Indian Air Force

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Wapiti.gif (8571 bytes)                                 Wapiti02.gif (8164 bytes)

34KB                          Wapiti IIA                         149KB

The IAF started operations with the metal- structure Wapiti in 1933, and used the same till 1942.  Antiquated, and known derisively as "What-a-pity."  Flown by No. 1 Sqn.  Possibly the only surviving Wapiti.


Lysander.gif (8623 bytes)                                     Lysander02.gif (9425 bytes)

35.6KB                  Lysander Mk. II                 202KB

RAF Lysanders with a port-side ladder used to insert agents into occupied France.  In IAF service from 1941-43 in ground support role with No. 1, 2, 4 Sqns.  Note the doped panels over the landing lights on the spats.


Hurricane1.gif (8116 bytes)          Hurricane2.gif (8101 bytes)          Hurricane3.gif (8402 bytes)

81.1KB                                        70.9KB                                        135KB

Hurricane Mk. II

Contemporary of the Spitfire, the Hurricane was also a legend from the Battle of Britain.  The Mk. II 'Hurribomber' was an improvement over the Mk. I, intended for use in the ground attack role.  In service with RIAF Sqn. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 & 10 from 1942-45.  Used during the Akyab campaign in Burma.  Prefix 'Royal' was bestowed after this in March 1945, until name reverted back to IAF in Jan. 1950.   Undercarriage doors removed here.


Tempest.gif (8113 bytes)          Tempest03.gif (7493 bytes)          Tempest02.gif (8446 bytes)

81.1KB                                       154KB                                      113KB

Tempest II

Stablemate of the Typhoon, the sleek Tempest was one of the fastest day fighters of its time.  The Tempest was also used by the RAF to destroy V-1 flying bombs.  In India, the Tempest equipped RIAF & IAF Sqn. Nos. 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 & 10 from 1946 to 1955, and was used in action over Kashmir in 1947-48.  Unlike other variants, Mk. IIs had no chin radiator.


Lib01.gif (7903 bytes)              Lib02.gif (7354 bytes)              Lib03.gif (7612 bytes)

146KB                                        150KB                                          109KB

B-24J Liberator

Perhaps the most sophisticated aircraft of World War II.  Produced in large numbers, and saw action in all theatres.  In IAF service from 1948 to 1968.  Flown by Sqns. 5 & 6


Spit01.gif (9213 bytes)

Spitfire Mk. XVIII


This Mk. XVIII is a descendant of the legendary Mk. I from the Battle of Britain.  Possibly the most graceful fighter ever built with its distinctive ellipctical wings.  In IAF service from 1951 to 1957.  Other Spitfire variants in IAF service included the Mk. VIII, Mk. XIV and Mk. XIX from 1944  to 1959.  Equipped Sqns. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 14.


Vampire02.gif (9244 bytes)

Vampire NF Mk.54


The IAF was the first air force in Asia to equip with jets.  Vampires were inducted in 1948 and stayed in service till 1975!  The NF model, in service from 1953-1966 with 10 Sqn., gave the IAF night-interception capability for the first time.  The Vampire FB.9 was also license built by HAL.  Other IAF variants included the F Mk.3, FB Mk.52 & T Mk.55.


Ouragan01.gif (7119 bytes)                                        Mystere1.gif (7698 bytes)

Ouragan                                                    Mystère IVA

135KB                                                                                 64.1KB

In IAF service from 1953 - 1967, the Ouragan or Toofani, as it was popularly called, was used in the 1965 War.  Flown by 3, 4, 8, 29 and 47 Sqns. In IAF service from 1957-1974, the Mystère  was used in the 1965 War, notably over Sargodha, and also in the 1971 War.   Flown by 1, 3, 8, 31 and 32 Sqns.


Hunter01.gif (8476 bytes)                                 Hunter02.gif (7416 bytes)

  124KB                     Hunter F.56A                     139KB

In IAF service from 1957 to 1996 , the Hunter was used in the both 1965 and 1971 Wars.  Victor of Longewala, where 4 Hunters destroyed a Pakistani armoured regiment.  Flown by OCU, 7, 14, 17, 20, 27 and 37 Sqns.  Mount of the IAF aerobatic team 'Thunderbolts'.


Canberra01.gif (7987 bytes)                                        Marut01.gif (8503 bytes)

Canberra B(I).58                                                HF-24 Marut

125KB                                                                                135KB

In IAF service from 1957 to date.   Equipped Sqns. 5, 16 and 35.  Used by the IAF in Congo, and in the '65 & '71 Wars.  Bombed the Karachi oil tanks, to cause 'the biggest blaze in South Asia'.  Used now for EW by 35 Sqn. In IAF service from 1964 to 1990.   Designed by the legendary Focke-Wulf designer Kurt Tank.  Manufactured at HAL as India' s first indigenous combat aircraft.   Underpowered by twin Orpheus engines.  Served in the 1971 War with Sqns. 10 & 220.  Upper gun port shown sealed here.


Su7a.gif (7376 bytes)                                             Su7b.gif (7266 bytes)

67.6KB                      Sukhoi Su-7BM                        69.7KB

Large-sized and rugged, the Su-7 was used in IAF service from 1968 to 1986.  Served with 26, 32, 101, 108, 221 & 222 Sqns.  Performed most of the ground-attack missions in the 1971 War, including the notable Shorkot Raid, though suffered losses to AAA.  Normally equipped with drop tanks to enhance range.



Ajeet01.gif (8853 bytes)                                          Mig21.gif (7820 bytes)

    Ajeet                                                               MiG-21FL

137KB                                                                                      41.7KB

In IAF service from 1977 to 1992, the HAL Ajeet was an improvement of the Gnat, in service from 1960-1980.   The lightweight Gnat won fame as a 'Sabre-killer' in 1965, and was also used in the 1971 War. In IAF service from 1963 to date.   Equipped numerous IAF sqns. in F, FL, MF, U & bis variants.  Performed creditably against PAF F-104 Starfighters in 1971.   License-built by HAL.


Migtail0.gif (7435 bytes)

All hangar pix at the IAF Museum, Palam.  A special thank you to Air Marshal Tipnis, Chief of Air Staff, Air Cdre. HV Hariharan, AHQ,  Wg. Cdr. JSK Mahajan, Curator and all the IAF airmen who assisted in Jan. 2000.

HS748.jpg (2157 bytes)