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Museum inside TU-142 aircraft ready to take off in New Town

Parked on a two-acre plot adjacent to New Town police station and opposite Tata Medical Centre, it is likely to be inaugurated in January

Snehal Sengupta | Published 25.12.21, 10:01 AM
The decommissioned aircraft that houses the museum in New Town.

The decommissioned aircraft that houses the museum in New Town.

Snehal Sengupta

A museum on aviation history is almost ready to welcome visitors on board a decommissioned Tupolev Tu-142M maritime aircraft.

It is parked on a two-acre plot adjacent to New Town police station and opposite the Tata Medical Centre and is likely to be inaugurated in the first week of January.

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The aircraft was operated by the Indian Navy’s air wing for reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare till 2017 before it was decommissioned.

The museum, built at an estimated cost of around Rs 10 crore, is a KMDA initiative but will be run by Hidco.

Visitors will be able to climb into the fuselage of the aircraft and have a look at the cockpit. “There will be dummy pilots, navigators, engineers as well as technicians in place. The cockpit controls have been retained as have some other equipment that have been deemed by the Indian Navy as fit to be viewed by the public,” said Hidco managing director Debashis Sen.

A children’s park will be set up in the compound that will have rides themed around tanks and planes, Sen said.

Another Hidco official said there were talks of placing a decommissioned helicopter too.

“We had to first create a concrete runway like structure because of the sheer weight of the airplane...,” the official added.

The aircraft, donated by the Indian Navy, weighs around 90,000kg and was brought to Kolkata in 2020.

According to Hidco officials, the airframe was transported to the city around a year-and-a-half back from Chennai. At least 16 trucks carrying the aircraft parts made trips to New Town from Chennai.

All the parts were kept in boxes at the site where technicians from Chennai-based Taneja Aerospace & Aviation Ltd, an aviation maintenance and repair company, put it all back together.

According to an official of the company, they are now in the process of putting in “finishing touches inside the aircraft”.

“We assembled all the parts here and have given it a fresh coat of paint. All navigational lights and marking lights are now functional. We are setting up the cockpit displays now. Air conditioning units too will be set up inside ,” said the official.

Codenamed the “Bear” in Nato parlance, the Tupolve TU-142M is also known as the “Albatross” because of its huge wingspan and size.

Last updated on 25.12.21, 05:18 PM
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