December 6, 2022

When this website started, we presented a list of known Indian Warbirds - and they numbered around 80 as on January 2001. Now thanks to our website visitors, contributions and personal efforts, our catalogue of preserved warbirds has crossed the 300 mark.  The current total is 306 identified and located warbirds. It should be pointed out that about 30 out of these 306 are either derelict or wreckages or training airframes which we have made note of. It should be pointed out here that the total does not include another 20 or so TS-11 Iskras expected to be sent for preservation in the near future.

Leading Populous Type : Gnat

Its no surprise that the Gnat / Ajeet combination leads the survey with nearly 39 aircraft identified around the country and more reports and sightings pouring in even as we speak. This also translates into a 12% survivor ratio of all the aircraft that served with the IAF.

The Hawker Hunter comes in second, with nearly 24 aircraft identified as preserved with a possible 12-15 in storage after their withdrawal from service a few years back. Third place goes to the MiG-21, 26 aircraft identified, but since 4 of these are relics or incomplete aircraft or wreckages, the net position is 26-4 = 22 – So Rank No.3

Survivor Ratio : Alize

In terms of 'Survivor Ratio', i.e Number of survivors in relation to the total number produced/inducted, The Breguet Alize of the Navy leads with 35% , five survivors out of Fourteen inducted. Next is the Navy's Sea Hawk fighter with a 15% ratio.

Surprisingly, The Sukhoi-7 in the IAF leads the Survivor ratio with about 12.5%. Followed by the homegrown HF-24 Marut with 10.5%. Gnats come in at 12% and most of the other types are around the 10% mean as can be seen below in the table.

The Warbird Survey

Rank Type Prvd D/W Surv S/S
1 HAL Gnat 39 1 12.0%  
2 Hawker Hunter 24      9.5% 8
3 MiG-21 26 4    4.0% 400
4 HT-2 17   10.0%  
5 HF-24 Marut 16   10.5%  
6 Sukhoi-7 16   12.5%  
7 Hawker Seahawk 11 1 15.0%  
8 Douglas Dakota 11 2   7.0%  
9 North American T6 Harvard 9 2   2.0%  
10 De Havilland Vampire 7     2.0%  
11 HAL Chetak 7 1    
12 Westland Seaking 6 1 15.0% 20
13 Mil Mi-4 6 1    
14 Alize 5   35.0%  
15 Canberra 5     4.0% 9
16 Mystere IVa 5     4.5%  

Prvd – Numbers preserved
D/W – Derelict / Wreckage – may soon be scrapped
Surv – Ratio of Aircraft Survivors / Total acquired
S/S – Storage / in Service – either recently retired or still serving

World War Two aircraft population is made up of C-47s, Harvards etc. These are of 16 types and number 40. The listing is as follows:

The WW2 Warbird Survey

Rank Type Prvd D/W Remarks
1 C-47 Dakota 11 2  
2 North American Harvard 9    
3 Supermarine Spitfire 4    
4 Auster 3    
5 B-24 Liberator 1    
6 De Havilland DH9 1    
7 De Havilland DH 82 Tigermoth 2    
8 De Havilland DH85 Pussmoth 1    
9 Fairey Firefly 1    
10 Hawker Hurricane 1 1    
11 Hawker Tempest II 1    
12 Percival Prentice 2 1  
13 Stinson L5 Sentinel 3 2  
14 Westland Lysander 1    
15 Westland Wapiti 1    
16 Yokosuka MXY7 Baka 1    

Prvd – Numbers preserved
D/W – Derelict / Wreckage – may soon be scrapped

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