Identity Unveiled : An-12 Wreckage at Punjab Engineering College (BL536)

Recent visits to PEC were fruitful after I discovered a wreck at the Aero Engg Deptt of the college.
The Wing
The wreck caught my attention after discovering that it was that of an An-12 of the IAF.Then began a tedious research journey which lasted for 2.5 months after which the identity of the aircraft was nailed.
This aircraft was manufactured at Irkutsk (#39) Factory.The factory produced 154 An-12s at Irkutsk-Vostochny from 1957 to 1962.
8 An-12s were exported from this factory to India for the Indian Airforce .
Serials from BL532 to BL539.
BL534 crashed on a flight from Leh to Chandigarh  on 06th November 1966 , killing 112 onboard.
BL533 and BL536 were involved in nose gear collapse incidents . 
This particular wreck belongs to BL536 
Export Number of this aircraft is 02 4 005 and construction number is 090 16 03 ,was registered BL536 with IAF.
It burnt out its landing gear while landing at Chandigarh on 5th August 1961.
The wreckage consists of a pair of the Horizontal Stabilizers which belong to BL536 (Verified) and the starboard wing with a part of the engine cowls. The damage analysis of the wing reveals the intensity of crash wasn’t large however fuel valves, flap slots etc are broken.
The wreck is of importance since IAF scrapped almost all its An-12s , with only one airframe surviving in Delhi’s Palam Museum – BL727 and now this wreck of BL536 – First of the An-12s imported by the Indian Airforce.
Cheers 🙂

Mi-8 at Punjab Engineering College

The Punjab Engineering College University of Technology formerly just Punjab Engineering College is one of India’s oldest colleges’ and offers engineering studies in fields like Aeronautical,Civil,Mechanical,Electrical etc.

The college has good infrastructure for aero engineering with many labs and a few aircraft.One of them is a Mi-8 of the Indian Airforce


The Mi-8 has been placed right outside the Administration Block of the college which is close to the main entrance.The helicopter was presented by Air Cmde. SPS Virk ,AOC 3BRD on 23rd January 2004.

The helicopter on display is from the early batches of Mi-8T’s acquired and was built somewhere in 1971 and served till 2003.The aircraft has been maintained and kept in good shape , with it retaining the IAF livery and its registration numbers and a few markings.The port side door has a commemorative plate of the 3BRD.The helicopter has the usual IAF roundel , finflash on the tailboom and the registration painted below one of the cockpit windows.The rotors have been tied down to prevent them from vibrating in the wind.Its good to see the college taking care of this aircraft and maintaining it properly.


The Mi-8s are powered by two TV2-117A turboshaft engines.The Mi-8T(“Hip-C”) is the standard military version with clam-shell doors capable of carrying 24 fully armed troops.

The helicopter has been the workhorse of the Indian Airforce and has been almost replaced by the Mi-17.

Other aircraft in the college include a Spitfire , Kanpur I (BR570) and a Auster Aiglet (VT-DYU)

Wish to see many more of these Mi-8s on display


MiG-21MF at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute,Mohali

The Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute (AFPI) is a preparatory institute set up by the government of Punjab.The institute is located in Sector 77.

The institute prepares students to join the armed forces and inducts students after 10th standard.The AFPI started in April 2011 and its first batch passed out in 2013.It currently has two squadrons – Alpha and Bravo.

The institute received a MiG-21MF from the Indian Airforce in March 2012 and the aircraft completely installed by the second week of September the same year.

ImageThe aircraft has been painted in the ‘Tipnis Grey’ and lacks any serial markings.The MiG was installed by 3BRD.


The ‘Pioneers’ : First Batch of the AFPI


The nose and canopy are the most striking features of the MiG-21.Lot of ‘stray’ material lying on the newly built platform , the aircraft wasn’t fully mounted yet.


The drag chute/braking chute container located at the very end of the beauty.


Probably,the port for external power!



Warbirds at Chandimandir Cantonment

The Chandimandir cantonment houses the HQ of the Western Command of the Indian Army.The cantonment is located in Panchkula on the foothills of the Shiwalik Ranges.The cantt is also a hotspot for flora and fauna.

Interestingly,it is from the few Army cantonments which have warbirds and more so three of them!

Mil Mi-4 Indian Airforce VIP Colours at the Traffic Park

The Mi-4 was a Soviet origin transport helicopter used extensively for both civil and military purposes.The first of the Indian Airforce Mi-4s were inducted in the early 60’s before the Sino-Indian War.They were the mainstay of the IAF’s helicopter fleet until the induction of the Mi-8s.ImageThe Mi-4s served with more than six helicopter units including the No.104,105 and 110 HUs.The registrations began with BZ**** and Z****.Sadly ,this particular Mi-4 on display does not have its registration painted.


This helicopter is painted in the IAF VIP livery ,Mi-4s flew during the ’62 war and were used for POW exchange.The IAF accquired almost 100 such helicopters.

MiG-21M at Shopping Centre

The evergreen workhorse of the Indian Airforce , having served for 5 decades , the MiG-21 still remains as amazing as ever.Many examples of the aircraft have been displayed all across the country.Here is the one at Chandimandir-


The MiG has been installed just a few weeks back and just like the Mi-4 , the serial has been painted over.One thing which bothers is that , why does IAF paint every aircraft in the ‘Tipnis Grey’ when putting them on display.Would be way better if they are allowed to retain their original squadron markings and liveries.


Cheetah’s are used by the Indian Army primarily for high altitude operations and the helicopter is still the backbone of the Army Aviation Corps.Image

The Cheetah at the cantonment is pole mounted just beside a road to T-11.The Cheetah is painted in the Camo livery and has Z6613 as its serial,which is probably fake and should be either Z2613 or Z1613.


The helicopter is in a pretty well maintained condition and the cockpit and the instrument panel has been left in good shape.

It is good to see this variety of warbirds at a Army cantonment.