Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aerospace museum

I had a chance to visit HALs Heritage center and aerospace museum. This is a great initiative since I am not sure many such museums exist anywhere in India, which is sad. I have visited the Intrepid air and space museum which is a mindblowing museum, for those interested/fascinated by air and space technology. Personally I am not a great fan of museums which stuff animals and birds and exhibit them. Therefore, museums like these which showcase technology are my choice of museums.

While the HAL museum is just about good with its HF Maruts, MIG 21, LCA mockup and Canberras, the Intrepid museum is just something else. There you have naval cadets walk you through exhibits (like the Intrepids control tower or anti aircraft guns), conduct sessions all of which makes it a little more interactive. Here in HAL, there is a lot of green space, the exhibits are nice to look at and touch, especially the PSLV shield and the radar. But staff is spartan and that too only to shoo away visitors from gardens. Perhaps the Vikrant will be as good as Intrepid. The souvenir shop at the HAL museum, which imho has immense potential (not only here, but elsewhere) was a complete let down ("No stocks"). The flight simulator is just a computer screen and the simulator part of it does not work. Other than that the HAL gallery was good, only that perhaps there is so much potential out there in the museum which is perhaps untapped.

We need museums that showcase Indias achievements in the technology/military field. More than patriotism, it is these which build a love for technology in the minds of the young. I hope that the HAL museum in its final avatar will be as inspiring as I found the Intrepid.

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