While it may not be as spectacular and diverse as air museums in the world’s big cultural capitals such as Paris, London or New York, The Royal Thai Air Force Museum offers a beautifully maintained collection of historical aircraft that will delight any tourist, particularly those who have a passion for flight.
The museum is located in the vicinity of Don Muang Airport. Its exhibits give a clear image of the whole aviation history of Thailand, starting with double-winged planes and ending with pretty complex flying machines.
The airplanes are displayed both outdoors as well as inside as numerous old hangars have been reconfigured and are now part of the museum, shielding the older or more fragile airplanes from the elements.
Experts might not be blown away by the collection as it boasts only 30 pieces, however, tourists will certainly love this interesting aspect of Thai engineering history. The airplanes displayed here are quite valuable even though their numbers might not be that impressive with some models being quite rare or even one of a kind. All of them have been carefully and faithfully restored with the jewel of the collection being the Curtiss Hawk III, the last one in existence. The Vought Corsair V-93s is also a rare and stunning piece, which holds high ranking at the museum.
The museum immediately surprises visitors with the rather large, two seat bomber called the Paribatra. It is the first airplane to be designed in Thailand, dating back to April, 1927. All these fascinating pieces have numerous technical and historical data and offer a unique story.
Be prepared to do some walking as the entire museum is pretty large due to the size of each individual piece.
Another amazing exhibit is the first generation jet fighter collection. Among these planes you will find the North American F 86L, the Republic F 84 Thunder-Jet and numerous rescue planes lie the Beechcraft model 18, the Fairchild C-123b or the Percival Prince IIIA
If you are looking for an unusual, off the beaten track museum that is quite interesting and offers a unique look into a less known aspect of Thai history then you should definitely check out The Royal Thai Air Force Museum. The museum is opened daily between 9 am and 4 pm with the exception of national holidays. Don’t worry about the price as there is no entry fee regardless if you’re a native or a tourist.