Air International 1987-10
??? - Bolivian Air Power - Seventy Years On
The most modern combat equipment flown by the Fuerza Aerea Boliviano is the North American F-86F Sabre. Of nine originally acquired from the Venezuelan Air Force, only four remain in service, with GAC 32 at El Trompillo de Santa Cruz.
Once used by COLMILAV, this North American T-28A is now retired at Santa Cruz.
One of the remaining Bell UH-1Hs from the original batch of six delivered for use by GA 51 at Colcapiura, Cochabamba; six more were supplied in 1986.
This is one of the two Lockheed L.382C (C-130H) Hercules acquired by the FAB in 1978 and used to equip Transporte Aereo Boliviano. One was written-off in 1979 and was replaced by an L-100-30.
On the flight line at La Paz, these T-33s of GAC 31 are ex-Canadian Armed Forces Canadair-built CT-133 Silver Star Mk 3s. The aircraft nearest the camera are from the batch of five acquired in 1979; note the different styles of national insignia.
One of the three ex-Armee de l'Air T-33As that now supplement the Sabres in GAC 32. Others have been used to equip two new squadrons, GAC 33 and GAC 36.
Six Fokker F27 Mk 400Ms were delivered lo the FAB in 1979-81 and form the primary equipment of Transporte Aereo Militar, the all-important air transport arm.
Another of the TAM-operated F27s, in this case wearing military camouflage.
Supplementing the 18 Aerotec A-122A Uirapuru primary trainers acquired from Brazil in 1974 are these six improved A-132B Tangara variants, delivered a year ago for use by the Escuadron Primario of COLMILAV at Santa Cruz.
GA 51 also operates Aerospatiale Lamas and the Brazilian-built Gaviao helicopters.
Camouflage finish and a shark's mouth marking suggest that this PC-7 of GAC 34 is used for combat training. The addition of light weaponry to some of the PC-7s is under study by the FAB.
Strikingly decorated, these Pilatus PC-7s form a demonstration team within GAC 34, the advanced training unit of the FAB at Cochabamba.
Six IAI-201 Arava light transports were acquired by the FAB in 1975 for use by TAM but only one is now airworthy, operating with GA 72 at Trinidad, in Beni.
Transporte Aereo Militar has recently reacquired this Lockheed Electra, which it took into service as TAM-69 in 1973. It was transferred to the Escuadrilla Ejecutiva as the Presidential transport in May 1975 as TAM-01 and retains this number since its return to TAM.
This Learjet 25D is one of two acquired in 1975/76 for use by the Servicio Nacional de Aerofotogrametria.
Super King Air 200 used in the communications role.
Rockwell Aero Commander used by GA 72, a transport unit at Trinidad.
A Rockwell Turbo Commander 690B of the FAB's Comando General at La Paz.
Sole flying equipment of the Bolivian Naval Air Arm is this Cessna 402 Utililiner II, based at La Paz.
A recent addition to the FAB inventory, 12 Cessna 152 Aerobats equip the Escuadron Basico in COLMILAV, the Air Force Academy at Santa Cruz.
The surviving Convair 580, TAM-71, at La Paz.