April 23, 2024
A MiG-27 has been resurrected from the dead - in an impressive effort by an IAF veteran.
MiG-27ML TS517 after being rescued and preserved at the Veteran’s Air Force School at Bulandshahr.

MiG-27 ML [TS517] fighter bomber, a Kargil War veteran which was originally featuring a rare camo scheme, has been restored and installed at Veteran’s Air Force School Bulandshahr. This is the first MiG-27 aircraft to be preserved and put up on public display in Uttar Pradesh.

Veteran’s Air Force School [Estd. 2023] is a premier english medium, co-educational school founded by Mr Satyavir Singh who is an Indian Air Force veteran with an experience of 20+ years in the service and another 20+ years as an educationist. He developed this school as a unique initiative inspired by the Indian Armed Forces to serve all citizens. With the motto of ‘Excellence With Integrity’, the school aims to provide quality education to children in a holistic way and make them leaders of competence and character.

Veteran’s Air Force School is situated in C block of Ganganagar area in Bulandshahr which is around 70 kms from New Delhi. The school is available on Google maps and it has Upper Ganga Canal in it’s vicinity with the National Highway 34 running alongside, and the aircraft is also marked as a historical landmark so it should not be difficult to locate this warbird.

TS517 is one of the first MiG-27 aircraft which were inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1984. This aircraft was part of the elite No.222 “Tigersharks” squadron which was the first squadron in India to be equipped with the MiG-27 aircraft and also the first squadron equipped with air-launched BrahMos cruise missile. The squadron has proved its mettle in various operations including the Kargil War.

This aircraft adorned the campus of the school recently after it was transported on trailers and later reassembled on the school campus. When arrived, the aircraft was having only certain parts of its landing gear and hence certain arrangements were made on-site to install it accordingly. Reportedly, the school management is already in the process to acquire its complete landing gear in the near future.
The restoration work on the aircraft has been done quite impressively considering its original condition. It is observed that certain details & elements are being continuously added to the aircraft to further enhance its condition. As per the sources, the founder of the school was leading the team which worked on the restoration of this aircraft.

The MiG-27 ML [TS517] is not a stranger to us. It was last seen standing at the Hashimara airfield after having suffered a fire involving the engine bay area in the rear .

TS517 was photographed by Rahul Devnath at Hasimara years ago! At that time we suspected that the aircraft was headed for the scrap heap – but that was not to be!

Not far from the national capital, it is indeed a pleasant sight to see this Kargil war veteran standing with pride and honour as ‘The Guardian Of Veteran’s Air Force School Bulandshahr’ which is now home to this warbird.

Mr Satyavir Singh, the founder of the school expressed the hope that the aircraft would help inculcate a sense of patriotism & national integration among the students and would also serve as a source of inspiration for all citizens.

TS517 has been given a fresh makeover in terms of a new coat of paint – White with a hint of grey and it’s canopy has been redesigned. The serial number of the aircraft is clearly mentioned in the front, on the tail section as well as under the wings.

It is nice to see that the installation has been done on concrete pylons in a nose up, climbing, wings fully swept back attitude and not pole mounted. Apart from being wonderfully placed, the aircraft looks even better with a nicely maintained garden surrounding it.

The aircraft is suitably fenced inside the premises for display in front of the main building, right at the entrance of Veteran’s Air Force School in Bulandshahr.

The make-shift undercarriage built on-site is visible here in this view. Note the canopy appears to be built on-site as well, with bird-cage framework clearly visible.

This aircraft has been reported and photographed by Dr Mayank Panwar and all the photographs of the aircraft at the VAFS on this page are copyright of Dr Mayank Panwar.

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