September 30, 2022

You wouldnt know how rare this HF-24 is till you take a second look

The Vishweshwaraya Industrial and Technology Museum (VITM) located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road showcases examples of science and technology and is meant to be an educative experience for the visitor. The Museum houses a HAL HF-24 Marut [BD-884] which is displayed outside the main building facing the road.

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HAL HF-24 1R BD-884 on display outside the Vishweshwaraya Industrial and Technology Museum , MG Road. The Marut is fenced off by some wire and the Garden Hedge.

The aircraft was presented to the VITM by HAL which is headquartered in Bangalore. The display board at the aircraft specifies that the aircraft is a Mk 1 R, the R standing for ‘Reheat’. One of the variants of the HF-24 was the Reheat version the 1R which was equipped with afterburning Orpheus Turbojets. One of the prototypes crashed on take off killing the test pilot, Group Captain Suranjan Das, and the program came to a stand still. No prior history of BD-884 is known.

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Seen from the rear quarter, BD-884. The Museum building can be seen in the background. BD-884 is the only known variant of the Reheat engine equipped HF-24 Marut. Atleast another prototype was lost during testflying.

The aircraft is in good shape overall, fenced off with barbed wire and garden hedge. The aircraft is carrying four drop tanks and is supported by jacks to shed some load off the undercarriage. However the accompanying trees and garden shrubs makes it virtually impossible to get a clear shot of the aircraft from nose to tail.

Click to Enlarge The tail portion of the Marut with the original serial painted on the aircraft.
The Marut’s distinctive ‘drop down’ perforated airbrakes can be clearly seen in their extended position in this photograph. Click to Enlarge

Even though there is an entrance fee to see the artefacts inside the museum, the Marut is displayed outside in front of the Museum and does not require any visitor to pay any fee to view it.

Click to Enlarge A close up of the front fuselage of the Marut reveals the four 30mm gun ports. The Maruts were not cleared to fire all the four guns and would use only two guns at a time in combat.
A view of BD-884 from the rear three quarters. Click to Enlarge

Also on display besides the aircraft is the rocket engine of one of India’s first SLV (Satellite Launch Vehicle) Rocket.

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