A one-of-its-kind museum in India, the Naval Aviation Museum is a must-visit for all avid travellers, especially aviation geeks. Its close proximity to Dabolim International Airport and the Mormugao Port, makes it an even desirable attraction in Goa. Situated along the Vasco-Bogmalo Road just 6 kilometres from the port city of Vasco-da-Gama, a drive to this museum is spectacularly scenic; by virtue of it being perched on a plateau that overlooks the Arabian Sea.
Founded in 1947 by the Naval Force of India, the military history museum offers an outdoor aircraft park and a gallery with exhibits. The displays include a wide collection of aircrafts (both planes and helicopters), aircraft engines and parts, armaments, weapons, vintage war crafts, sensors, safe gears and ancient photographs that bear witness to India’s history of naval and aviation power.
Among the impressive aircrafts exhibited outdoors are the models of Super Constellation, Hawker Sea Hawk, Hughes, Fairey Firefly, de Havilland Vampire, Giant Lockheed, HAL Chetak, Sea Harrier and Breguet Alizé. Most of these models date back to the 1940s.
Indoors, in the Armament Room, there’s a stunning collection of bombs and torpedoes that have been used in naval battles. If you want an immersive experience, going over the archived collection of rare photographs so as to follow step by step history of the naval aviation is highly recommended.
The most interesting place in the museum for children and teenagers is the Multimedia Room which houses the Jet Cockpit Simulator; a programme that allows you to simulate the experience of being in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Then there’s the Sonobouy Room that houses a collection of sonobouys which are essentially sensors that are used by the aircrafts to detect underwater enemy targets. The Suraksha Room is a delight too with all the gear and gadgets used for protection at display. These help at sea and in the air and include the floating dinghy, parachute, ejector seat and pilot’s overalls.