THAILAND HAS ordered three Basler Turbo-67 turboprop re-engined Douglas DC-3s for use in a rainmaking programme. The first aircraft will be delivered to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) in January 1997, and the remaining two by the middle of 1997.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based Basler says that Thailand is its first BT-67 customer located in the Pacific-Rim .

The US company expects additional RTAF orders for rainmaking and other Government projects. The BT-67s can carry up to 5t of rainmaking chemicals and are expected to be used almost continuously during the cloud-seeding season, Basler says.

The remanufactured DC-3s, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops, are already in service in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala, and aircraft are also used by the US Forest Service and other commercial operators.

Basler has a long-term agreement with the US Air Force, which it signed in 1995, under which BT-67s are supplied to foreign air forces.

Source: Flight International