HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.


Aircraft, Airplanes, Bangalore, Engines, Fighter planes, HAL, HAL Aero Museum, Helicopter, Heritage Museum, Museum

Gave the Xing for service. After a ‘not so good’ experience with my regular service center last time, I decided to head over to the Advaith service center in Whitefield for this service.

Left home post breakfast and reached Whitefield by around 10.00am. Gave the service rep a list of stuff that needed to be taken care of. Since today was a holiday for me but not for Sangeetha, my original plan was to stay at the workshop to check out the work being done and get the car back. However there were already a few cars ahead of mine and work would not start till afternoon. So no point in waiting there…

Got into a bus and was contemplating on ‘things to do’ for the day, considering that the Xing would not be back till tomorrow… and the bus slowed down near the HAL area. I could see the HAL Aero Museum close by and on a whim I got down at the next stop and headed towards the museum.

I had been there once earlier, a couple of years ago, shortly after the museum was opened and work was still going on at that time… and I had been planning to revisit sometime… and today was as good a day as any!

How to get there:

While driving on old-airport road, towards Marathahalli, just keep looking towards your left after crossing the old airport, you’ll see the museum a little before you enter the Marathahalli area.

Entry fee is very reasonable, Rs.25 for adults + Rs.10 for a camera ticket. This place is open 9.00 to 17.00 every day.

Kids will enjoy this place, as will adults with a fascination for airplanes and stuff.

You can’t miss this place on old-airport road, it is well marked.

One of the first out-door displays you’ll come across; scale models of the GSLV (Geo-synchronous Launch Vehicle) and the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft).

There are two main display halls / buildings; the first one is a circular building with photos and scale models, showing HAL’s evolution over the decades…

Fighters manufactured or assembled by HAL over the decades…

Transport aircraft…

Helicopters…

There are some very interesting photos on display here. This one shows a ‘sea-plane’ channel that was built into the Bellandur lake in the 1940s (The lake is adjacent to the HAL airport)…

And the first plane that was overhauled at the HAL facilities was a Catalina sea-plane…

A WW-II Walrus sea-plane…

Some interesting notes from HAL’s history, apart from aircraft, HAL also helped design and build India’s first all-metal rail-coach…

And bus-bodies…

And incredibly a HAL Car! I tried to check if any further info is available on this project and what happened to the prototype etc. Need to ask HAL old-timers if there have any clues…

Another interesting pic…

An old time-keeper machine from the 1940’s. I found a mention that the HAL facilities were taken over by the US Air force in the 40s during WW-II. This time-keeper provides a reference to that period. If you look closely at the serial number plate, it mentions ‘Property of USAAF’. During the second World War, several USAAF (United States of America Air Force) units served in the China-Burma-India theater of the war.

There are also a couple of simulators in one of the buildings. Not exactly state of the art stuff, just a couple of boxes with air-craft type seats in them and a CRT monitor + joystick setup, connected to a computer running a simulator PC game. Anyway, small kids might still enjoy this…

A model of the LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) in the indoor display hall…

The indoor display hall…

A Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine from a DC-3 ‘Dakota’ aircraft. This was a twin-row, 14 cylinder, air-cooled radial engine. With a 30Liter displacement (yes! That’s 30,000cc) and producing up to 1200hp.

There are a few other cut-away engine models on display, which provide a glimpse into the inner workings of an aircraft power plant.

Contd…






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