April 23, 2024

Every once in a while there is a Google Earth discovery that throws us off-balance. Years ago we found the sole surviving Curtis C-46 Commando via a GE Search. So last year another such ‘find’ was made – right in the heart of New Delhi.

This find is located behind the DRDO Transit facility in the Timarpur area, on Brig SK Majumdar marg. In the complex, a rare Illyushin-14 was discovered to have been stored. Now our initial thought was this was the same Il-14 that likely disappeared when the IGI Airport at Palam was expanded back in 2007, but a look at the Google Earth’s timeline feature showed that the aircraft was always there – right from the early 2000s.. It was just another “Open Secret” that was in plain view.

The aircraft’s identity remained a mystery till a recent update by Peter Hillman. He was notified by his contacts (left unnamed) that the identity of this bird was BL565.

No current photographs of the aircraft exist but an archival photo of the same can be found below

BL565 as seen at Bombay in the 70s.

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