Aircraft of No.1 SFTS (India)


Read more about  No.1 SFTS Ambala .

The photographs from this page are taken from the album of an ex-RAF airman C.Hutt. Hutt's Album is currently in the collection of Frank Powley, whose namesake uncle, Wg Cdr Powley, was the CO of one of the Squadrons in SFTS. A few of the initial photographs are from various other sources.

Hutt's photographs are dated from the November 1941 to June 1942 period. All the photos related to Ambala are dated around Oct / Nov 1941.  During that period,   No.7th Pilots Course, IAF passed out of Ambala.  No.8th Pilots Course was undergoing training about the same time.

The Unofficial crest of No.1 SFTS is shown here on the right - It shows a Hawker Hart that has nosed over. The Harts ofcourse were used only upto the end of 1942, after which Harvards were employed.

The motto on the unofficial crest is tongue-in-cheek - The urdu-to-english translation of "Tum Lakri, Lakri Tum" was "You wood, wood you?" or to put it more accurately "You would, Would You?" , refering to the luckless student pilot who was unfortunate enough to make a mistake.

- 1 SFTS's Hawker Harts and Audaxes lined up at Ambala. The aircraft in the line up include Hart  K2104 and Audax K5141. Pic Courtesy: Indian Air Force
Audax K3088 - Flight Lieutnant VK Reddy taking off in an Hawker Audax K3088. Reddy flew with No.3 Squadron later on. Pic Courtesy: Mrs Anu Reddy - Aviation in the Hyderabad Dominions -
- Hawker Hart K-2085 at Jodhpur, preparing for a flight to SFTS Ambala. The Harts and the Audaxes formed the mainstay of training in the initial years. Tigermoths and  Harvards later took over the advanced training role. Pic Courtesy: Bharat-Rakshak collection
“The end of K2105” wrecked fuselage being lifted by block & tackle. Post- 3rd January 1942 -

K2105 Hart (India) was one of a batch of 50 delivered between Septmeber 1931 and May 1932 . arrived at Aircraft Depot Drigh Rd on. 31.12.31 for 39 Sqn; Swung after landing and tipped up, Miranshah, 20.4.38; repaired on site.  with 1 SFTS(I) May 41. Flew into ground during low level bombing practice and overturned, Shahbad bombing range, 22 Nov 41; SOC 25.5.42

- “Hawker Audax Ambala ready for night flying , November 1941 ”

The Audax had its exhaust shrouds channeled into a pipe that went towards the rear of the aircraft. This helped mask the flames emitting from the exhaust shrouds as normally would have been the case with the Hart.

"The Aurora, Ambala, November 1941”

Aurora DG454, pictured here was on the strength of No.1 SFTS Ambala for a brief period of time. Used in training of navigators. It was later on sent to the Coastal Defence Flights and carshed in the Sunderbans on 6th April 1942. The aircraft was burned after salvage was considered to be impracticable.

- "Hawker 'Audax', Ambala, 'Spick and Span' , November 1941 "

Audax K3102 is one of a batch of 91 Hawker Audax-1s delivered between June and September 1933 to Contract 190684/32.  This particular aircraft was delivered to  2 ASU 2.8.33, arrived at India at Aircraft Depot Drigh Road 28.10.40; 1 SFTS(I) by 8.41.

It was damaged when the undercarriage collapsed in a heavy landing at  Ambala on 25.6.42. It was declared beyond Economical repair and struck off charge.

“Hart Just off, Grass Farm Ambala, 24-11-41” (K8629?),

Possibly K8627. Deld to PD 14.6.37; AD Drigh Rd 13.7.37 for 39 Sqn; 1 SFTS(I); swung on landing and tipped up, Ambala, 14.1.41; Repaired on Site. Stalled at low altitude and crashed, Khera, 8 1/2m NE of Ambala 8.9.42 (1033 hours).

possibly K8631. Deld to PD 14.6.37; AD Drigh Rd 13.7.37 for 39 Sqn; 1 SFTS(I) 4.41; engine cut; stalled in forced landing and undercarriage collapsed 34m W of Jodhpur, 13.5.41; Repaired on site; SOC 7.6.44

- “Audax at the Grass Farm Tucked-up for the night, 24-11-41”
The Avro Anson was used as a Navigation and Armament Trainer. These were operated by the SFTS in Ambala.

All the above photos are from a WW2 album belonging to "C. Hutt 12222516 RAF"  and the album was titled  "Ambala India 1941". The album is currently in the possesion of Mr. Frank Powley, who has very kindly allowed the photographs to be displayed on this website.

Thanks also goes to Don Clark for providing the individual aircraft histories of some of the aircraft on this page. Don maintains the definitive website to 211 Squadron at http://users.cyberone.com.au/clardo/

All Images on this page are the Copyright Frank Powley unless mentioned otherwise.

Copyright Bharat Rakshak . All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Bharat Rakshak is prohibited.