April 15, 2024
Sharing the space in front of the AFA Museum along with the Harvard is a

Sharing the space in front of the AFA Museum along with the Harvard is a HAL HT-2 [IX-718] . The HT-2 flew till the late seventies at the AFA as the ab-initio trainer for flying cadets till its replacement by the HPT-32. The aircraft was daunting to fly for new cadets, “If you can fly the HT-2, Then you can fly anything with wings” being the comment of one pilot. It can be safely assumed that IX-718 probably formed one of the last aircraft to be in the inventory of the AFA.

This view of the HAL HT-2 [IX-718] shows the aircraft in its display location outside the AFA Museum . The Cockpit Canopy cover can clearly be seen in the picture on the left
Another view of the HAL HT-2 on display besides the Harvard outside the AFA Museum. Major work was done on the wooden propeller which had deteriorated due to time. Click to Enlarge

Similar to the Harvard, the HT-2 received a new paint job. Though not much changes can be observed, the description label on the fuselage of the aircraft was removed and a yellow stripe of paint was added on the rear fuselage in lines with the paint schemes of those days.

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THEN AND NOW: The HT-2 as seen three years back, covered against the elements by the sheet. As can be seen in the picture, even the display platform and the lawn surrounding it were in a bad shape. Today the surroundings have been repaired. The aircraft had received a fresh coat of paint and recognition stripes of yellow on the rear fuselage and wings.
The HT-2 sans its cockpit canopy tarpaulin. As compared to the picture above, the addition of the cover hardly detracts from the appearance of the aircraft. Pic Courtesy AVM S Bhojwani. Click to Enlarge

The wings too received the ‘recognition’ yellow stripes. The major challenge of the HT-2 restoration was the propeller. The wooden propeller had deteriorated over the years and had to be treated and restored to look good again.

A Canopy cover was ‘stitched’ and painted to represent the Canopy frame from a distance.

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The HT-2 seen in December 2005.

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