and a VIP fleet of Boeing and Airbus. The graduated student pilot assigned to fly those aircrafts go training in it directly. DA42 could download flight hours to save more money and leave those aircrafts for trasport and conversion and combat-ready training only.
Twin Star are believe to be stationed in Don Muang AFB.
Photo copyright of Diamond Aircraft Industries.
On the other hand, RTAF in 2007 also signed the contact to buy 4 ATR-72-500s. This is the replacement aircraft of 4 HS-748s which serve RTAF for more than 40 years.
At the very first period, RTAF operated Breguet and Nieuport, the first aircraft in Thailand as well as pilot that trained in French. But the French era end before WWII when Thailand joint with Japan Force and those aircraft were replaced by Japanese aircrafts. After the World War II a few European aircrafts were bought out of the domination of US one.
This purchase makes the come back of French aircraft in RTAF.
RTAF pilot will be trained in Bangkok Airways and some mantiance works are believe to be handed to the airlines’ maintaince arm.
The first aircraft is schedule to be delivered in mid 2009.
Royal Thai Air Force chooses 6 DA42 for it´s training program
The Royal Thai Air Force has the longest history and is one of the leading forces in South East Asia in terms of combat and transport issues. Due to the high demand for sophisticated pilot training, the Royal Thai Air Force has very high standards for training aircraft.
To satisfy these high standards for their training purpose, the Air Force has evaluated different aircraft and selected Diamond under all competitors. Air Chief Marshall A.C.M. Bunjarit KERDSUK and his team came to visit the factory in Wiener Neustadt, in order to inspect the aircraft and factory facilities. The first aircraft out of six DA42 will be delivered in Mid of 2009.
The DA42 with its carbon composite structure is an innovative, state-of-the-art product with Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. “The aircraft has proven records towards outstanding reliability and performance in Thailand´s tropical climate.” said Marshall Kerdsuk, “we have decided for the DA42, because this aircraft fulfils all our demands.”
All major flying schools in Thailand are using Diamond DA42 aircraft.
ATR registers Record Year of Orders with 113 new Aircraft