Kumbhirgram is the serving airfield for Silchar town in the state of Assam, India built by the British in 1944, it is home to an IAF Wing and also hosts the civil airport. The airport is situated on the foothills of the Barail range. The IAF established its presence in March 1966, when No. 403 Air Force Station was formed at Kumbhirgram. It was a major helicopter base in the norht east, and was home to various Mi-4 units. The major resident unit happened to be No.110 HU. In 1989, 403 Air Force Station was upgraded to 22 Wing, AF.
It didnt occur to us to do a 'Google Earth Scan' of this station till now - thus our surprise when Dipalay Dey reported a rare Dassault MD450 Ouragan "Toofani" that is preserved at the station. He sent in two images of the aircraft as displayed at the airfield. The Ouragan is displayed at the end of Runway 24 at a traffic roundabout.
The pictures Dipalay sent show the aircraft in a nose up display mounted on 'stilts' in the roundabout. The aircraft features a fake tail number 'IC-222' and it appears that the main undercarraige wheels are a local replacement. The aircraft was also missing its nose undercarraige and the cockpit canopy - where a sheet of aluminium has been formed into shape to protect the cockpit from the elements .
|This side view shows the missing nose gear - and the rather different main undercarraige wheels.|
An Mi-4 too
The Toofani is not the only warbird on display at Kumbhirgram. Opposite from the civil terminal to the south western part of the airfield are the hangars where No.110 HU is based. Outside one of the technical areas, an Mi-4 was seen preserved. The Mi-4 was painted in Green and the label 'Vanguards' is painted across it. Since it was in the air force technical area, photography was prohibited.
Photos Courtesy: Dipalay Dey