One of a handful military museums in the world, the Indian Air Force Museum in New Delhi showcases a collection of planes that were crucial in defending the country over the decades. It is the only museum in the country dedicated to the air force. Consisting of an annex and hangar, the museum also takes us through its history, in war and peace, and the contribution of the thousands to protecting the country. This includes a Roll of Honor that lists the names of martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the 1947 Kashmir Operation, 1962 Chinese Aggression, and the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan conflicts. You will also find pictures of crucial moments during these wars, including a painting of aircraft striking enemies.
For the big boys, head to the hangar, where you can find 15 military aircraft on display that once formed crucial parts in the air force ever since it was formed in 1932. There is even a full-size US Apollo lunar module that once carried the first men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin. The Indian aircraft include the Westland, which was the first to fly over the Khyber pass back in 1929. You will also find the French Toofani, our version of the British Vampire and India’s first ever jet-propelled aircraft for the air force. The Toofani was crucial in the early Indo-Pak wars. There is the Russian IL-14 Meghdoot, the Hawker Hunter and the French Mystere. CHECK OUT: 13 stunning photos of monuments in New Delhi that make us proud to be Indians
In the midst of the rockets, flights and bombs, you will find a massive statue of Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon. He was the only air force pilot in India to be awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his flying skill, gallantry and heroism, which he showed by shooting down two sabers. Head outside the hangar, and you will find the tail unit of a Russian SU-7. The aircraft was crippled in the 1971 war, but Wing Commander Mangat managed to fly it back to base successfully. There is also the B-24 Liberator, a World War II-era bomber, and the MI-4 Work Horse helicopter that was in service for 21 years in the Indian Air Force. And, of course, there is India’s first ever indigenous fighter aircraft, the HAL Marut, and plenty of other important displays. With so much history on offer, the Indian Air Force Museum can be a very educative visit.
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