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The Pakistan Air Force Museum, located on Sharae Faisal, is one of the few recreational spaces in Karachi where people can go with their families to relive history.

The museum was inaugurated on August 14, 1997, and over 30 aircrafts, training jets, radars, defence equipment have been put on display.

It is open to all from 9am to 9pm, and we travelled to the museum and looked at some of Pakistan’s most famous war machines.

We travelled to Pakistan Air Force Museum and looked at some of their war machines.

Just when you enter the premises, all eyes immediately go towards an F-86 model. Then, there is the ticket counter where passes are available at nominal rates. Here is a breakdown of the ticket prices.

Photo Courtesy: PAF MuseumAdults-Rs60 per personChildren (3 to 12 years)- Rs40 per personStudents with ID Cards- Rs40 per personFree tickets are available for children under three years, people above 60 years, and those with disabilities. Here are all the planes we saw.

F-86 Sabre

This is the first aircraft you see in the museum. With great maneuvering ability, it was an all-purpose aircraft that was used in an effective manner in the 1965 and 1971 war against India. Some of its missions in the 1965 war were the Gudaspur ammunition train attack, Pathankot Indian airbase strike and bombing on an Indian military convoy at Lahore’s GT Road. Former squadron leader MM Alam also shot down five Indian Air Force (IAF) planes in less than a minute in this aircraft. It was retired in 1980.

F-104 Starfighter

PAF got this supersonic jet in 1961 and it was used in the 1965 and 1971 wars. It had the capability to fly in every weather. During the 1965 war, it shot down an Indian Gnat aircraft. The airforce stopped using it in 1973.

T-33

Nicknamed, the T-Bird, this trainer aircraft had the capabilities of a combat aircraft. Inducted in 1955, it could carry out bombing missions and it was also used for aerial photography. This is the aircraft which Nishan-e-Haider recipient Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas flew.

H-43B Huskie

The multipurpose helicopter has a unique look as its rotors are fitted beside each other. The 10-seater chopper was used for search and rescue operations along with fire fighting and an air ambulance service. Its use was discontinued in 1983.

F-6

It is the Chinese version of Russia’s Mig-19 aircraft and was inducted into the force following the 1965 war. The air force made several modifications to the fighter jets according to the requirements. It shot down eight Indian planes and damaged two others during the war of 1971. It made its last flight in 2002.

Mirage

Pakistan acquired the French fighter bomber in 1967 and is still in service. It was a force to be reckoned with in the 1971 war as not a single Mirage aircraft was lost whereas it managed to destroy a then-technologically advance Indian Canberra aircraft.

Mig-21 Bison

Mig-21 Bison was a Russian fighter jet that landed in Peshawar during the Afghanistan-Russia conflict. It is currently in service in the Indian Air Force.

B-57

The American bomber aircraft was acquired in 1959. Its navigational system helped the pilot fly the bomber to far-flung cities. It was in service in 1965 and 1971 before getting retired in 1988.

A-5 III

A large number of non-combat and training aircraft along with defence equipment and rockets have also been put on display at the museum.

Photo Courtesy: PAF MuseumThere is an entire archives gallery dedicated to the photographs capturing the PAF’s history.

Photo Courtesy: PAF MuseumPhoto Courtesy: PAF MuseumA captured Indian GNAT aircraft along with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s personal aircraft Viking are the main attractions.

Photo Courtesy: PAF MuseumPhoto Courtesy: PAF MuseumPhoto Courtesy: AFPThere is also a section that has details of Operation Swift Retort in which two Indian aircraft were shot down on February 27 in 2019, resulting in the capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The debris of his Mig-21 aircraft has been placed along with his statue.

The virtual tour of Quaid’s aircraft and Operation Swift Retort can be seen on PAF Museum’s website.

Photo Courtesy: PAF MuseumPhoto Courtesy: PAF MuseumPhoto Courtesy: PAF Museum

Abdul Gh Lone

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