April 15, 2024

Donated by the Hyderabad Flying Club, This DHC-1 Chipmunk sits outside the main office of Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Mrs. Anuradha Reddy who authored an excellent book on Hyderabad Aviation recently. While discussing on vintage aircraft, and the Tigermoth that was donated by the AP Flying club to AFA Dundigal, she mentioned that AP Flying club donated another aircraft. This was a DHC-1 Chipmunk to Hyd Pub School.

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The De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk trainer on display at the Hyderabad Public School. Note the engine’s starboard cowling hanging loose.

This was quite a surprise, as i have gone thousands of times in front of the school and atleast a couple of times inside and I failed to notice this. So in a couple of days, I set off to see for myself this particular aircraft.

The Hyderabad Public School was in the center of Hyderabad city on the Begumpet road. The school is a huge palatial building and has vast amount of playing grounds and a huge compound wall that obstructs views from the road. Once inside the campus, the aircraft was quite easily spottable besides the newly constructed block near the office.

A Close look on the fin reveals a shape of an aircraft painted and the letters De Havilland Canada Chipmunk. Also note the mainwheel tyres which have disintegrated due to exposure. Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge The whole aircraft is protected by a wire fence. The cockpit is open to weather exposure as the canopy is slid open.

The aircraft was in a wired enclosure and surprisingly painted in Indian Air Force roundels and fin flash. The ‘chipmunk’ logo was quite prominent on the tail fin/rudder. The aircraft is in overall metal finish.

The cockpit canopy was open and one can say for sure that the ravages of the environment must have wrought havoc on the aircraft. The main tyres were on concrete blocks. I could make out that the tyres had virtually rotted away due to the exposure.

Another view of the Chipmunk. The History of this particular aircraft is not known.

The engine cowling on the starboard side seems to have worked loose and was hanging by a single rivet and this projected a derelict look as a whole.

Not much is known about the history of this Chipmunk apart from the fact it is the only known example on ‘preservation’ duty. Apparently the information can be brought from the AP Flying club. But thats for the future.


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