For years, we thought that the state of Orissa was barren in terms of warbirds. Despite the presence of an engine manufacturing plant at Koraput and a hush hush aviation base at Charbatia, no confirmed reports of warbirds ever existed.
|A well preserved Beech 18 seen at Hotel Mayfair International in the heart of Bhubhaneswar. Capt Gireesh Kumar poses by the aircraft.|
At least till we stumbled on an entry on Wikimapia. The entry marked out an area in the capital of Bhubaneswar and it mentioned simply that a Beech 18 is on display at Hotel Mayflower. Subsequent research in the various tourist guides confirmed that the posh Hotel Mayflower in the center of the city had a World War Two era Beech 18 on display inside the Hotel grounds.
Fortunately for us, the first photograph of this bird was provided by Gireesh Kumar, who took the opportunity to pose by it. The Beech is in a good condition - though its identity remains a myster for now, I would expect more pics of this bird to emerge and ultimately find out its history.