September 29, 2022

The only IAF Devon available for public viewing

The De Havilland Devon was the first utility transport aircraft to serve with the IAF’s HQ and Communication Flight. Some twenty of them were procured from UK to equip the flight and were extensively used in VIP Tranportation duties. Its record was continously marred by the several incidents of these aircraft crash landing while carrying VIPs. The Devons served for nearly three decades before being phased out in the early eighties.

The De Havilland Devon [HW-201] is the only IAF Devon on display in India. Even the Indian Air Force Museum at Palam does not have an example of this aircraft. Another example can be seen at the Naval Aviation Museum in Goa.

Click to Enlarge HW-201 was rescued from withering away at the HAL Airfield. apparently the condition of the airframe is illustrated by the Yellow Rig fixed up by HAL to support the aircraft properly.

HW-201 was lying derelict at the HAL airport for nearly a decade and a half before it was rescued for the purpose of being displayed at the HAL Museum. Apparently this aircraft was sent to HAL for an overhaul in the early eighties. By the time the aircraft was repaired and was ready to be sent back to the IAF, the IAF had already phased out the aircraft. Hence it had been lying with HAL for sometime. It was kept in its unofficial collection for sometime before reappearing in the Museum here.

Click to Enlarge
An noticeable difference from other Devon airframes is the absence of the window in the rear entrance door. Its possible that the door was fabricated by HAL just for display purposes
Click to Enlarge

The inside of the Devon shows the rather disturbing condition of the aircraft. The aircraft was obviously rescued from a derelict state, inspite of its repair/overhaul by HAL

The aircraft is externally complete. The inside of the aircraft however, is in a shambles, with the internal skins torn off and wires hanging around in the fuselage. The aircraft itself sits on a yellow jig designed to support and remove the stress of the aircraft’s weight on the undercarriage.

What makes HW-201 unique is the fact that there is no IAF Devon on display even at the Indian Air Force Museum in Palam. Thus this lone example at the HAL Museum fills the gap as far as the preserved IAF Devons are concerned.

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