March 4, 2024
A MiG-21 Bison appeared in 2018 in Hyderabad, the first of its kind.

Hyderabad got the privilege of featuring the first ever MiG-21 Bison to be displayed in public as a gate guardian. This happened before April 2018, when MiG-21 Bison CU2129 was installed outside the main gate of the HAL factory in Balanagar. This is the gate facing the Mumbai Highway.

First bought to our notice by Ivan Jalaluddin who happened to go by the Balanagar road. This was a bit of a surprise for us. Only 126 MiG-21Bis airframes were upgraded to Bison standard in the early 00s. The original serial of the MiGs were “C” prefixed and changed to “CU” prefix to note the upgrades.

CU-2129 must have been one of the earliest Bis airframes and thus could have been close to the expiry of its TTL. At the time of publishing, it is one of the only three Bisons known to be preserved. And by the looks of it, HAL has been doing a fine job keeping it in top shape over the years.

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