March 5, 2024
HAL HF-24 Marut [D1220] on display in the Officer's Mess compound in Jodhpur. This aircraft, along with a Sukhoi-7 and HT-2 were part of the "Heritage Museum"

Jodhpur saw a plethora of training institutions in its time. The RAF had its No.1 Elementary Flying Training School (No.2 EFTS) during WW2 which imparted training in the Fairchild Cornell aircraft. Later on, No.2 Air Force Academy was set up by the IAF after Independence which used the Percival Prentice, and Harvard aircraft to provide the flying training. No.2 AFA was later redesignated as Air Force Flying College (AFFC) to impart advanced training on the Harvard.

Flying training ceased after the 1965 Indo Pakistan war and but an Air Force Station is maintained there under the aegis of South Western Air Command. SWAC before moving to Gandhinagar had its Headquarters in Jodhpur. At the erstwhile HQ was a SWAC HQ Museum which housed some artifacts including the wreckage of a F-104 Starfighter from the 1971 War.  

In Sept 2001, A new Heritage Museum was opened by then air chief ACM Tipnis. It was located in the erstwhile Command house which comprises of the Officer's Mess complex. .There are three aircraft in this complex. A HAL HF-24 Marut [D1220], an Unidentified Sukhoi-7 in desert camouflage and a HT-2 Trainer in front of the main building.

The Heritage Museum is chronologically well laid-out six sections- 'Bygone Era', 'Present Era', 'Aviation Era', '1971 Era', 'Gandhinagar Era' and 'Umaid Singh Era', the museum takes the visitor through a time machine, as it traces the remarkable history of aviation at Jodhpur, from its inception in 1924 to the present day. The museum has an impressive display of a wide variety of live models as well as photographs and exhibits of aircraft, missiles, armaments and aircraft-related equipment. On entering the museum gate, a Sukhoi, Marut, MIG-27 and SAM-II which is a Russian missile system, displayed on the lawns of the museum complex, greet the visitors and remind them that though now retired,  

HAL HF-24 Marut D1220 at Heritage Museum in SWAC Officers Mess
Marut veterans and thier better halves gather for a group photo during the Marut Veterans Meet in 2010.
Marut D1220 stands proudly in the gathering of various veterans.
The Marut Air Warriors Second Reunion in 2010.

The Marut is in plain metal scheme and has in recent years formed the backdrop for many a gathering of old pilots and course reunions.

In addition to the Marut, the complex is home to a nice Sukhoi-7 painted in desert camo colours. The Sukhoi is placed on a platform as well and its engine is on a seperate display in the same complex under a shed.

Aviation Historian Phil Camp stands in front of the Sukhoi-7 – Marut D1220 in the background
The aircraft is quite well looked after – the desert paint scheme being unique to it.
Starboard side view of the Sukhoi-7 (Photo Courtesy: Frontier India)
The aircraft has two drop tanks under the fuselage.

Additionally, a SA-2 SAM launcher and the Llyuka AL5 engine of the Sukhoi form rest of the exhibits.  An unidentified HT-2 is also present in the same complex, but towards the rear lawn. 

The AL-7F1-150 engine of the Sukhoi on display. (Photo Courtesy: Frontier India)
SA-2 Missile Launcher

Location of the Marut and the Sukhoi-7

{mosmap width='100%'|height='130'|lat='26.2609169'|lon='73.0385765'|zoom='18'|zoomType='Small'|zoomNew='0'|mapType='Satellite'|showMaptype='1'|overview='0'|tooltip='HF-24 Marut D1220 at Officers Mess'|marker='1'|align='left'}.

Location of the HT-2

{mosmap width='100%'|height='130'|lat='26.2608231'|lon='73.041012'|zoom='18'|zoomType='Small'|zoomNew='0'|mapType='Satellite'|showMaptype='1'|overview='0'|tooltip='HAL HT-2 at Officers Mess'|marker='1'|align='left'}.

Further Reading:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *