The last time an Indian Air Force Harvard took to the air was in 1988. Now after a span of 28 years, Harvard IIb HT-291 of the Vintage Aircraft Flight took to the air at Hindon yesterday, 18th June 2015. HT-291 had been grounded with the vintage flight for many decades, even though the engine was run on the ground in 1997.
The aircraft was shipped to UK for restoration by Reflight Airworks. After spending some time from a ground up restoration (Check their awesome photographs here ), the Harvard was shipped back to India last year. However it took time for the aircraft to take flight in Hindon, pending the arrival of Indian pilots with tail wheel certification.
SwiftAir maintenance, which was undertaking the restoration released the following info yesterday:
Over the weekend a small team from Swiftair and Reflight went back to India and after the last few months of delays due to runway resurfacing work, aid work for flooding in India, weather and availability the restored Indian Air Force Harvard HT291, flew in Indian air again for the first time since 1989. 3 successful acceptance flights were completed by the Indian Air Force test pilot and the team returned to the UK overnight Monday/Tuesday happy with a job well done and completed.
Vintage Aircraft Flight consultant and warbird pilot, Mike Edwards was on hand to undertake the first flight along with the Indian Air Force pilot. Following are some photographs from the event.
Here's looking forward to the Tigermoth and Harvard taking to the air together!