News reports from May 2022 indicate that an IAF heritage centre is being set up at the erstwhile printing press site in Chandigarh city in Sector 18. As part of the collection, a Gnat aircraft has been shipped to the centre. The Gnat is believed to have been ‘rescued’ from a park in Delhi.
The Gnat bears a ‘fake’ serial E-257, which was the aircraft flown by the late Fg Offr N J S Sekhon in his final battle over Srinagar during the 1971 war, for which he was awarded the highest gallantry award – the Param Vir Chakra.
Hindustan Times India’s first Air Force Heritage Centre at Chandigarh set to take flight on Independence Day
The centre is set to have eight attractions in total, including aircraft models and weapon displays. The biggest attraction, however, will be its very own flight simulator. In addition, informative exhibits including aero engines, aircraft, kiosks and other air force artefacts, including machines/fixtures, films on achievements and personalities and guides, will also be set up. A souvenir shop will also be set up at the museum.
Chandigarh | Pact inked, first IAF Heritage Centre all set to take flight
The signing ceremony was attended by Punjab governor and Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit, Chandigarh member of parliament Kirron Kher, Member of Parliament, air chief marshal VR Chaudhari, and adviser to the administrator Dharam Pal.
The chief of air staff also presented a model replica of a propeller of an IAF aircraft as the first artefact of the centre.
The museum, which is being set up in the erstwhile Government Printing Press building in Sector 18, will exhibit simulators, decommissioned aircraft, aero-engines, and other memorabilia. Virtual reality and artificial intelligence technology will make the tour an immersive experience.
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Chandigarh Administration, IAF sign MoU on Heritage Centre in Sector 18