When did you last see a steel bird that soars in the sky on city roads? That is what the Air Force Technical College did when its staff towed a MiG-21 from the HAL Airport to its campus at Jalahalli West. The college wanted to equip itself with a ground run-worthy aircraft to conduct practical training.

The aircraft was originally flown in from a forward base at Kalaikunda to the HAL Airport. Its wing span is 7.5 metres, and total length, 14.5 metres. As the aircraft is nearing the end of its operational life, the towing operation had to be carried out without dismantling it, a press release said here Friday.

A challenge

Considering the wing span and length of the aircraft, it was a challenge to tow it over a distance of 28 km and the operation was carried out through the night.

The route

A tractor towed the ageing aircraft via Old Airport Road, M.G. Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Sankey Road, Bellary Road and Ring Road. As many as 100 IAF personnel and 30 policemen and 14 vehicles were involved in the operation.

The sequence of operation was planned and well-rehearsed weeks in advance and executed to perfection with coordination with a number of civil agencies, including HAL, city police and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

Keywords: MiG-21HAL

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