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Old 10th April 2009, 23:35   #1
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Lightbulb 'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.

Gave the Xing for a service today. 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:

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-map.gif


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.

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-1.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-2.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-3.jpg


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).

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-4.jpg


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...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-5.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-6.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-6a.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-6b.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-6c.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-6d.jpg


Fighters manufactured or assembled by HAL over the decades...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-7.jpg


Transport aircraft...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-8.jpg


Helicopters...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-9.jpg


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)...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-10.jpg


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

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-11.jpg


A WW-II Walrus sea-plane...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-12.jpg


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

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-13.jpg


And bus-bodies...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-14.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-15.jpg


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...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-16.jpg


Another interesting pic...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-21.jpg


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'.

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-22.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-23.jpg


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...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-24.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-25.jpg


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

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-26.jpg


The indoor display hall...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-27.jpg


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.

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-28.jpg


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

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-29.jpg


Contd...

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th April 2009 at 12:31. Reason: On request - "The museum is on the left side, not right."
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Old 10th April 2009, 23:46   #2
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Lightbulb HAL Museum Contd...

Hindustan HA-31 'Basant', designed for agricultural spraying. Manufactured in the 1970s, apparently 39 such aircraft were built...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-30.jpg


Displays of an aircraft ejection seat and a Hindustan HUL-26 'Pushpak', which was built in the 1950s to be used for pilot training in flying clubs...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-31.jpg


Another out-doors display. A heat-shield from the PSLV (Polar satellite launch vehicle).

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-32.jpg


Inside the heat-shield...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-33.jpg


The museum has some well-maintained lawns and shady trees too...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-34.jpg


There are several aircraft in the outdoor display areas...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-34a.jpg


The Hansa, an all-composite low wing two-seater designed by the National Aerospace Laboratories of India, with assistance from HAL. Currently being manufactured by Taneja Aerospace & Aviation for flying club and other general usage...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-35.jpg


A Hindustan Trainer - HT2...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-36.jpg


A HAL HJT-16 'Kiran', two-seat basic jet trainer. These are also used by the Indian Air Force aerobatic team 'Surya Kiran'...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-37.jpg


A de-Havilland DH.104 Dove transport aircraft that was in use with the Indian Air force...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-38.jpg


Air air-traffic control Radar antenna has been installed on the lawns and it keeps revolving slowly just as a functional one would do...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-39.jpg


The ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter)

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-40.jpg


A giant 'Sea-King' naval helicopter...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-41.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-42.jpg


A 'Canberra' aircraft. A first-generation jet-powered light bomber built in the 1950s, also used for reconnaissance activities. They were being used by our Air force till March 2007...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-43.jpg


A 'Lakshya' pilotless aircraft (Drone)...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-44.jpg


The LCA - Light Combat Aircraft...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-45.jpg


The Hindustan Jet Trainer-36 (HJT-36), an Intermediate Jet trainer aircraft being developed by HAL...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-46.jpg


The Mig-21, manufactured by HAL under license from Mikoyan-Gurevich. Apparently this aircraft holds quite a few records such as the most produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and it has had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985) over all variants across the world...

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-47.jpg


The landing gear compartment of the HF-24 'Marut' (1964) .By the way, this was the first fighter jet aircraft that was designed and built in India, The first prototype flew in 1961. Interestingly it was designed by the famed German designer Kurt Tank, who also designed several important German fighters used in World-war-II, such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Kurt moved to India in the 1950's and worked for HAL, designing the Marut, which was retired from active service from the Air force in 1985. Though the aircraft was a very capable platform, it could never reach it's full potential as it was always saddled with underpowered engines.

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-48.jpg


A better pic of the HF-24 'Marut' from Wikimedia. This is a Marut displayed in a air-museum in Germany.

'Xing'ing around ! - HAL Aerospace Museum & Heritage Center. Bangalore.-49.jpg


On the whole, this place makes for a good weekend visit, with about an hour or two’s worth of things to see.
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Old 11th April 2009, 00:08   #3
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Thats awesome!!
i am definetly going to take my kid to this place.

just one correction:

as per the map, this place is on left side of road. (old airport towards marathalli)

Last edited by chetans : 11th April 2009 at 00:12. Reason: edit
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Old 11th April 2009, 00:32   #4
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Excellent job done,hotstuff!
Brings back memories ,from the time my dad used to work in HAL.He was part of the gas-turbine project,and worked for over 17 years in HAL. Ajeet,Cheetak,Chetak,ALH,LCA were names I was well acquainted with!
I'd definitely love to see this museum the next time I'm in town. Looks like its very well maintained!
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Old 11th April 2009, 00:33   #5
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Exclamation Correction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetans View Post
just one correction:

as per the map, this place is on left side of road. (old airport towards marathalli)
Thanks for catching that Chetan. Typo happened :-( Have requested the mods for the correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
Excellent job done,hotstuff!
Brings back memories ,from the time my dad used to work in HAL.He was part of the gas-turbine project,and worked for over 17 years in HAL. Ajeet,Cheetak,Chetak,ALH,LCA were names I was well acquainted with!
I'd definitely love to see this museum the next time I'm in town. Looks like its very well maintained!
Thanks Nitin, it is surely a nice place and quite well maintained. Also, please do check with your dad if there is any info available on the HAL car project.

Last edited by hotstuff : 11th April 2009 at 00:36.
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Old 11th April 2009, 07:50   #6
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hotstuff,
Some of the pics deserves a place in the Photoblog: Namma Bengaluru thread which I recently started.
Pls put some there as well (including the heritage ones)

What an irony? I stay just about 2km from the meuseum (since last 2.5 years) and I have never there. Need to take time out and go there.
Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 11th April 2009 at 07:55.
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Old 11th April 2009, 09:02   #7
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Man, some history that ! Did my engg project in NAL, but never bothered to check up the history of these organizations. Cars, buses, rail coaches .. apart from indigeneously designed aircraft 50 years ago !
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Old 11th April 2009, 10:07   #8
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Same with me too Abhi! Staying so close to the place, but never been there.
Thanks for the details and snaps,@hotstuff! Will go there soon.
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Old 11th April 2009, 10:24   #9
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Nice history but HAL is supposed to be amongst the leading edge PSU's. Exhibits do not show technology development but more of technology adaption and that has been our bane.

Going OT here....
Total government control of armament industry has lead to very few developments (exception being the brilliant work being done in space). And mostly non-commercial projects.

Look at Brazil. Leading arms supplier and even selling air craft all over the world. Today Israel supplies us vibro/movement/IR detecting equipments for border fence. So on and on..

India was much ahead of many but has sadly lost out.It gives us pride to see the work done but also saddens me to state the facts.
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Old 11th April 2009, 22:10   #10
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thanks man, on umpteen times I have passed this mueseum, never thought it would be interesting. Should pay a visit.
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Old 11th April 2009, 22:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
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...
That is an amazing piece of history they got there. Like hotstuff says, we would really appreciate anybody posting some more info on this car and its current condition , though, considering our general bureaucratic insensitivity, it would have been scrapped long ago, rather than being preserved.
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:16   #12
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Hey good pictures hotstuff, in past 2 years (May 07 & May 08) I have visited the museum 3 times good to see that the Sea King Chopper is finally standing under the canopy after being out there in the sun for too long I guess.

OT they have a good Rose Garden too.
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Old 17th April 2009, 17:20   #13
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It is really nice to see the namma bengaluru's HAL. I had passed through this way numerous time but never bothered to get inside to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
hotstuff,
What an irony? I stay just about 2km from the meuseum (since last 2.5 years) and I have never there. Need to take time out and go there.
Abhi
I'am staying here from past 35 years and have not seen this.
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Old 17th April 2009, 17:32   #14
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Thanks for the conducted tour of the good old HAL Museum ! It was so well written and 'picturised' that it was like being there itself ! Like a lot of others, I too have been in Bengaluru for over 35 years without ever visiting this place ! :(
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Old 25th November 2010, 06:31   #15
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Do you folks know that this museum was once upon a time our own 'HAL CINEMA THEATER'. Watched all my childhood movies here. All the Bachan, Dilip kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Rajanna, Vishnu vardhan, James bond, Bruce lee, Jet lee etc.. etc..
And on a Ramzan day during the second show the theater caught fire, no fatalities though. And then it never recovered till finally it was converted to this present museum.
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