September 27, 2022

Besides one of the Hangars housing the HPT-32s being flown by the Cadets every day is an HAL Gnat [E355] displayed on two pylons in flying position. The aircraft presents a colorful sight, with the rudder being painted yellow, a couple of chequer board markings flanking the roundels, and the entire spine of the aircraft being painted black.

HAL Gnat E355 near the ramp. Not seen in the picture was a Hangar that housed HPT-32s. The Gnat does not have hardpoints under its wings and does not have an ejection seat either.

Surprisingly the aircraft does not have any hardpoints, these probably been removed either during transit or installation at its present place. Two hardpoints were always present on the Gnat. The latter Ajeet version had four hardpoints.The Serial number makes it one of the HAL produced examples. This aircraft did not require any additional work. The only plans here are to give it a more authentic and accurate paint job.

HAL Gnat [E-355] as seen from its port side. Its tiny size and the fact its flanked by a Hangar on one side makes it very difficult to spot.

In December 2004, the aircraft was observed at a different location. It had been moved a few meters away and placed besides the main ATC building – The ‘Sekhon’ block. The Gnat was now displayed in a banking position and is in plain silver finish.

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