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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum - A must visit for aircraft enthusiasts - location at the Sungei Besi Airforce Base in Kuala Lumpur

Not a lot of people know about the Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum located at the Sungei Besi Air Force Base in Kuala Lumpur. Officially a certified museum, it houses a collection of old aircraft from the Malaysian Air Force inventory. Opened daily except for Fridays. Best thing is no entrance fees required.

I visited the museum with my son a few weeks ago and took a number of photos.

At the entrance was a mounted "Tebuan" or Wasp attack/trainer aircraft used by the TUDM (this is the Malay acronym. the English acronym would be RMAF or Royal Malaysian Air Force) during the war on Communist terrorists. This aircraft is the Canadair CL41G Tebuans (an armed version of the Canadair Tutor trainer).

Another 'Wasp' that used to be in RMAF's inventory was the Wasp Naval Helicopter.

A tombstone commemorating the opening of the museum on 1 June 1985 by the Chief of the Arm Forces then.

I believe this tombstone signifies the date when the original airstrip was established on 13 April 1946. It became a full fledged airport in 1957.

This museum has two main sections. The open display on the grass apron and the covered display under a massive hangar. Since the weather was nice and sunny, we decided to head to the open display to see planes up close and personal.  

One of the few surviving Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer aircraft in the world. Nicknamed 'Raja Wali'. This is the first ever aircraft for the fledgling air force in 1958.

The Malaysian Air Force trace it lineage to the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force formations of the Royal Air Force raised in 1934. They later transformed into the Straits Settlements Volunteer Air Force and the Malaya Volunteer Air Force formed in 1940 and dissolved in 1942 during the height of the Japanese advance over Malaya. The latter was reestablished in 1950 in time for the Malayan Emergency and contributed very much to the war effort. On 2 June 1958, the MVAF finally became the Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force (later renamed to the Royal Malaysian Air Force).

You are able to walk around and touch the plane. The RMAF's first plane in its inventory. Awesome!

This is the de Havilland Dove delivered to the RMAF in 1961.

A Cessna 402 (I believe).

The de Havilland DH.114 Heron.

Another Cessna 402.

De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou. The main transport aircraft for the RMAF for a few decades.

The back ramp door was opened and you can go into the cargo hold. My son making himself comfortable in one of the sling chairs.

Not that big. Can't carry any significant vehicles in this plane.

My son inside the cockpit of the transport plane.

I personally love this float plane. The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is one cool piece of machinery. Pity it is no longer in service. I can see a lot of business opportunity if a fleet of this type of planes be used around the many islands in Malaysia.

A Bell 47G helipcopter. My son trying to see whether he can fly it!

The CAC Sabre, sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CA-27, is an Australian variant of the North American Aviation F-86F Sabre fighter aircraft. This was the RMAF first dedicated fighter jet.

This plane design is slightly different than the American Sabres. It was powered using a Rolls-Royce Avon R.A.7 engine which involved a re-design of the fuselage. To accommodate the different engine, over 60% of the fuselage was redesigned along with a 25% increase in the size of the air intake. Another major revision was in replacing the F-86F's six 12.7 mm machine guns with two 30 mm ADEN cannons, while other changes were also made to the cockpit and to provide an increased fuel capacity.

The business end of the Avon Sabre.

With the withdrawal of British military forces, the RMAF underwent gradual modernisation from the 1970s to the 1990s. The Air Force purchased 88 ex-US Navy Douglas A-4C Skyhawks, of which 40 of the airframes were converted/refurbished by Grumman Aircraft Engineering into the A-4PTM ('Peculiar To Malaysia'), configuration (similar to A-4M standard).

Hard to imagine that this plane is as old as me.

The Aermacchi MB-339AMs trainer/attack aircraft. RMAF has 16 of this type in its investory (used to have).

Another example of a Skyhawk.

A destroyed AĆ©rospatiale Alouette III. Hoped no one died in the crash.

My son reenacting a scene from Blackhawk Down. Told him it was the wrong helicopter.

The Avon Sabres were replaced by 16 Northrop F-5E Tiger-IIs. Here is one of the examples. The F-5E have also been replaced. Aggressive looking plane.

Another example of the Canadair CL41G Tebuans. So funny to see a spotlight fitted to the nose of the plane.

A skeletonised Avon Sabre. Here you can see the internal workings of the plane.

The 30 mm Aden cannon and all its glory.

Apart from planes, there are other items relating to aircraft maintenance and the running of an air force. One of which is this step ladder to get to cockpits or parts of a plane. Very mechanical. Just gears to make the ladder extend to where you want it.

An old Jeep used on the airfield.

Large protective canisters where engines were keep when being transported.

We then went to the giant hangar to see what's being exhibited. We came across many jets engines packed in crates. I wonder if it is for sale?

Not only jet engines but radial propeller engines could also be found in the large hangar. I believe the engine below is for a large turboprop aircraft.

A pair of Zuni rocket pods. The Zuni is a 5.0 in (127.0 mm) unguided rocket designed as a modular system, to allow the use of different types of warheads and fuzes.

At first we thought it was a pair of huge bombs. In actual fact these are external fuel tanks.

A canopy of an eagle two-seater propeller plane (I believe). More jet engines in the background.

This is the M18 gun pod with the M134 Minigun. This configuration consists of a 7.62x51 mm NATO, six-barreled machine gun with a high rate of fire (2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute). It features Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source, normally an electric motor.

Below the gun pod is the Hydra 70 rocket system. The rockets are WAFAR (Wrap-Around Fin Aerial Rocket), based on the Mk 66 universal motor, was developed from the previous 2.75 inch Mk 40 motor-based folding fin aerial rocket.

A straight in-line aircraft engine. BWM?

Of all the engines, the one in the center of the following picture is the most spectacular. A large four piston aircraft engine. Definitely pre-World War 2. I wonder from which type of aircraft it came from. There wasn't any information about this engine that I could find.

Also in the hangar display is the Javelin surface-to-air missile. This is a British, man-portable surface-to-air missile system used by the British and Canadian Armies. It can be fired from the shoulder, or from a dedicated launcher known as Javelin LML - Lightweight Multiple Launcher (seen here with three rounds).

My son couldn't move it around much because of his height. 

Next he tried a two-seater training aircraft. The rudder and ailerons still works.

More engines....Note the giant photographs at the walls. Old photos about RMAF.

The North American T-6 Texan training aircraft.

The de Havilland Chipmunk T.10 Military Trainer.

The de Havilland Tiger Moth - the oldest plane in the museum I reckon. Would love to see it fly again.

The Eagle double-wing.

The MD3-160 Aerotiga.

Percival P.56 Provost.

Can't identify this aircraft. If you can, please drop a feedback.

The picture of the main hangar.

A Ferret armored car that used to protect the airbase.

If would be brilliant if the planes to fly again.

Anyway, do make a visit to the museum. You'll enjoy it.

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