The original Lao military aviation establishment was the 'Laotian Aviation' (French: Aviation laotiènne), established by the French on 28 January 1955 as a small aerial observation and transport arm of the then National Lao Army (ANL). As the French withdrew from Indochina, the Lao Aviation was supported by American aid. With the addition of offensive capabilities, it morphed into the Royal Lao Air Force (RLAF).

The RLAF began its operations as a liaison, logistics and transport unit. Its initial stock were a melange of French and American supplied rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft inherited from its predecessor, Aviation Laotienne.

 On 9 January 1961, the new RLAF was supplied with six AT-6 Texans as its first strike aircraft. Although these were quickly lost, they were replaced by five T-28 Trojans. Despite ongoing losses, the T-28 inventory would eventually burgeon under American auspices to 75 Trojans on board in 1973. It would also acquire ten AC-47 gunships for a time. Pilot procurement for the swelling fleet would always be problematic, with the inadequate roster of Lao and Hmong pilots being filled out with Thai mercenary pilots, and a few Americans from Air America. By the time American aid was withdrawn in 1973, dooming the force, the RLAF would total 180 aircraft, both fixed wing and helicopters.
RLAF Aircraft List
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