April 15, 2024
28 Il-14s served with the IAF for nearly two decades, yet only two airframes survive. the aircraft was not shown much love by @iaf_mcc..
Derelict Il-14s seen at Palam in late 70s – There are at least four aircraft in view here. Photo Source : Tim on Flickr

The Illyushin-14 was first inducted into the Indian Air Force in late 50s, when two examples were given as free gifts to the Air HQ Squadron.

Subsequently, 26 more of the aircraft were procured in early 60s and these equipped No.42 Squadron based in Palam. The aircraft looks like a tri-cycle gear variant of the famous DC-3 but was relatively underpowered and underwhelming in its performance. It was mostly used to shuttle VIPs and troops during its service with the IAF.

Despite a long career with a dedicated squadron, the aircraft’s exit from IAF service was unheralded and unrecorded. No. 42 Squadron disbanded without much fanfare and all records relegated to some archives somewhere (we hope!)

Illyushin 14 IL860 in Indian Air Force Service.

So what happened to the 28 Il-14s? One aircraft was lost in an accident. One of them IL-860 is preserved in the IAF Museum’s collection.. Stored outside for decades. When the Palam airport was expanded in 2007, an Il-14 was ‘discovered’ serving as a fire training airframe. That aircraft was carted away at that point to an unknown destination. A third Il-14 can be seen in New Delhi at a Government establishment.

Leaving atleast 24 Il-14s that remain unaccounted for. Perhaps scrapped in the 80s.. but surely something must have survived after all those years?

4 thoughts on “Where did the Il-14s go?

  1. The first IL-14 was a personal gift to the then PM, Jawaharlal Nehru. He passed it on to IAF who utilised it in the Air HQ Comm Sqn. When we bought AN-12s, we also got one squadron of IL-14s. The talk was that we did not really want it, but that it was part of the package.

    Yes, it was meant as a Dakota replacement but was inferior in load carrying capacity and the ability to land in short fields. 42 squadron was initially deployed in Srinagar and Jammu. They operated only to Leh. They took part in the airlift during the 1962 conflict. They moved to Palam only after the 1962 conflict.

    The IL-14 and AN-12 operated without seat belts for passengers. The Russian explanation was that their pilots were so good that seat belts are not needed. We did not modify the aircraft.

  2. I have 27 serials. However I see in various databases serial IL860 and BL860. I strongly believe this is a misread or the aircraft has been reregistered. So the same airframe.
    Any thoughts on this?

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