|MiG-23MF SK420 installed at Sainik School Satara. The platform on which the aircraft is erected was paid for by former students belonging to the Class of 91. Photo Courtesy: Amar Lungare|
Satara a small town that is about 90 km from the city of Pune , roughly halfway to Kolhapur. it is the district Headquarters for the Satara District, which is adjacent to Pune District. Satara is connected by NH4 in the National Highway grid.
Satara is home to a Sainik School Satara – one of thefew elite military schools funded by theMinistry of Defence. The School is the alma-mater of the Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal P V Naik. The school is a proud owner of a MiG-23MF with serial SK420.
MiG-23MF SK420 installed at Sainik School Satara. The platform on which the aircraft is erected was paid for by former students belonging to the Class of 91. Photo Courtesy: Amar Lungare
When the Indian Air Force offered to transfer a retired MiG-23MF, the school was faced with the issue of raising funds for a proper installation for the aircraft. While the IAF would transport the aircraft, the erection and display costs are to be met by the School. The school was given the confirmation of the MiG in December 2007.
As luck would have it, some of the schools former students were looking out for opportunities to help out their old alma mater – one such group was the Class of 91. The ex-students group decided that this was a right project to take on and collected the money to fund the platform. Having two former classmates located in Satara ensured that the project was completed in quick time with their supervision and help.
The IAF provided the specifications and several other former students from other batches helped out in the design and construction. The aircraft was formally inaugurated on 18th October 2008.
Acknowledgements: Amar Lungare(Class of 91, Sainik School Satara)