December 6, 2023

In 2007, a curious discovery was made on Google Earth – an Illyushin 14 airframe used for fire training was spotted south of the Palam airport in Delhi. The sight of an aircraft on the ground is not unusual, but what made this particular sighting intriguing was the fact that the Illyushin 14 was located miles away from any taxiway, runway, and in the middle of what appeared to be a field. The type had not been in service for many years, leading to questions about why it was there and what its fate would be. It must have had been there for several decades, the oldest evidence was a Google Earth snapshot from 2001.

Soon after the discovery was made on Google Earth, photos began cropping up online of the Illyushin 14. It was clear from the photos that the aircraft was used for training purposes by the International Airport Authority’s fire training division.

It appears that when the type was retired, this airframe was repurposed for training purposes. This is not an uncommon practice, as old aircraft can provide valuable training opportunities for firefighters and emergency responders.

As the area was being cleared out for the aircraft expansion, images of it being trucked out of the area appeared elsewhere. However, the fate of the airframe remains a mystery to this day – was it scrapped, or is it still out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered again? Or has it been scrapped to bits?

Despite the many questions surrounding the Illyushin 14 fire training airframe, one thing is clear – its fate remains unknown. It is possible that the airframe has since been scrapped or repurposed for another use, but until concrete evidence is found, it will remain a mystery.

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