The first time we heard that MiG-29 KB3298 had been grounded forever was from Rishi, who had spent some time as an intern at HAL Ozhar. KB3298, apparently had an a drop tank accident at Adampur with either 223 Squadron or 47 Squadron and had been declared "Cat E" - beyond economical repair. The nature of the accident is not known, but the aircraft airframe had survived, enough to be rebuilt for display. That was exactly what was being done when Rishi first saw the aircraft. The aircraft had previously served with No.28 Squadron at Pune, a photograph of the aircraft can be seen on Bharat Rakshak at this link.
So it wasn't much of a surprise when Mr GC Chakraborty (Ashit Chakraborty's dad) wrote in from Nagpur towards in August 2005 to inform that a MiG-29 had arrived at Nagpur which was going to be put up on warbird duties. He had told us the aircraft's identity as KB3298. At that time the aircraft had just arrived in Nagpur and was kept besides the gate.
|The aircraft seen from the rear. According to the photographer, the engine nozzles are 'sealed' shut. Photo: Rahul Devnath|
But it was left to Rahul Devnath to get the first ever pictures of a MiG-29 warbird. Rahul visited the HQ MC Building and took the photographs featured on this page. According to him, the aircraft is located in front of the HQ MC Building at the Vayu Sena Nagar. The aircraft is in impeccable condition, apparently having arrived in Nagpur in June 2005.
After being on static display at the adjacent road for almost six months, the aircraft was finally mounted on a pole towards the end of 2005. It is mounted with an inclination of approx 20 degree, and a bank of approx 10 degrees.
Apart from being wonderfully placed, the airframe even looks airworthy, with a nicely maintained garden surrounding the aircraft. The aircraft's intake doors are in place, in the closed position.
The airframe showcases the new camo, the "tipnis grey", without any squadron markings. As the MiG-29 is situated deep inside the Air Force, station. It's not readily available for public viewing. Although civilians without any Air Force connections would probably have to take the permission of Security section. Rahul writes that there is no particular ban in shooting the aircraft, but being a Air Force station, official permission is required for photography anywhere inside the campus, and its always recommended to get permission from the security section before taking photos.
Photos from this page were featured in Flypast Magazine's February 2006 issue