I have watched several movies on warfare where people use bomber aircraft, submarine, tanks and missiles. Since then the curiosity soared to higher altitudes until I visited TU 142 aircraft museum. TU 142 aircraft served the nation for 29 years in Indian Navy with 30,000 hours of accident-free flying by the time when it got retired by March 2017. The Government of Andhra Pradesh decided to preserve this aircraft by forming a museum which was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in Dec 2017 at Vizag.
I was in Vizag for a day. The smart city home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. The city of destiny has a number of beautiful beaches. It would not be wrong to call it as a city of museums. A tiny city with more than 10 museums takes you to the journey into the past to see the history unfold right before your eyes. Through the doors of the Museums, you can relish the past, British era, World War Times, the Historic artefacts, rare early photographs, nostalgic relics and exhibits that are exclusive to this part of the world are all assembled into exhibits in several Museums of Vizag. With kind of Past, it still preserves Vizag a kind of living museum.
I was at TU 142 aircraft museum. The idea of converting an actual naval aircraft into a museum is itself applaudable. The aircraft museum is located on the other side of Ramkrishna beach just opposite to the INS Kursura submarine museum on DR NTR road. The beautifully crafted outcast of the museum catches your sight immediately. The entry fee counter is located just near the entrance with a very nominal fee of INR 70 for adults and INR 40 for children.
Upon entering the premises, the officials gave a Bluetooth headset and a remote with a magnetic tag attached to my shirt. The headset is only for adults and children can simply read the information.
The tour starts with an exhibition gallery. The gallery is beautifully crafted and well maintained as the other galleries in different parts of the world. I was thoroughly impressed with the system of a headset and a remote that it allows you to choose the information about every part which you can see in front of you with a seamless audio transition. At the initial phases, the gallery talks about the vast history of the Indian Navy and the amazing work the team is doing the last several years. Upon hearing such insights, the feeling of patriotism becomes deeper and even stronger.
The 40 minutes of the audio-visual tour displays various parts and systems of the aircraft. For techies and Aero enthusiasts, this is surely an amazing treat to know how an antisubmarine aircraft works. Equipment like a black box, pilot station, air bottle, oxygen tank, turbo generator, propeller, propeller, turbo engines, son buoys, parachute, life raft, survival kit, submarine missiles, data recorder, big tyres is displayed with the complete details. The amazing part is you can actually touch and feel some of them. You can take pictures as well. The best part was seeing the aircraft model with holography. Simply amazing!
This is followed by AV theatre which shows the video of the aircraft and the amazing work it has performed in the 1971 war. The virtual reality section allows you to take a ride of the flight simulator.
The concluding part is cherry on the cake when you get to see the actual aircraft. From the last hour when you were going through the vast history of the aircraft and the details, the time comes when you get to enter the actual aircraft. A guide is allocated to a group of 25 individuals who enter the aircraft.
The guide, probably a retired navy officer explains the different sections of the aircraft starting from the tail. You cannot see a single inch of space without any equipment or systems. I still wonder how complex is the structure of the Navy aircraft when we are used to seeing the sophisticated travel aircraft.
Near the middle is the bombing section which is the crucial part of the aircraft. The guide was explaining all the parts with details which showed his love for the Navy. I was waiting to see the cockpit section which is divided into 2 floors – the upper floor is reserved for the main pilots whereas a small cockpit is located at the bottom most part which takes care of the latitude. It took almost 20 minutes to complete the tour.
After the tour, you can click ample pictures of aircraft over flat terrain. There is a small garden surrounding the aircraft where you can sit and relax.
Once you come out from the rear gate, you could spot a mural of I love Vizag. You can collect some memories while clicking with the logo.
The exploration of 2 hours enriched me with the knowledge of the Indian Navy, helped the feeling of patriotism to flourish and contributed to my travel tales with some amazing memories.
How to reach?
Located at a distance 18 km from Visakhapatnam International Airport.
located at a distance 5 km from Visakhapatnam Railway Station.
located at a distance of 5 km from the RTC complex. One can reach the destination by bus, auto or cab.
Timings – Sunday from 10am to 8.30pm. Rest all days it opens from 14.00pm to 8.30 pm.
Entry fees – Adult is INR 70 and Children is INR 40.
If you happen to be in Vizag or Visakhapatnam, do visit this well maintained and amazingly crafted aircraft museum!
Connect with me on Instagram
Connect with me on Facebook