Thursday, January 10, 2008

Six Hours of Internet Warbird Hunting

One of my favourite passtimes on the Internet is to search for previously unreported 'Warbirds' and disused Airframes in India. Usually these would be put up again on my website Warbirds of India . In the seven years of the Website, having tracked the census from a paltry 60-70 ac in the first year to nearly 400 today, i didnt have too many expectations when I decided to spend some time last Saturday to search for new aircraft.

But boy was I surprised!
The theme of the last week's search was "Aviation Technical Training Institutes" in India and the aircraft relics they have had. This was partially triggered by the nose section of the Air India Boeing 747 that I had found on Flickr by Ujwal

The search was based on the list of "Approved Institutes" from the DGCA Website. And soon interesting bits of information on these airframes started trickling in. While there were several reports of Cessnas, Beech aircraft , Pushpaks etc, I was floored over by what I found at the Southern College of Engineering at Challkudy. First off the bat was this Lycoming powered Hindustan HT-2 Trainer

Okay that was good. But the next image in the page really floored me!

A Tigermoth! - Amazing! They still have one! I was at a complete loss of words. This was probably the only Tigermoth I know in civilian hands today in India. Atleast it has not been picked up yet by any Western Collector. Hope it remains this way for now.

After the Tigermoth, the other finds were just the icing - There was an Auster like aircraft and another unmodified HT-2. It looks like Southern College hit the jackpot during one of the IAF's old aircraft auction!

After that the discovery of this fokker at SoA Neemrana was another neat find. But not as exciting as the ones above.
All in all it was an interesting half day's worth of detective work, done entirely on the Internet!

1 comment:

Bharanidhar said...

Wow! Good work. I'm a great follower of your work and I try to read most of the books recommened by you :-).