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Old 20th March 2013, 15:02   #1
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Default The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Living in Trivandrum almost all my life and once being a student at the Jawahar Bal Bhavan near Museum, the Hawker Sea Hawk that is displayed by the roadside in the Bal Bhavan compound has always amused me. I’ve always wanted to know the history of that bird.

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Going through warbirdregistry.com, I stumbled upon a photo of a Sea Hawk perched on INS Vikrant with the IN-174 written on its wing and the status read, “Displayed at Museum Road, Trivandrum, Kerala, India, 1994-2012”. My jaw hit the floor, I couldn’t believe it was the same.

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A lil’ bit of Googling later I came across this article by Mr. Syam Nath hosted on Yentha.com which has summarized the comprehensive and awe inspiring history of this war hero. It actually took part in the Indo-Pak war and was in the squadron that bombed down the Chittagong Port.

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The Sea Hawk was donated by the Southern Naval Command in early 80s recognizing the fact that Trivandrum Bal Bhavan is the only one in the country that offers a course on Aeromodelling.

So this lil’ plane sitting for two decades hardly a shout away from my home, exposed to elements, slowly rotting away was in fact a true war hero. I truly believe it deserves a tad more than being left to rot by the roadside, I would love to see it moved to an indoor display at Bal Bhavan itself or at the Napier Museum.

Detailed history by War Birds of India

Full article by Mr Syam Nath in Yentha.com

War Bird Registry Records

For detailed technical specs, development, history etc, refer to this wiki link, Hawker Sea Hawk.

Last edited by Scorcher : 20th March 2013 at 15:16.
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Old 20th March 2013, 15:51   #2
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Went through the story, interesting read!

Doubt some of the statements in the article though, like, it states that the guns and the engine are still in the Sea Hawk while the standard practice is to remove everything from the aircraft and just display the airframe. Maybe if someone was to peep inside the intakes, the truth will be told!
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Old 20th March 2013, 16:14   #3
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

There is (at least 10 years ago) a similar fighter plane - probably a MiG at Air Force Bal Bharti school, Lodhi Road, Delhi.

I remember going to the school for KG admission, and the only thing I remember (25 years back, phew!) is the fighter plane, and me being "stuck" to it, and not moving to the building for interview.
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Old 20th March 2013, 18:42   #4
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Thank You Scorcher, I remember the earlier aircraft before the Sea Hawk, the "amphibian". It was a seven seater Short Sealand now displayed at Goa by tbe Navy. There were no restrictions then and kids could climb in and play around (it was a 7 seater).

I always wondered what that old aircraft was which was a familiar sight for me and now thanks to your post, I did some Googling and found out.
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Old 20th March 2013, 19:08   #5
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Hi Scorcher, thank you for enlightening us. Great to know that this war hero is on display in our city! I also echo your feeling that it is high time it is moved indoors and protected. What can we do towards that? who is in charge? We can even plan collecting signatures in a petition and give it to concerned personnel. Once again thanks for the info.
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Old 20th March 2013, 19:53   #6
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Doubt some of the statements in the article though, like, it states that the guns and the engine are still in the Sea Hawk while the standard practice is to remove everything from the aircraft and just display the airframe. Maybe if someone was to peep inside the intakes, the truth will be told!
Most of the times when such aircraft are displayed as such or sold to private buyers (doesn't happen in India) the guns are left in place, but their firing and shell loading mechanisms are completely removed. So in effect you only have the shell of the gun but nothing inside it that can facilitate the gun being fired.
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Old 20th March 2013, 20:03   #7
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Thank You Scorcher, I remember the earlier aircraft before the Sea Hawk, the "amphibian". It was a seven seater Short Sealand now displayed at Goa by tbe Navy.
I still rememeber my father taking me to that aircraft, the IN 206. The shocker is, the IN 106 is the only surviving example in India and one of three known surviving Sealands in the world!

It was on the wings of this precious example I jumped up and down during my visit in the 80's...

Thank you Scorcher for the interesting thread.

The Sainik School, Kazhakkoottam also has 2 aircraft: One is a HF-24 Marut and the other is true vintage - a WWII Harvard (NA T-6) trainer:


Last edited by sandeepmdas : 20th March 2013 at 20:14.
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Old 20th March 2013, 20:24   #8
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Brings back old memories, i was fortunate to see the transition when this plane was shifted into Balbhavan Used to be default weekend visit place at that time; museum, kanakakunnu and balbhavan, dad used to take us and i remember sitting in the older aircraft. Aeormodelling was a hot trade with limited seats available, i remember.

Thanks for sharing Scorcher!
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Old 20th March 2013, 23:31   #9
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Nostalgic !!! Been there at Jawahar Balabhavan for summer classes many years, but never knew the history of the plane !! Thanks a lot for this info !
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Old 21st March 2013, 19:27   #10
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Most of the times when such aircraft are displayed as such or sold to private buyers (doesn't happen in India) the guns are left in place, but their firing and shell loading mechanisms are completely removed. So in effect you only have the shell of the gun but nothing inside it that can facilitate the gun being fired.
Do you mean the barrel of gun? That is what is left in place and the breech block and the firing mechanism along with the feed mechanism is generally removed.
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Old 21st March 2013, 19:41   #11
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

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Do you mean the barrel of gun? That is what is left in place and the breech block and the firing mechanism along with the feed mechanism is generally removed.
Yes that is the normal practice followed when disposing fighter aircrafts.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 17:26   #12
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

sigh. me and my cousins used to ridicule this plane as a wreck when we were kids on the way to the zoo.

respect now.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 00:00   #13
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Thanks for the post, I have seen this Sea Hawk number of times from my childhood, never thought that I was actually looking at a war veteran!
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Old 23rd March 2013, 00:59   #14
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

Scorcher,

Thanks for posting things. Brought back many memories. The bird looks in a much better shape from my school days when I did I think a summer vacation or two at the Balbhavan (1980s) and the college days later at Kanakkunnu (early 1990s).

Quote:
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Brings back old memories, i was fortunate to see the transition when this plane was shifted into Balbhavan Used to be default weekend visit place at that time; museum, kanakakunnu and balbhavan, dad used to take us and i remember sitting in the older aircraft. Aeormodelling was a hot trade with limited seats available, i remember.

Thanks for sharing Scorcher!
I did a session in the aeromodelling class during school days. The teacher had a beard, if my awful memory serves me right. I was never one for attending the classes regularly, so never went beyond doing a session or two with the small aircrafts that you hold on to with a pair of cables/wires. They had a couple of RC birds too, IIRC.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 01:49   #15
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Default Re: The Story behind the Sea Hawk at Museum Road, Trivandrum

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Scorcher,
I did a session in the aeromodelling class during school days. The teacher had a beard, if my awful memory serves me right. I was never one for attending the classes regularly, so never went beyond doing a session or two with the small aircrafts that you hold on to with a pair of cables/wires. They had a couple of RC birds too, IIRC.
Thanks for sharing this information, Scorcher. I was regular at Balabhavan during school days and did atleast two or three summer sessions on aero modelling.

The bearded teacher is i think Mr. Lawrence. I could be wrong as my memory isn't recollecting the name correctly. His son acted in the movie chengol, who kills Mohanlal at the end
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