Phạm Tuân (born 14 February 1947) is a retired Vietnam Air Force aviator. He became the first Vietnamese citizen and the first Asian in space when he flew aboard the Soyuz 37 mission as an Interkosmos Research Cosmonaut.[1][2] He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Phạm Tuân was born in Quốc Tuấn, Thai Binh province in northern Vietnam. He joined the VPAF, or Vietnam People's Air Force (North Vietnamese Air Force) in 1965, was later commissioned as a combat officer. He flew interceptor missions in a MiG-21 jet fighter against United States aircraft during the Vietnam War.

On the night of 27 December 1972, during Operation Linebacker II (also referred to as the Christmas Bombings), then-Major Phạm engaged a USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber using air-to-air missiles. He reported that his missiles struck the B-52, causing it to go down in flames. This claim, which would be the only B-52 downed in aerial combat, is disputed by U.S. records, which state that this B-52 was downed by a surface-to-air missile, also responsible for all other B-52s shot down during the campaign.[3] In a book named "Hà Nội - Điện Biên Phủ trên không" (Hanoi - the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the air) by Nguyễn Minh Tâm, published by Nhà xuất bản Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam (Viet Nam People's Army Publishing House), the author affirms that Phạm Tuân shot down the B-52 with two K-13 air-to-air missiles within a range of 4 kilometers.[4]

Phạm Tuân said that because the B-52 was equipped with a large number of infrared decoys, he had to get close to the target (within 2-3 kilometers) in order to ensure the bomber's destruction, though the minimum safe range for launching missiles is at least 8 kilometers.

Tuân received numerous distinctions for his service, including the Ho Chi Minh Order. He also was awarded the Order of Lenin and the rare honor of being one of the few foreigners to receive the title "Hero of the Soviet Union".

Tuân reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in the VPAF before eventually training to be a research cosmonaut in the joint USSR-Vietnamese space program. On 1 April 1979, he was selected as a member of the sixth international crew for the Interkosmos program. His backup was Bùi Thanh Liêm. Tuân, along with Soviet cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 23 July 1980, on board the Soyuz 37 mission to the Salyut 6 space station.

During his time in orbit, Tuân performed experiments on the melting of mineral samples in microgravity. He also carried out plant experiments on azolla and photographed Vietnam from orbit for mapping purposes. Tuân was in space for 7 days, 20 hours, and 42 minutes, completing 142 orbits, and returned to earth on 31 July 1980.

He will a speaker in Press Conference on August 12th, 2019 to contribute his voice to develop not only Vietnam Aviation Industry but also Vietnam International Aviation Expo 2019.

(Photo: Tien Long, Zing.vn)


The Hanoitimes - The year 2020 will mark 65 years of Vietnam`s civil aviation industry which has developed rapidly in the past decade with 10 airports capable of serving international flights and 12 domestic airports. Vietnam International Aviation Expo 2019 will be held by Vietnam Association on Aviation Science and Technology (VAAST) and GK Wintron in Ho Chi Minh City from November 26 to 28, according to GK Wintron.


This is the first time such a large-scale international aviation show is held in Vietnam. 
The event (http://www.vietnamaviationexpo.vn) is expected to welcome more than 400 companies with 400 pavilions from 33 countries and attract 20,000 visitors.
Several large enterprises in the global aviation industry have been invited to the show including Boeing and Airbus as well as representatives of some foreign manufacturers from Indonesia, Italia, Germany, Canada, Belgium, and Romania, among others. According to the organizers, the event includes the display and introduction of technological equipment, supporting industry products, aircraft interior, and exterior equipment, etc. from domestic and foreign manufacturers. Besides, international workshops on technical, commercial and air service with be held with the participation of renown international experts.

The year 2020 will mark 65 years of the Vietnamese civil aviation industry, which has developed rapidly for a past decade with 10 airports capable of serving international flights and 12 domestic airports. The country's aviation transport market grows twice as fast as that of the ASEAN region, averaging at over 16% annually. Vietnam is currently having six air carriers in operation and two others are preparing dossiers for license.

(Source: Ha An, The Hanoitimes)