April 23, 2024
Hunter S-576 was installed here in 2001
Hawker Hunter [S-576] is by far one of the best Hunter displays in the country. When the aircraft was inagurated on 17 Dec 2001 by Air Chief Marshal Tipnis, it sported an ‘all grey’ color scheme. Today (2006) the aircraft can still be seen at the Ambazari Gardens in an all-silver paint scheme. Photos: Kapil Chandni (Left) and Rahul Devnath (Right)

Sometime towards the end of 2001, Our Co-Webbie got some ‘intelligence’ that the Nagpur Municpal corporation was on the verge of erecting a Hunter aircraft in one of the public parks. Apparently they had received two aircraft quite some years back, and after much deliberation, one of the fighters was sent back and the Hunter was chosen to be installed. The inauguration of the aircraft was to be done by the then Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis on his farewell visit to the Nagpur Air Force establishments.

The perfect lines of the Trainer are evident in this page. The aircraft was inaugurated by the then Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis. Click to Enlarge

Sure enough, a team of Air Force engineers and men arrived at the Ambazari garden to install the Hunter, which was a T.66D variant having the serial number S-576. The resulting display is quite spectacular as can be seen from the photographs. This took the form of the Hunter mounted on a granite covered platform which had the inscriptions on the aircraft specifications as well as the inauguration plaque.

Click to Enlarge S-576 is seen in this picture when it was first noticed at Kalaikunda three years back, withdrawn from Service. It sported the yellow-orange striped tail of the ‘Banners’, No.2 TTU. Photo:Simon Watson
Details of the Hunter’s unveiling are recorded on the Plaque. Photo: Rahul Devnath Click to Enlarge

S-576 was an aircraft photographed by Simon Watson during his visit to Kalaikunda way back in 1999. At that time it was one of the aircraft withdrawn from use but it sported the yellow and orange striped rear fuselage that Hunters of No.2 TTU ‘The Banners‘ used to sport. Apparently sometime later the Hunter was donated to the Nagpur Municipal corporation. No previous history is known of S-576 , though it is quite likely it saw service with Nos 20, 27 or the OCU before its final posting to the TTU at Kalaikunda.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge
Hunter S-576 seen in March 2006 in an all-silver metalic paint scheme Photo: Rahul Devnath

In March 2006, Rahul Devnath visited the Hunter again and found that the aircraft was now paitned in an All-Silver scheme. The aircraft appeared to be in good condition.

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