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The Sichuan Air Force in China 1929-1937

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The Sichuan Air Force in China

Lennart Andersson

In 1929 the ruler of Sichuan, Liu Xiang, purchased the first aircraft, an American Eagle A-129 with a 100hp Kinner engine and a Waco Model 9 powered by the 90hp Curtiss OX-5. Other French and American types followed. The Sichuan Province was aligned with Chiang Kai Shek’s government in Nanjing and Liu Xiang’s troops were labelled the 21st Army of the Central Government’s forces, so formally speaking there was never a ‘Sichuan Air Force’. However, as in most Chinese provinces at this time, reality was different. Even though Nanjing attempted to prevent that, strong and powerful warlords obtained their own aircraft and organised more or less independent air units and Sichuan was no exception.