THE NATIONAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM: Remembering the heroes

Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. It covers more than 50 schools in Delhi and NCR...

New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2009 12:20:38 am

Students of Lion’s Public School,Gurgaon,attend the walk at Air Force Museum,Palam,conducted by The Indian Express

A schools’ initiative from The Express Group
Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. It covers more than 50 schools in Delhi and NCR.

Quest aims at stirring awareness and opinions. Today,when all that children see are shopping malls and cineplexes,we at The Indian Express want to show a completely different picture of this city to them. Delhi has changed beyond nostalgia and recognition since Independence. How many of these kids know of the ‘Seven Cities’ of Delhi or the stories of the pigeon fliers of Old Delhi?

The idea behind such an activity is to create awareness about the various structures and monuments that the students do not know about.

This is a specially designed programme,which will help the students appreciate the rich culture and background of this city. This is a small effort on our behalf to depict a phase of our national life and the decay of a whole culture,a particular mode of thought and living.

The visit is followed by the students sending in articles,pictures,poems,paintings,and collages to express their experiences about the walk.

We invite schools to be a part of this Express Group initiative. For queries mail to heritagewalks@expressindia.com

We got the opportunity to visit the Indian Air Force Museum . It was very exciting and a new experience for us. The museum is located in Palam and is the only museum dedicated to the Indian Air Force and is also one of the very few Air Force museums in Asia. The museum consists of a war memorial,three galleries,an aircraft hangar and an aircraft dispersal in the open. At the entrance was a GNAT fighter and a laser-guided missile to welcome visitors.

We entered the first gallery which consists of an amazing collection of Indian Air Force artefacts and a brief description of the museum. There was also an IAF golden jubilee capsule which was very beautiful. Pictures related to IAF were also displayed.

I particularly liked the inspection by former President Dr Rajendra Prasad of the Guard of Honour and pictures of Independence Day celebrated in Jodhpur on August 15,1948.

There were a number of armaments like swords,guns,pistols. From the first gallery we went to the main hangar which consists of paintings of various missiles that formed a major part of the Indian Air Force.

We also saw and enjoyed a big statue of the flying officer Nirmal Jeet Singh SekhonPVC (10877 Flying pilot). Pakistani vehicles and tanks captured during 1971 Indo-Pak war were on display too. We experienced the feeling of sitting on a plane named AN-12 that originated in Ukraine.

We went to the heritage aircraft and memorabilia war trophies and armaments gallery which was also interesting. We had a very good time. It was an enriching experience. We are proud of our defence forces.
Mona Dokania
Class VIII- C

I was eagerly waiting for february 4,when our trip to the Air Force Museum in Palam Vihar was scheduled.

The museum is dedicated to our proud Indian Air Force. It is a one-of-its-kind Air Force Museums in India as well as Asia.

It has war memorials,which,along with its three galleries,constitute the heart of the great museum. It has an aircraft hangar and an aircraft dispersal in the open on both sides of the entrance,which seemed to welcome us in their own distinct way.

The museum authorities had displayed various memorials and other remarkable objects really well and deserve appreciation as they are instrumental in preserving these memorials.

We saw missiles,helicopters,airplanes,spaceship,paintings,portraits,mementoes among others. The first things that caught my attention were the aircrafts,and the laser-guided missiles.

There was an IAF Platinum Jubilee Capsule which is to be opened on the IAF’s centenary on October 8,2032. There was a model of an aircraft which was presented to the Indian Air Force during the Indo-Pak conflict. There were also many flighter bombers. I could also see the well-known first ground attack fighter Sukhoi: SO-7,USSR which was a frontline aircraft during the Indo-Pak conflict of 1971.

My favourite was Gallery-III,which displayed operational air defence equipment,missiles,armaments,models of aircrafts for future generations to view and get inspired from their past. A part of the gallery is dedicated to the First Indian Chief Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee.

I feel proud that I am an Indian where sepoys sacrifice their lives for their country and I want to be like them and render my wholehearted service to my country.
Pooja Yadav
Class VIII-A

Among places to be visited in Delhi,the Air Force Museum is a wonderful spot not only for increasing our general knowledge but also making people aware about the importance of the Air Force in the Indian Army.

As we entered the gates,there was a beautiful garden with a shrine named “Yudh Smriti”. Going straight,there was a missile named 1EO59 that originated in Russia. In Gallery I,many beautiful models,a globe with the Indian Flag and a golden capsule were kept. Awards which had been given to our brave Indian soldiers were kept in a transparent box. It consisted of photographs of World War II. Pictures of soldiers and leaders adorned the walls of the museum. The weapons on the board made history more lively. There was a bundle of guns and swords namely Vicker,MK-1 and many more. Walking past the last room,we could find uniforms used by the soldiers.

There was a big hall which had big aircrafts and planes. They were real and truly magnificent. It looked like we were travelling through the 1970s,when Indo-Pak war was going on.

There were planes,buses,vehicles and even missiles which were sent to India in 1972. They were completely damaged as our brave soldiers had fought against them. Gallery II and III consisted of paintings and things that had been used by Indian pilots to locate the enemy. Instruments like ground cameras and air cameras are even now in working condition because of the care given to them. The people working there were really disciplined and their efforts worth appreciating. Planes,aircrafts and missiles kept there proves that India is not afraid of any country. Everyone should go and explore the museum for awareness and education.
Vinika Vashisht
Class VIII-B

Our museums are the storehouse of historical facts. They are invaluable gifts from our ancestors. People from different places come here to explore these museums to review our history,culture and traditions. One such museum is the Indian Air force Museum.

The museum is really very informative for those who want to join the Indian Air Force. Information about different aircrafts could be gathered from here. Along with real aircrafts,there were many models of aircrafts through which we came to know about functioning,types of aircraft and the uses of aircrafts. The few listed aircrafts are — BC727 which originated in Ukraine. It has capacity of 90 troops with the speed of 777km/hour and a range of 36000 km. Its height is 33,500 feet. It was in service from 1961 to 1993. Another aircraft is MIG-23,originated in Russia and plays the role of fighter bomber. It has R-29B-30 type,55B engine with a maximum thrust of 11,500 kg. It has a maximum altitude of 117 km. Sukhoi-SU-7 is also an aircraft manufactured in the USSR. It was in service from 1968 to 1986. SU-7 was a frontline aircraft in 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. It was put to excellent use in air strike. SPITFIRE is also an aircraft that originated in the UK. It is a multirole fighter with a speed of 720kmph. It was used in World War II. Another aircraft present at the museum is Hauker Hurricane originated in the UK. It is known as a ground attack recee aircraft. It took the brunt of battle and accounted for a large number of kills. Some other aircrafts that are present at the museum are — Bristal Blenhewn,hawker hunter,Hawkert hart,MIG23,Dassault Ovragon (Toofani) and many more.

IAF is really an educational site to be visited which is appreciated by all.
Chhavi Kumar
Class VIII-B

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