April 21, 2024

The De Havilland Dove [Known as the Devon in the IAF] was inducted into Naval Aviation in 1965. Two aircraft were procured from the IAF and numbered IN-124 and IN-125. These were intially procured to replace the Sealands in INAS550 which were being phased out. The decision to operate the Dove was made easier by the fact that the Sealand and the Dove essentially share the same type of engine – the inverted inline Gypsy Queen engine.

YESTERDAY AND TODAY – De Havilland Dove IN-124 during its service with the Indian Navy (above) and on display in Goa today (Right.

The first Dove arrived on 8 May 1965, followed by the second a few days later. The service life of the Dove is not known much. It is assumed that the aircraft served with INAS550 for sometime and was later retired.

The first Dove IN-124 still survives today – and was the first Dove aircraft earmarked for preservation in India. Only recently did HAL put on display another Dove aircraft at their Museum.

IN-124 is in pristine condition externally, complete with engine cowlings, propellers, undercarraige etc. The aircraft however is not completely painted in the scheme it sported in service. It is currently now in an all metal finish scheme. While the roundel and Serial number is painted in place, the fin flash is missing.

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The Dove was first photographed by Hans van Herk as far back as in 1999 (here). The aircraft appeared to be in much better condition than the one at HAL museum. More recently B Harry’s picture shows that the maintenance is still top notch, but the fin flash is still missing.

The aircraft is intact and in good condition to be displayed on its own legs – The other known preserved example undertakes the support of special jigs. Though the engine cowlings are in place, there is some ambuigity whether the Gypsy Queen engines displayed elsewhere in the museum belong to this aircraft or to the Sealand.

This forward view of the Dove shows the arabian sea in the magnificient Bogmalo Bay . The Beach which is not seen is known for its ‘dangerous’ waves. Click to Enlarge

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