September 29, 2022

The Mystere IVa on display at the Park till recently had only the numbers '938' painted on it. Speculation was that it was 'IA-938'. Facing the "Mystere Marg" in the Academy, which goes to terminate at the "Vampire Triangle", the aircraft sported the same false 'serial' for more than ten years. Its cockpit was kept covered by a green tarpaulin, and the aircraft had inlet and exhaust covers in place to prevent debris.

Click to Enlarge This Mystere IVa as seen from the front. The aircraft recieved a new and a more accurate paint job
IA-938 as seen from the rear. It was also observed that the Tail plane elevators were all rivetted in an immovable position.

Recently the aircraft was given a metal finish. The serial number was repainted in large letters as 'IA-938'. Records reveal that IA-938 was the fourth Mystere to have been inducted into the IAF service, from a total of 110 which were inducted. A red stripe was painted across the nose portion of the aircraft and a Canopy cover made and installed , similar to that of the Harvard.

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THEN AND NOW: IA-938 as it was three years back, when it sported only the numbers '938'. No Operational history of this aircraft is available.

Previously , the aircraft's oleos had sunk due to the weight of the aircraft and the aircraft had a nose high attitude on its display platform. The problem of the sunk oleos was solved by jamming a steel rod between the undercarriage struts to give it the appropriate length. This was done after raising the aircraft with jacks.

The aircraft had an intake cover that used to block the airintake in the nose. This had been now discarded in favour of two semi circular intake covers that are inserted deeper into the air intake. This allows for a more natural external appearance of the aircraft.

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THEN AND NOW: The Mystere IVa as it was three years back. Note the nose-high attitude of the aircraft. This was rectified this year and the aircraft repainted as shown on the left. Also note the Air-Intake Cover and the Name board constructed at the base. Pic on Right Courtesy AM S Bhojwani.

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