Agree with Marten, and to some extent, respectfully disagree with Singha and Lalmohan Ji:
- Even these elderly aircraft - and particularly, one as iconic to India as the Gnat - do inspire kids, I can confirm. Think how the British still milk displays and mock-ups of the Spitfire; for some years after the '65 war, I thought, India was making a genuine effort to make the Gnat a symbol that would hold about the same position in the Indian psyche that the Spitfire does in the British. I personally know Indian air warriors who remember some solitary display aircraft somewhere, as a key contributor to their childhood dreams of aviation; and
- Crowds at airshows in India have never, to my knowledge, been thin. At several airshows some years ago (Marina Beach in Chennai, Marine Drive in Mumbai, Shankamukham Beach in Trivandrum) the crowds were so gigantic, the police were almost completely overwhelmed. All BRFites who have been to AI know what the crowds and the traffic are like there; a posting as AOC Yelahanka is regarded with some
dismay by our senior transport jocks, because anyone posted to that position knows it is a particularly hot seat for those few days.
I remember the Gnat at TAFS; my college room-mate and my wife are both alumni of TAFS
. But I take the point, that if even TAFS, whose foundation stone was laid by the late Mrs Arjan Singh, couldn't display it in an appropriate manner, it's a lot harder for a school less privileged with IAF connections