September 30, 2022

An overview of Bombay City..oops..Mumbai

The Largest city in India in terms of population as well as economic activity, Bombay (Now Mumbai) sits on the western coast of India in the state of Maharastra. Being the hub of Economic Activity, Bombay receives considerable protection from Lohegaon Airbase near Pune, where MiG-29s and Jaguars are based.

Click to Enlarge

HAL HF-24 Marut BR-463 displayed outdoors at the Nehru Science Center in Worli.The Aircraft is covered by a Shed, which is unusual . (Pic Courtesy : Kapil Chandni)

The Nehru Science Center at Dr E Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400018, [Open Tue-Sun 1030-1630 Ph:+91(22)24932667] has in its collection an HF-24 Marut and a Vintage Tigermoth. The Tigermoth is not available for public viewing. The Center is having plans to start an “Aerospace Hall” where all these aircraft will be displayed along with other artefacts. The Marut [BR-463] is infact the second prototype of the HF-24 to fly. Since the first prototype has been lost in a crash of Goa in 1971, This aircraft is in effect the oldest Marut in existance.

Santacruz Airport, which is basically a civilian airport also provides facilities for operations of Naval and Air Force aircraft. In times of war and peace, aircraft like the Sea Hawk, Vampire and the Hunter operated out of here. Most of the time, Indian Navy Sea Kings, and Indian Air Force Mi-8s are a familiar sight. The latter withdrawn after ONGC formed its own helicopter fleet. In one corner of the airport, A derelict Dakota DC-3 can be seen. Its in a quite a dilapidated state – perhaps destined only to a scrapyard. It is believed to be owned by Airworks India. Keeping company to this DC-3 is an East West Airlines Fokker F-27 and a Boeing 737 of NEPC airlines.

Click to Enlarge This derelict Dakota can be seen lying in the Bombay International Airport. Bereft of Engines, rudder, and nose dome, its condition is extremely derelict. Pic Courtesy : Simon Watson

India’s first Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant now rests in Bombay Harbour awaiting a government decision on conversion into a Maritime Museum. This move, if it takes off will be one of a kind in Asia, and will also provide Aviation enthusiasts something to look out for. Check out the Vikrant page for more details on this unique “Floating” Museum concept.

The Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay has an Aeronautical Engineering Department which used to maintain a Mystere and an Ouragan given to them by the IAF, and a Hiller Ryan Helicopter. Sandeep Unnithan, however had recently reported that the aircraft with the IIT have been scrapped an year back, and the IIT currently does not hold any aircraft with it.

There are some vintage civilian aircraft which have been noticed in quite a good number of movies, A Bell G47 (VT-EAP) and a Beech 18 being the most prominent.

A look at the various other warbirds around the City:

Aircraft Type Serial No Remarks
Dassault Ouragan -NA- I I T, Bombay – Scrapped 1999
Dassault Mystere IVa -NA- I I T, Bombay – Scrapped 1999
Hiller Ryan -NA- I I T, Bombay – Scrapped 1999 ? Not sure.
HAL Gnat E-325 Diamond Gardens, Chembur
HAL HF-24 Marut BR-463 Nehru Science Center, Annie Beasant Rd.
De Havilland DH 82a Tigermoth -NA- Nehru Science Center, Annie Beasant Rd.
Bell G-47 VT-EAP Pushpaka Aviation
Douglas DC-3 Dakota VT-CEB Singhania Hospital, Thane

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