My Experience With the Avro HS 748 in the IAF

M G Singh By M G Singh, 19th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Airplanes

The Avro HS 748 was a versatile plane that gave yeoman service to the IAF

A Sturdy Transport Plane -the Avro HS 748

I spent a lot of time in the Air Force. By chance I also had along association with the Avro HS 748, a plane that was the backbone of the communication squadrons of the IAF.The Avro was an English plane which was built under license at HAL. The plane was a twin engine turbo prop which had an endurance of over 5 hours. The plane was also used by the IAC and was the mainstay of the Indian Air Force Communication squadrons. It was also used for VIP duties and conveyed the Prime minster and other dignitaries to the far corner of India. For VIP duties the plane was suitably furnished and had plush interiors.

The Avro was also modified for the use of the IAF and had its door enlarged for supply dropping and carriage of goods and equipment. But I am afraid, it was not much of a success in that role and it was soon replaced for these purposes by the Russian built AN 32.My first long haul in the Avro was when posted at Calcutta; I made frequent trips to the IAF base at Car Nicobar. It is a tribute to the endurance and capability of the Avro that it flew non stop from Dum Dum airport at Calcutta to Car Nicobar island in the Bay of Bengal in about four and a half hours. When we took of from Dum Dum, it was a panoramic sight to see the Delta of the Hooghly and Ganga below. I have never seen such scenic beauty anywhere. In between the Aircraft was put on auto pilot mode and it was not uncommon for some of the crew taking a cat nap, while one kept alert.

In 1989 I was posted as a member of the Air Staff Inspection team for 5 years. It was our job to travel all over India to check the operational readiness of the various air bases and squadrons. For these movements we invariably used the Avro. It was a good plane as a light transport, but unsuitable for cargo or Para missions. Frequent flying in the Avro convinced me that it was a very versatile plane. In the Avro I flew to the far corners of India and rain or shine the Avro carried me and the team with safety. I remember landing at Tezpur in the thick of torrential rain and the Avro was none the worse for it.

Four and a half decades down the line about 60 Avro’s are still in service with the IAF. Generally the Avro had an excellent safety record both with the IAF and the IAC, though IAC pilots and passengers were not too happy to fly in the Avro. Incidentally Rajiv Gandhi flew the Avro as well.

The production of the Avro is stopped and only maintenance work is carried out on the existing fleet. But all in all the Avro certainly has a place in the transport history of the Indian air Force. And of course I can never forget my association with the Avro.


Airforce Tansport Fleet, Avro Plane, Indian Air Force

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author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar Suman
2nd Apr 2011 (#)


I'm from Nepal and have traveled in Avro several times in my childhood. Once there used to be over 6-7 avros in Nepalese sky but these days only one is remaining.

I had been flying AVRO in Flight Simulator lately, and find it difficult to flare.... comparing to other turboprops like Beechcraft. Is it same in real???

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