For those not keeping track, the recent handing over of the Casa C-295 aircraft on 25th September 2023 is a sign of things to come. It’s a sign that the Hawker Siddely HS-748 is coming to the end of its career. Fondly called as the “Avro” in India, the HS-748 served with the IAF, the Border Security Force, the National Airports Authority, Indian Airlines, and Vayudoot. The IAF has been the sole remaining operator after all other organizations had pretty much phased their examples by the late 2000s.
So it is no surprise to find Avros being “Withdrawn from use” and some being allocated for preservation. One of the first examples of this sort is the HS-748, H1526, which is now preserved at the Indian Institute of Technology Patna, but located closer to Bihta in the state of Bihar. The Indian Institute of Technology Patna (IIT Patna) is a premier technical institute located in Patna, Bihar, India. Established in 2008, it is one of the newer additions to the prestigious IIT system.
The HS-748, H1526 first made its appearance around 9 April 2023, when the first photographs of it were taken, installed on the huge traffic circle right after entering the campus from the main gate. The aircraft was erected without its nose cone, or engines, and was even missing the vertical stabilizer’s de-icing boot.
Subsequently – mockup “Cones” were attached to the nose as well as the empty engine bays to give them a sense of completion. The entire aircraft is painted in a grey scheme.
H1526 was built by HAL and first flown on 17 Feb 1976. It was delivered to the IAF in March 1976 as a Multi-engine trainer. It was noted flying out of Baroda/Vadodara around 2009. The date it was withdrawn from service is not known, nor any details of its journey by land to this location.
Photo Courtesy: Om Prakash and Rahul Kumar
Recommended Reading: https://www.yesterdaysairlines.com/airline-history-blog/hal-748s-indian-budgies