February 29, 2024
De Havilland Vampire FB.52 FTW-1971 is actually IB-1618.Pic Courtesy : Simon Watson Hakimpet Air Force
De Havilland Vampire FB.52 FTW-1971 is actually IB-1618.Pic Courtesy : Simon Watson Click to Enlarge

Hakimpet Air Force Station is situated to the north of the twin cities on the road to Shamirpet Lake. This establishment is home to the Fighter Training Wing (FTW) flying the PZL-Meilec TS-11 Iskra Trainers for over two and a half decades. On the road to Shamirpet comes the Officers Mess of the Hakimpet AFS and an Iskra (W1786) is displayed on a pole facing the building.

Vampire IB-1618’s underside shows the bolted in U/C Doors. The wheels etc are within the building to the right of it.

Hakimpet used to be home to Vampires and Tempests from the 50s right upto the seventies. and in the late Seventies, several Vampire airframes lying in the Hakimpet premises were scrapped. However one of these Vampires was saved by some officers who were interested in future preservation of this now rare jet warbird.(Read the story on Bharat Rakshak)

Another Vampire [IB 1618] is displayed at the newly unveiled Museum in the airforce station. This Vampire carries the false serial number FTW1971.

The Vampire is displayed just outside the Hakimpet AFS Museum. Click to Enlarge

The aircraft which was earlier displayed at a traffic island had to undergo some restoration of the forward fuselage. The wooden portion of the fuselage had completely deteriorated and had been replaced by alumium sheets. The aircraft is now displayed on a small concrete block. The restoration process was undertaken after the aircraft was put on its pedestal and apparently the shape of the aircraft had not come quite right. However it still was a significant effort. Lot of Vampire scrap like Oxygen bottles, cockpit fittings, pipings, rudder pedals were removed during the restoration and junked.

Hakimpet does have another couple of aircraft which dont fly and are preserved for instructional purposes. Simon Watson and Phil Camp had reported that another example of an Iskra is preserved near the ATC building in a “cutaway” style , with the metal skin removed and covered with Transparent Perspex. Another Chetak Helicopter that is also used as an instructional airframe, but this does not have any serial number on it.

Aircraft Type Serial No Remarks
DH Vampire FB 52 IB-1618 Air Force Station , Hakimpet. Marked as FTW1971
TZ-11 Iskra W-1786 Officers Mess, Air Force Station , Hakimpet
TZ-11 Iskra W-1746 Cutaway aircraft On Display in AFS Hakimpet
HAL Chetak On Display at AFS Hakimpet

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