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Pakistan is keen to preserve its aviation heritage. Indeed, during various wars and conflicts with neighbouring India, PAF aircraft saw action and downed IAF adversaries. Moreover, Pakistan honours its pilots and provides a sample of resilience to its students at various colleges. In all, nearly 300 aircraft are preserved on air bases, in parks, museums and at colleges. Just a handful are shown here, for a full overview we refer to https://pakistan-aircraft-monuments.000webhostapp.com/. This F-86F marked '53-1127' is preserved in Gushan-e-Iqbal park, Sialkot, Punjab. Its real serial is unknown.

 

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When surveying aircraft monuments in Pakistan, you will soon find that the Sabre and F-6 are ubiquitous. Seen here are three F-86F Sabres. First up is 55-4996 parked inside Abbas Bhai park in Hyderabad, Sindh. The second image shows 53-1216 painted gloss grey which is preserved inside Kila Kohna Qasim Bagh fortress in Multan, Punjab. Third of this legacy Sabre line-up is 53-1102. For this you have to follow the Karakorum highway to Darwesh, Kyber Pakthunkhwa were it sits as a War memorial.

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Pakistan also received nearly 100 former German Air Force, Canadian built, CL-13B Sabre 6s. This trio is headed by 1632 painted wrongly as '1635' pole mounted at Shaheen chowk in Sargodha, Punjab. The second example is 1794 that sits in the centre of Jahaaz chowk in Mianwali, Punjab. Painted up in 2 squadron markings is CL-13B 1728 outside Jinnah Hall in Lahore, Punjab.

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Well loved and respected, the F-6 is a sought after aircraft for preservation too. After using nearly 300 aircraft it was withdrawn from active use in 2002. With 23 squadron at Quetta being the last operator, its distinctive Talon badge can be found on many of the preserved F-6s. We kick off this trio with two in those exact markings. The first is the one at China chowk in Lahore, Punjab; 1610 is probably the most viewed F-6 in Pakistan. Next to that is 1910 to be found in Jhelum, Punjab in F-6 park, at the crossroads of Kazim Kamal and Sarwar roads. The third is 7625 at Azam chowk on the outskirts of Bahawalpur, just being scrubbed it may receive new paint soon.

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Preserved aircraft are taken care of very well in Pakistan. So they often look well kept and freshly painted. Downside to this is that over time they regularly loose their original markings in the process. When you look carefully you can see that this one in front of the Model School in Hyatabad, Peshawar, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, is incorrectly painted '11061'; that should be 10610! Another paint bucket was used liberally on 1904 with non-standard insignia and numbers font in Westridge park, Rawalpindi, Punjab. The third painter's folly is 5540 at Jinnah Park chowk in Okara, Punjab. Alignment of the serial on the nose is creative but wrong.

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Recently, the many Sabres and F-6s are being supplemented by FT-5, A-5III, Mirage and F-7P aircraft. The FT-5 and A-5III were used until 2012. The Mirage and F-7P are still active although their numbers are dwindling. First in this trio of FT-5s, a well-loved sturdy plane of timeless beauty, is 55-1212 situated at Jassar bypass in Narowal, Punjab quite close to the Indian border. Another immaculate example, 55-1216, is at the Municipal Committee park, Chakwal, Punjab. Third and last is far more West in hospitable Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 55-2216 sits at Kacheri chowk in Dera Ismail Khan.

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Pakistan sourced around 300 Mirages, from 1967 onward. Both factory fresh and airframes acquired from other users. Not all made it to airworthy status, many were used for spares reclamation or are kept in reserve. Also, some were freed up for preservation as the next trio shows. First we stand still at the very first one ever, or at least painted as such, Mirage 3EP 67-101. It sits outside the Fazaia housing scheme, South of Lahore, Punjab. When travelling between Islamabad and Peshawar on the M1 motorway, you can see Mirage '307' sitting in a roundabout South of the Mardan/Nowshera exit. It wears a serial that was once worn by a Libyan Mirage 5DR, but as you can see it is actually a former Libyan Mirage 5DE. So someone did not do his homework correctly. Third in this small line-up is one that used to be painted blue and white and with fake serial '11-266'. Nowadays it has a two-tone grey colour scheme and is just marked '266'. It is a former Australian Mirage 3EA and is to be found at Bagh Naran chowk in Peshawar, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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As far as we know, 56 A-5III were obtained by Pakistan. After their withdrawal more and more are finding their way as monuments throughout the country. This particular one, 3W-150, is at phase 2 of the Fazaia Housing scheme South of Lahore, Punjab. The F-7P is being replaced with the capable and more modern JF-17 Thunder. This frees up airframes for preservation. Of these, backlit 88-508 carries no markings and sits along the Grand Trunk road in Muridke, Punjab. Another Punjabi resident is 89-521. It wears the markings of the last fully operational F-7P squadron, 18(OCU)sq Sharp Shooters and also watches over the Grand Trunk road, albeit in the centre of Gujranwala.

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We conclude this pictorial overview of Pakistan Aircraft monuments with the inventory of the brand new Army Museum on the outskirts of Lahore, M.M. Alam International airport in Lahore cantonment. It is not yet opened to the general public. Helicopters on show are this awesome looking M-17 58660. Careful observers might see that the tailboom is damaged which explains why this quite new asset sits in the museum. Pole mounted AH-1F Cobra '23216' was likely never actively used but obtained for spares, it still wears former US army national guard markings from Ohio state! Behind it near the facade of the museum building you can see SA315B 697 sitting on a pedestal in the shade. Concluding the helicopter line-up is the venerable Alouette III. This one, 1821, was delivered in 1970 and saw brief service in East Pakistan (the current Bangladesh) before being repatriated.

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Ending with a rare bird, the RT-33 is also in the Army Museum in Lahore. It used to be mounted on a pole inside the perimeter of Sharea Faisal air base in Karachi, Sindh but somehow travelled all the way North to its last resting place here.

Well, what can we say after seeing all these awesome monuments? Go to Pakistan enjoy the hospitality of the people, the nice food, the mayhem of traffic, and the many, many heritage sites, with or without aircraft momuments, it is well worth a visit!