In the 1960s the Chadian Air Force was hardly more than insignificant; it consisted of one hundred men, one DC-3 cargo aircraft, three light observation aircraft, and two helicopters. In 1973, when its strength was increased to 200 men, still the air force could count on only three C-47 medium transport aircraft (increased to 13 in the mid-1970s), three light transport planes, and one helicopter, all serviced at the local French air base in N'Djamena. Nearly all of the pilots at the time were French.
In 1976, the Air Force obtained 7 Douglas AD Skyraiders from France, which were used in anti-guerrilla campaigns in the north until 1987 when they were deemed inoperable. (C-47 tail numbers included 100509, 10307 and 10409, and Skyraider 126959)
The Aviation Safety Network listed four incidents between 1976 and 1987, one involving a Douglas DC-3, a Douglas DC-4 that was shot down by a Surface-to-air missile and the remaining two with the C-130 Hercules transports, one crashing during a routine takeoff, the other during a landing.
As of 1987, the Air Force was commanded by Lt. Mornadji Mbaissanabe. On November 15 2000, an unidentified Chadian Air Force Chief of Operations applied for refugee status in Canada, claiming he had accused the Chadian government of human rights violations.
In 2004, while transporting journalists and UN officials to a tarmac meeting with Kofi Annan, one of the Chadian helicopters malfunctioned and made a rough landing in the desert. After its repair, it transported US Marines into Niger.
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Notes
| Aermacchi SF-260
| trainer/light attack
| survivors of 9 captured from Libya
| Aérospatiale SA 316 Alouette III
| utility helicopter
| SA 316
| Antonov An-26 Curl
| tactical transport
| Douglas DC-9
| VIP Transport
| Lockheed C-130 Hercules
| tactical transport
C-130H-30 | 1
1 | |----- | Mil Mi-8/-17 Hip | | transport helicopter | Mi-8
Mi-17 | 2
2 | |----- | Mil Mi-25 Hind-D | | attack helicopter | Mi-25 | 2 | |----- | Pilatus PC-6 Porter | | utility transport | | 2 | |----- | Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer | | trainer (reconfigured as attack aircraft) | | 2 | |----- | Reims F337 Skymaster | | liaison | | 2 | license built Cessna Skymaster |}
Operational aircraft of the force may be far less than official figures represent. According to a report in Le Figaro in April, 2006, the Chad Air Force consisted only of two Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports, one working Mil Mi-17 Hip-H helicopter, and two non-working Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters.