April 14, 2024

Germany has a strong presence of Indian Warbirds. It has atleast three aircraft on display, and a fourth in flying condition. To honor the contribution of Dr. Kurt Tank, who had designed the HAL HF-24 Marut for India, A HF-24 [D-1256] is on display at the massive Deutsche Museum Flugwerft at Schleissheim, Bavaria, Germany.

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HAL HF-24 Marut (D 1256) at the Deutsche Museum in Schleissheim, Germany. The Marut is displayed along with another Kurt Tank design, the Egyptian HA-300. The pictures were taken by Paul Nann in 1999. Photo Courtesy Paul Nann

In the sixties and seventies, the Indian Navy acquired a number of BAe Sea Hawk fighters from West Germany’s Marineflieger (Naval Aviation) Wing. One such Seahawk [IN 238] was handed over by Adm R H Tahiliani to R Adm W Engelman, Commander German Naval Aviation, on 19 Feb 96 at INS Hansa. The aircraft was handed over as a gesture of friendship and fraternity between the German and Indian navies. Sea Hawk 238 was flown out to Madras in July 1971 to embark Vikrant and take part in the comprehensive flying work up preceding the war. During the waning years, IN 238 was the only servicable Sea Hawk available in the squadron for many a month.

Click to Enlarge The former Indian Navy Seahawk(IN-238) was presented to the German Navy in 1996 by Admiral Tahiliani. The aircraft was a former German Navy aircraft bought by the Indian Naval Air Arm in the mid 60s. Photo Courtesy Erik op den Dries
The Seahawk IN-238 is currently at the Aeronauticum Nordholz Museum at Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany. It is preserved in Indian Navy Colors as seen here. Photo Courtesy Erik op den Dries.

Go to Erik's WebsiteErik has a website devoted to museum aircraft where he is willing to exchnage slides. You can go to his site by clicking on this image at left.

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This was the same Sea Hawk which on 16 December 1983, flew out with Cdr UP Bapat at the controls to welcome the first three Sea Harriers to Dabolim (led by Cdr Arun Prakash). This Sea Hawk had amassed 1105.15 hours flying time, is displayed at the Aeronauticum Nordholz Museum at Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany. Photographs of the Seahawk have been contributed by Mr. Erik op den Dries of Germany.

Aircraft Type Serial No Location
HAL HF-24 Marut D-1256 Deutsche Museum, Schleissheim
BAe Sea Hawk IN-238 Aeronauticum Nordholz Museum, Villingen-Schwenningan
Supermarine Spitfire XIV MV-370 Gunter Leonhardt Museum, Hanover
De Havilland DH.82 Tigermoth N-6740 ‘Miss Sophie’ Registered as D-ETHC

The Gunter Leonhardt Museum at Hanover has a Supermarine Spitfire XIV serialled MV-370. This aircraft was one of the airframes that was bought to the UK in the 70s and registered as G-FXIV. The aircraft was believed to have been an instructional airframe in India. No information is available on its identity with the Indian Air Force

Another Ex-IAF aircraft that is currently in Germany is the De Havilland Tigermoth, Miss Sophie. This aircraft was procured from UK and is operated as D-ETHC. The aircraft has the colors RAF Training scheme with serial N-6740. The aircraft started service with this serial during WW2 before moving to the civlian register. In 1952, it was procured by the IAF and sold off to UK in 1980.

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