February 22, 2024
    Two views of the HAL HPT-32 Deepak [X3246] "X-Ray" aircraft which was first



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Two views of the HAL HPT-32 Deepak [X3246] "X-Ray" aircraft which was first displayed at the Air Force Academy , Dundigal in December 2005.

After the appearance of a cutaway Kiran trainer, the appearance of this aircraft was not reallly much of a surprise. In Dec 2005, this aircraft was put up for public display after the Combined Graduation Day Parade. Since HPT-32s are relatively a recent induction, this airframe is rare in the warbird census of India.

Close up of the port side of HAL HPT-32 Deepak [X3246] reveals some sort of crumpling in the skin – possibly the result of an accident. Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge X3246 seen from the rear. The standard IAF roundel had to be made smaller and pushed up to accomodate the 'see-thru' panels.

As with the Kiran, the aircraft has some portions of the fuselage and wing skinning replaced by see-thru plastic sheeting. The interiors have been painted and illuminated using flourescent tubes.

The wings have had the leading edge cut away. The wing roots have also been peeled off to show the crucial joints with the fuselage.

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The forward fuselage of X3246 from the starboard side shows the neatly layed out engine comparment. The Lycoming engine shows only the engine block and not the Cylinder blocks which have been removed. Also note the exposed starboard wingroot.

The front portion of the aircraft, where the engine is mounted is completely see-thru. The port side of the lower engine cowling show some crumple damage. But the top cowlings have been removed to show the engine mounts as well as the engine.

The engine itself has been stripped. The Cylinder head block removed to show the crank case and the Piston head in one case.

Click to Enlarge The interiors of X3246 are illuminated by standard flourescent tubelights.
X3246 seen at the accident site in June 2003. Photo Courtesy: AFP. -

X3246 was involved in an accident on 18th June 2003. The aircraft crash-landed minutes after take off from the Flying Instructors School at Tambaram. The two pilots, Sqn Ldrs RS Nandedkar and Raj Vaid escaped with injuries. The aircraft turned over its nose after hitting a buffalo during the force-landing. This knocked off its engine and the engine mount.

As it was damaged beyond economical repair in this accident, It was converted to cutaway display by the HPT32 TETTRA School at the Academy.

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