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Old 11th November 2014, 00:10   #31
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Excellent thread sir. Though off topic, but is the aircraft preserved in the HAL museum? I had visited the place back when I was a kid, but havent been there recently. Are the pictures taken from there or elsewhere? BTW if someone recently visited the HAL museum opposite the HAL airport, I want to know if there are any recent developments and new setups.
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Old 11th November 2014, 00:16   #32
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Thanks V Narayan for an exciting and informative thread! Look forward to have more such threads. Aircrafts and especially the combat aircrafts are the marvels of engineering. As a hardcore practising engineer, this attracts me.

This thread reminded me of a lesson in our Hindi book in standard VII in 1983. The lesson was taken from the book (probably an autobiography) of an IAF pilot whose surname was Mate (a marathi surname, to be pronounced Maa-te). He had narrated an experience of sudden engine failure in the sky and equally sudden unexpected re-starting of the engines. This has happened under some adverse climatic conditions.

The author (Pilot Mate) wanted to highlight the importance of keeping cool during tough times and trying one's best. When I read in this thread that Gnat was tightly packed, leaving inadequate room for redundancy, I remembered this story.

Edit: I forgot to mention that Pilot Mate's (I do not know his rank) aircraft was Gnat. And that's the reason, I remembered the lesson after reading this thread. In Marathi newspapers too I had read articles about the superb maneuverability of this aircraft.

BTW, I had been thinking all these years that it is NAT. Now, came to know that its GNAT!

Last edited by Samurai : 11th November 2014 at 14:50. Reason: back-to-back post
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Old 11th November 2014, 11:06   #33
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Thanks for the all the information!! I never knew such an aircraft even existed, the design of the aircraft is simply astounding for the 1950s.
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Old 11th November 2014, 12:57   #34
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Thanks for this thread. An amazing aircraft for its size. Truly the 'Light' of fighters. Not sure but I feel that this design is pretty relevant even today and can be exploited for a LIFT/IJT with some redesign. Static stability is good, excellent turn radius and from what I remember in discussions with veterans who have flown this, a very forgiving aircraft. A tri'/quad' redundant FBW system with a reliable engine (Kabini core?) is probably what it will need.

If anyone in Pune wants to see how small this aircraft really is, you can go to the PMC park beside the Yashwantrao chavan auditorium Kothrud. There is one example, not in great shape but still wonderful to look at.

One of my all time favorite aircraft

@Narayanan
I do know that there was a lot of solutions that HAL did at that time to keep this flying fit - the Ajeet compared to the Gnat 1, is like comparing the Zest to the Indica V1 (looks like the same bodyshell with a similar engine) but a major improvement. IIRC Ajeet had improved stability, lowered landing speed, better roll rate. Did not have a 'pitch up' issue while landing (improved AoA in certain regimes). All this is IIRC.

You are on the money with what you mentioned about support from the British. We have made changes multiple times 'in house' (Leander - Improved Leander class, Godavari?), Harriers, even the venerable Vikrant.

Last edited by Samurai : 11th November 2014 at 14:52. Reason: back-to-back post
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Old 11th November 2014, 14:12   #35
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
In a bizzare incident during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, an IAF Gnat was landed in Pakistan by an IAF pilot named Sqn Ldr Brij Pal Singh Sikand who was captured and made prisoner of war. Pakistan handed him over to India after 5 months. However, he wasn't removed from service - the well-connected guy went on to become an Air Marshal!
The captured Gnat remains on display in PAF museum at Karachi.
directinjection, Landing on an enemy airfield is certainly not kosher but unfortunately happens in the fog of war. To state the facts - Sikand went on to be the commanding officer of 22 squadron in the 1971 war. This squadron was responsible for the 3 victories on 22-11-1971 near Calcutta in addition to working in establishing air superiority over East Pakistan once full scale war broke out. Sikand retired as an Air Marshal. You may get one promotion through pull and push but not 6 or 7 over 3 decades.


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You probably meant Vikram Sarabhai. Homi Bhaba was the father of India's nuclear programme.....Which implies it made more than three wheelers in those days!
directinjection, I mean Homi Bhaba. Till his death in 1966 Homi Bhaba was the overall leader of what is today the Atomic Energy Dept and ISRO. The division happened sometime after him. When I don't know.

[quote=torquecurve;3577652]
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You are on the money with what you mentioned about support from the British. We have made changes multiple times 'in house' (Leander - Improved Leander class, Godavari?), Harriers, even the venerable Vikrant.
torquecurve You've got me thinking now. I would love to write a thread on the Leander -Taragiri-Godavari-Brahmaputra story which is a real Indian success and an example of what we can achieve when we take one step at a time. My late father was intimately involved in the first three
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Old 11th November 2014, 14:19   #36
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
.......
Sir, would love to read your comments about this article on rediff:

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/de...e/20140902.htm

Is it just the usual sensationalist rediff article, or is there a grain of truth in it?

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 11th November 2014, 14:40   #37
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Sir, would love to read your comments about this article on rediff:

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/de...e/20140902.htm

Is it just the usual sensationalist rediff article, or is there a grain of truth in it?
Went through your link. The article seems full of inaccuracies and it seems the writer has an axe to grind with the IAF. See also John Doe's comment on page 1 in this thread. 1965 was a learning curve for the IAF as it was for the PAF. The IAF redeemed themselves with far greater marks than the author gives them credit for. The PAF pilots also fought hard and were no slackers. Unfortunately Pakistan became jingoistic with their claims with inadequate substantiation. That is my view based on my reading on this subject and what I heard from my father and 2 uncles all of whom served in '62, '65 and '71. Back then in the 1960s and 1970s the West choose to believe their CENTO ally Pakistan in preference to the slightly pink India ie aligned with USSR! Hope this helps.
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Old 11th November 2014, 15:09   #38
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Wonderful thread with information I had not known, other than our Marathahalli borne out of Marut's crash
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Old 11th November 2014, 15:38   #39
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Sir, would love to read your comments about this article on rediff:

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/de...e/20140902.htm

Is it just the usual sensationalist rediff article, or is there a grain of truth in it?

Cheers,
Vikram
For want of better words, that is not completely true. Yes, if you look at it from that perspective we didn't do so well. But then, he himself says why it happened. The 60's were a transitionary phase for the IAF. Most squadrons were made up of older non supersonic aircraft. The PAF on the other hand had pilots (on rent) from the US, including one very famous ace. Each squadron including at forward airbase at Sargodha had these pilots.
The IAF had an issue with having a mainly british setup in terms of aircraft. The author should review that the British by themselves did not make any further excelling frontline aircraft after this generation.
Also PAF airbases were closer to the border than our bases at that time. This meant they could carry the fight to our areas whereas we couldnt. Also our long legged bombers (Canberra and Vampires) had problems penetrating the recently upgraded PAF Radar systems (American)
The Sabre also had rudimentary radar directed gun sights which gave them an advantage.

An air war is not just about who has the bigger more powerful aircraft, there is a big value on support availability, radar coverage, etc.

sorry for the OT.
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:17   #40
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Thanks sir for sharing. It was amazing to read about the early guardians of our skies and their flying machines. The bravery of all the Indian Armed Forces has no equal and the best part is that on basis of this quality they could keep the country free from invaders and enemies. Hats off to these men and women of the Armed Forces.
Coming to the aircraft , just a general request is , could you kindly continue your wonderful narration with the current aircraft that the IAF operates so that the common people like myself and many others can be aware of the strengths the IAF has gone to and what cutting edge technology is being used to strike fear in the heart of any enemy of India.
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Old 12th November 2014, 10:19   #41
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Excellent thread sir. Though off topic, but is the aircraft preserved in the HAL museum? I had visited the place back when I was a kid, but havent been there recently. Are the pictures taken from there or elsewhere? BTW if someone recently visited the HAL museum opposite the HAL airport, I want to know if there are any recent developments and new setups.
There is an Ajeet in the HAL Museum. When the Metro construction started at Minsk Square (in front of HAL HQ), they moved the Ajeet from there to the Museum. It was initially placed on the grass, but it was later placed on support. Both the grass and the supported pics can be seen below.

Other than this addition, I do not recall any other new aircraft being there. I am also planning a visit to the Museum soon.
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Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6-43849_1304347508.jpg  

Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6-51284_1333893701.jpg  

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Old 12th November 2014, 15:35   #42
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There is a nice Indian Airforce museum in Delhi too, near the airport

See http://indianairforce.nic.in/show_page.php?pg_id=49

I visited a while ago, http://www.india.jeroendorrestein.co...eum_Delhi.html

I thought it was an interesting collection of planes.

BR Jeroen
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:06   #43
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
You are on the money with what you mentioned about support from the British. We have made changes multiple times 'in house' (Leander - Improved Leander class, Godavari?), Harriers, even the venerable Vikrant.
Cant agree more with you torquecurve. A little off topic but of interest in this context. In the Leander frigate Project (of the 1960s and 1970s) the British refused to give India license production of the Type 965 long range surveillance radar thinking this will force the Indians to buy in any case and help the British not share know-how. This was in direct contradiction of the license production contract for the 6 Leander frigates. The Indians not to be outdone in their quest for indigenization went to the Dutch who were happy to sell the know how of their excellent (and better!) solid state Signaal LW08 radar which India then went on to assemble and later build and still later improve it twice over and it is still being fitted in Indian warships today in much improved versions. The Dutch supported our indigenization in letter and spirit and benefited with the Indian Navy becoming one of their largest and longest running customers for over 40 years now not only for the LW08 but other electronics too. Such was the British short sightedness.
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:34   #44
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Nice writeup Mr. Narayan. My dad used to fly the Ajeet back in the day until he graduated to another gem of an aircraft, the MiG 21 Bison or the "BIS". I have had the opportunity to see them in full glory. I used to refer them as dinky planes as in dinky cars when compared to the MiGs.
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Old 13th November 2014, 22:34   #45
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The Indians not to be outdone in their quest for indigenization went to the Dutch who were happy to sell the know how of their excellent (and better!) solid state Signaal LW08 radar which India then went on to assemble and later build and still later improve it twice over and it is still being fitted in Indian warships today in much improved versions. The Dutch supported our indigenization in letter and spirit and benefited with the Indian Navy becoming one of their largest and longest running customers for over 40 years now not only for the LW08 but other electronics too. Such was the British short sightedness.
Although you won't get any official channel to admit, the Dutch never sold you the system they use themselves. The export one are dumbed down a bit. Word has it there are three different versions. The Dutch one used by the Dutch navy, a slightly tuned down one for NATO countries and a slightly more tuned down one for NON-NATO countries.

All (western) weapon manufacturers do so, to some degree and extent. Although nobody will officially admit. The Dutch bought the American F16. But they are not identical to the USA versions. Especially on the electronics, partly avionics, but mostly on the weapon system and radar capabilities.

Happy to hear you are a happy customer of us!

Jeroen
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