April 21, 2024

This ex-IAF warbird is a rare airframe - with a private training school in Bangalore

Click to Enlarge This De Havilland Devon, on the premises of Sri Ramaya School Campus at Jakkur Village is owned by VSM Aerospace Institute. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath

One of the Aerospace Engineering Schools in Bangalore is Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Training Institute operated by VSM Aerospace Private Ltd. It was formerly locatedabout 5 kms from the Bangalore airport, on the shoulder of Ring Road at the inter section of Kammanahalli Main Road, Ring Road and Hennur Main Road. The School has a De Havilland Devon on its premises as an instructional airframe.

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The DH Devon of VSM Aerospace Pvt Ltd as seen in its premises . Pic Courtesy VSM Aerospace Pvt Ltd.The Devon being used by Trainee engineers. Note that the company name is painted in yellow letters across the top of the windows. Pic Courtesy VSM Aerospace Pvt Ltd.

The Devon that belonged to VSM Aerospace was first reported by Sanjay Simha. At that time VSM was located on the Ring road about 4-5km from the Airport and the aircraft could be seen from the road itself. It was in natural metal scheme with blue stripes along the fuselage. The then website of VSM aerospace and two tiny images of the aircraft which are reproduced on this page.

Not long afterwards Sanjay reported that VSM had moved (or wound up operations) and that the aircraft was not there. While it was clear that VSM was still functioning (As can be deduced from the DGCA documents) it was not clear if the aircraft was with them or had been disposed off.

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The starboard and port views of the De Havilland Devon, shows the freshly applied yellow and black paint scheme. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath

It was not until March 2006, when Duncan Kirk emailed Richard Vandervord about a ‘sighting’ he made just outside the Jakkur airfield border in the imagery released by Google Earth. Needless to say it turned out to be the DH Devon of VSM Aerospace. It seems that VSM Aerospace had moved their base to Sri Rama Vidyalaya campus east of the Jakkur airfield. The Devon could clearly be seen in the imagery. Armed with this information it did not take long for Rahul Devnath to visit VSM premises and take the excellent photos on this page.

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The aircraft appears to still have its engines mounted along with the props. Note that the windows are opaque. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath

The Devon appears to be in excellent condition , no doubt thanks to the thick glossy yellow paint it has received from the college. The engines, props, undercarriage etc are all in fine order. Only the window panes look odd, as they seem to have been painted to protect it from the suns harmful UV rays.

There is no trace of the aircraft’s actual id on the outside – any civilian or military markings if there had been have been overpainted. the only decipherable marking was the seal of VSM Aero on the rudder fin.

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Except for the VSM Aero’s logo painted on the tail, there are no tell-tale markings on the aircraft that indicates its past history. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath

The aircraft is in august company of an unidentified helicopter which was parked nearby and covered in tarps when Rahul visited the site. An information plaque on the site also mentioned that the ‘Hangar’ was inaugurated on 29 Aug 05 by Dr CG Krishnadas Nair, former chairman of HAL.

Click to Enlarge The aircraft as seen from the front. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath
This covered helicopter was also seen on VSM Aerospace’ premises. Photo Copyright : Rahul Devnath Click to Enlarge

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