India’s first Air Force Heritage Centre at Chandigarh set to take flight on Independence Day - Hindustan Times
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India’s first Air Force Heritage Centre at Chandigarh set to take flight on Independence Day

By, Chandigarh
May 11, 2022 12:47 AM IST

The Indian Air Force (IAF) heritage centre, the country’s first, is being set up at the erstwhile printing press in Sector 18, Chandigarh

The Air Force Heritage Centre is all set to take flight on this year’s Independence Day. The country’s first IAF Heritage Centre, which will house vintage aircraft is being set up at the erstwhile Government Printing Press building in Sector 18.

A 1971-fame Gnat vintage aircraft has already arrived at the Air Force Heritage Centre, Chandigarh, which is set to take flight on this year’s Independence Day. (HT Photo)
A 1971-fame Gnat vintage aircraft has already arrived at the Air Force Heritage Centre, Chandigarh, which is set to take flight on this year’s Independence Day. (HT Photo)

Speaking about it, a senior UT official said, “Efforts are on to complete the museum work before August 15. Air force officers will play the role of guide. People will be able to know about the valour of the defence forces, stories of war and the weapons used.”

The centre is set to have eight attractions in total, including aircraft models and weapon displays. The biggest attraction, however, will be its very own flight simulator. In addition, informative exhibits including aero engines, aircraft, kiosks and other air force artefacts, including machines/fixtures, films on achievements and personalities and guides, will also be set up. A souvenir shop will also be set up at the museum.

The 1971-fame Gnat vintage aircraft, which shot many Pakistani Sabre aircraft down had reached the centre earlier. An MiG 27 is expected to arrive within a week. The heritage centre will be maintained by the UT administration, while the weapons and other equipment will be set up by the air force.

The administration had shut down the Government Printing Press in 2019. It was then decided to house a vintage car museum at the heritage building. The same was tipped as a dream project of former administrator VP Singh Badnore. Later, the administration added the setting up of a heritage furniture item museum alongside the vintage car museum.

Facing criticism to preserve and protect the city’s heritage furniture items, the administration proposed that one of the floors in the proposed vintage car museum could be used to showcase the heritage furniture.

Another section was planned to be a space for organising auctions of spare heritage furniture items. On August 27, 2021, the UT administration and the air force also agreed upon the building for a vintage aircraft museum in the presence of Badnore.

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