June 10, 2023

The only first world war era (almost) warbird in the country!

Nal Airfield is in Bikaner district, from which IAF aircraft operated. A surprise warbird is in Karn Mahal in Junagarh Fort in Bikaner town has a museum which has on display a De Havilland DH 9 biplane. Karn Mahal had another two DH 9s stored away.

Unarguably, the oldest warbird in India, this DH-9 preserved in the Bikaner Karn Mahal Palace is one of the least known aircraft, and in private hands.

Pic Courtesy : Jet Wings Magazine

Recently Hans van Herk visited Bikaner and found the DH9 in the Junagarh Fort to be on display though no serial number was seen. Though the guide has mentioned to Hans that another DH9 was in storage, It is has been confirmed that two DH-9s has been sold to Aero Vintage Ltd in UK to Mr. Guy Black and transported to UK.

Aparently the two aircraft were part of the three DH-9s gifted to the Royal Family of Bikaner in the early 1930s. According to the spokesman of the Royal family, the other two aircraft have deteriorated in condition and no facilities exist in India to carry out the specialist conversation work . So the Royal family had decided to offer the aircraft to Aero Vintage.

Aircraft Type Serial No Remarks
De Havilland DH 9 U/I Karn Mahal Museum, Junagarh fort, Bikaner

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