February 01, 2017

Here’s where you can see India’s aviation history unfold before your eyes.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas  

 

From the first indigenous fighter plane (Marut) to the light combat aircraft (Tejas), there’s something truly awe-inspiring about these sky beauties at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum in Bengaluru.

HAL Aerospace Museum Marut Marut (HF-24) Trainer

 

HAL Aerospace Museum Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter "Dhruv"

 

 

The ‘Garden City’ is also the aerospace capital of India, and this is largely due to the pioneering efforts by HAL (started as Hindustan Aircraft Company in 1940) over the decades.

Established in 2001, the museum is the first of its kind in the country, housing a wide array of aircrafts and helicopters that chart the growth of Indian aviation. There’s Lakshya, the pilotless target aircraft; Canberra, the bomber, trainer and high-altitude photographic reconnaissance aircraft; Dhruv, the advanced light helicopter; Hansa, the perfect machine for hobby flying…there’s an aircraft for every purpose. With rare exceptions like the Dove (Devon), a short-haul British aircraft and Hansa, designed and developed by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bengaluru, all of them were manufactured by HAL. The Aircrafts on display include:

  1. Lakshya, the pilotless target aircraft
  2. Canberra - the bomber, trainer and high- altitude photographic reconnaissance aircraft
  3. Dhruv, the advanced light helicopter... there's an aircraft for every purpose.

With rare exceptions like the Dove (Devon) a short-haul British aircraft and Hansa - the perfect machine for hobby flying, designed and developed by National Aerospace Laboratories (NA), Bengaluru, all of them were manufactured by HAL.

HAL Aerospace Museum Hansa Hansa

 

HAL Aerospace Museum Canberra Canberra

 

HAL Aerospace Museum Lakshya Lakshya Pilotless Target Aircraft

 

 

HAL Aerospace Museum Kiran Kiran

 

What must it feel like to fly a plane, you ask? Find out for yourself with the true motion simulators that promise an almost-real experience. For the curious mind, there are many more marvels to gaze at.

  1. The meteorological radar (that helps pilots keep abreast of the weather conditions),
  2. air traffic control radar and antenna (that provide information about the aircraft’s position),
  3. heat shield (chamber for keeping the satellite, with a capacity of up to 1,000 kg) of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO);

You don’t really have to be an aerospace enthusiast to appreciate this place. The herbal garden could do with better maintenance and the locked orchidarium may leave you a tad disappointed, but there’s every reason to pay a visit to this remarkable museum located at HAL Old Airport Road. Especially if you have children (over three years) and you don’t fancy spending another weekend at the mall. The museum is open on all days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum Old Airport/ HAL Airport Road, Bangalore T: +91-80-2231 8341 Entrance Fee: Rs.30 up to 18 years, Rs.50 above 18 years

Text & Pictures by Jisha Krishnan