October 7, 2022

MC HQ's first warbird

The first warbird at the HQ building was a HAL Gnat. The aircraft was occupied a place of pride and it was displayed exactly in front of the HQ Building. However it was to be displaced by a MiG-23BN [SM262]. This was aparently inagurated by Air Marshal S S Gupta, AOC-in-C Maintanance Command just prior to its retirement. The Gnat was then shifted and pole mounted elsewhere.

- Maintenance Command Head Quarters in Nagpur. This photo was taken from the mid 90s, when the Gnat was still on the pedestal ahead of the building. To the right of the photo is an SA-2 Missile and launcher, while to the left is a rare P-36 Mobile Radar.

Ashit Chakraborty who hails from Nagpur , but now settled in Thailand, confirms that the Gnat was the sole warbird in Nagpur for sometime, and has since then sent us the photo featured below. The aircraft was in service for sometime flying from Srinagar Airfield, as can be seen in the accompanying period picture. It was possibly flown by No.2 Squadron during its days in Srinagar airfield.

HAL Gnat [E 261] on display at its new location near the Canteen Stores Depot at the Vayu Sena Nagar in Nagpur. Displayed on a Pylon, this Gnat is the same one which was displayed in front of the Maintanance command Head Quarters. Pic Courtesy: Ashit Chakraborty
E-261 seen in service with the IAF at Srinagar airfield. Possibly in service with No.2 Squadron. background can be seen the Gnat. Pic Courtesy Ashit Chakraborty onr.gif (841 bytes) SA-2 at MCHQ
RIGHT: HAL Gnat [E 261] on display at the Vayu Sena Nagar in Nagpur. Displayed on a Pylon, this Gnat is the same one which was displayed in front of the Maintanance command Head Quarters. Pic Courtesy: Ashit Chakraborty Click to Enlarge

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