Air force Museum

16 kilometers towards the south-west of New Delhi center, lies Palam in the suburbs of the capital of India. Mostly known for Indira Gandhi International Airport, it also is the place where Indian Air force Museum is situated. You may be an air force enthusiast, or just a curious watcher, this place serves best to the interest of both kinds of people. A trip to the air force museum is a must as it is one of its kind in India and showcases a lot of air force artifact that is both interesting and knowledge-providing.

It provides a detailed and clear insight into the history of Indian aviation and how it has progressed with time. Starting from the World War I era, it displays pictures of the Indian aviation when it was known as the Royal Flying Corps. It also contains memorabilia, mementoes, and models earned by the gallant pilots during that period. This also includes pictures and actual aircrafts used till date, including the Kargil War. Said that, it is a sheer pleasure to find the real aircrafts standing in front of you that were used during World War I and World War II.

Airforce Museum Delhi

The gallery includes the uniforms, weapons and insignia used in the bygone days. One can find a hangar area that houses 15 models of such key aircrafts that are today considered to have played the most important role in shaping up the Indian Air Force of today. These planes include Westland, the first plane to have flown through the Khyber pass in 1929. Westland Lysander (Lizzic), Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Tempest and Vickers Spitfire attacked the enemies with unforgiving fury during World War II. These are remembered especially for their ferocity with which they attacked the German War Machine in the Battle of Britain.

The hanger also displays India's first jet acquisition 'British Vampire. One more plane that is fondly remembered and si found here is the Gnat that was assembled in India itself and named 'Sabre-KIller' for its violent wrath that it showered on the supposedly sophisticated US-made war planes in the Indo-Pak conflict of '71.

Also, from the World War assaults, they have got OHKA, which was a Japanese Kamikaze Glider capsule that the Japanese filled with explosives to plunge on the British warships and blow them to shreds. It has the credit of sinking 34 British battleships and damaging another 228 during that war.

The museum houses not only these aircrafts and photos, but also anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and aircraft guns. One can see radar equipment and the captured enemy vehicles of the older wars.

Outside the hangar, there is more to be seen. A nearly destroyed Russian SU-7 stands testimonial to the valor and undying spirit shown by Wing Commander Mangat who flew it back in that destroyed condition and landed it too, though only the tail-unit remains now. Also, seen here is the champion bomber of World War II, The Work Horse that was decommisioned in 1981 after 21 years of glorious service. Legendary Igor Sikorsky designed American Helicopter S-55 grabs every one's attention. He is known to have been narrated aviation stories instead of fairy tales by his mother.

Beside all this weaponry and airplanes, one can see an impressive statue of Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon who made it the first and only Air Force pilot to be presented with Param Vir Chakra for his undying spirit, heroic acts and flying skills beyond the enemy line and shooting down their bomber planes.

Various plane models that can be found here are:

HAL Krishak HAOP-27 N-949
HAL HF-24 Marut D-1205
Hawker Hunter F56 BA-263
Hawker Hurricane II B AB-832
Hawker Tempest II HA-623
PZL TS-11 Iskra W-1757
PZL TS-11 Iskra W-1758
Westland Lysander 1589
Westland Wapiti K-813
Percival Prentice IV-3381
Yokosuka MXY-7 Baka
Supermarine Spitfire XVIII HS-986
Dassault Mystere IVa IA-1329
Dassault Ouragan IC-554
De Havilland Vampire NF10 ID-606
HAL Gnat II E-2015
Sukhoi Su-7 BMK B-888
MiG-21 FL C-499

Outdoor Gallery
HAL Gnat II E-265
HAL HT-2 IX-737
North American Harvard HT-291
Douglas C-47 IJ-302
BAE Canberra B(I)58 IF-907
Consolidated B-24 Liberator J HE-924
Supermarine Spitfire VIII NH-631Fairchild C-119 Packet IK-450
Sikorsky S55C IZ-1590
Mil Mi-4 BZ-900
MiG-23MF SK434
MiG-25 R KP-355
Vintage Aircraft Flight
De Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth HU-512
De Havilland Vampire FB52 IB-799
HAL HT-2 IX-732

Transport Aircraft Section
Antonov An-12 BL-727
De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou BM-774
Douglas C-47 IJ-817
Ilyushin Il-14 IL-860
Tupolev Tu-124 V-644

All said and done, this place is a real heaven for all the aviation geeks and all those who want to learn more about the military history and the weapons that have helped till date in winning so many wars. Also, one could buy little souvenirs like key chains, postal cards, T-shirts and Chinaware from here.