The Indian Navy had in the late eighties contributed one of its Sea Hawk fighters to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) , Chennai. This was primarily to help the technical students of the Aerospace department familiarise themselves with actual aircraft. The aircraft IN-235 was from No. 300 INAS “White Tigers” and carried the insignia on thier noses.
|Sharing the cramped space inside the workshop at IIT Chennai, is Sea Hawk [IN-235] stored with its wings in the folded position. Notice the parked vehicles of the staff and students. Pic Courtesy : Vijay Simha Reddy|
When Vijay visited IIT Chennai, he was able to trace out only IN-235 . This aircraft was now stored in one of the workshops at the IIT. Initially we believed that another Sea Hawk IN-252 , was in IIT Chennai, but now its confirmed that the second Sea Hawk is actually at the Madras Institute of Technology at Chromepet.
|The logo of the Indian Institute of Technology , Chennai can be just seen in the first picture ahead of the air intakes. The aircraft has been gathering lot of dust as can be seen by the picture on the right. Pic Courtesy : Vijay Simha Reddy|
IN-235 on the other hand is pretty much intact. The aircraft shows some corrossion on its outer skins. Even though, some of the cockpit instruments were removed for instructional purposes, some are still in the cockpit. The aircraft is otherwise left untouched as it is by the students of the Institute. It still lies in the workshop, gathering dust, sharing the space with the two wheelers of the staff and students of the department. The only change it has from its Navy days is the IIT logo that adorns the lower part of the fuselage just ahead of its air intakes. The aircraft still retains its Martin-Baker ejection seat.
|A look inside the cockpit of Sea Hawk [IN-235] shows some of the instruments still in place. Some have been removed for instructional purposes.
Pic Courtesy : Vijay Simha Reddy