In 2014, a family event took us to India for the first time, where we spent a couple of weeks in Bangalore, - the country's hub of the high-tech computer industry, and one of the key manufacturing and development locations for Hindustan Aeronautics
Ltd (HAL) – India's indigenous aerospace corporation.
HAL have been around for quite some time, - originating in 1940 as a company set up to licence-produce Curtiss Hawk fighters and Vultee bombers, but quickly becoming the prime centre for refurbishment
and repair of Allied aircraft of South East Asia Command. Since then, HAL has grown into a major player in the aeronautics market, evolving through licence-building of British and Russian aircraft; to developing indigenous fighters and helicopters; supplying
components and engines to global customers, and most recently, entering space with Indian satellite launches.
In Bangalore, the HAL Heritage centre is part of the enormous main HAL complex which spreads across Airport Road from the old city airport
just 3 Km from the city centre. (there's a state-of-the art modern airport 20 Km north of the city). It's not an aerospace museum per se, but is a reflection of HAL's evolution; strangely though, the physical and information exhibits appear
frozen at some point in the 1970's and the place has a slightly forlorn, dusty atmosphere. On the (weekday) I was there, a party of school kids, two other tourists and I were the only visitors to be seen.
While in Bangalore, we stayed out to the
east of the city, under the flightpath for the old airport. On any given day, one could see MiG 21, MiG 29, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Hercules, HAL light combat aircraft, MiL HiP and once, 2 Globemasters !
Not one of the world's must-see aircraft museums,
but if you're near Bangalore, worth a trip.