The Mystery of BD 884 From The One Who Flew It

The very fist reheated HF-24 was BD 831 which Winco Chopie flew on October 12, 1964  after production (See photo attached, and below). Groupie Das was somewhat unwell that day to do the flight himself.

It has now been confirmed that BD 884 in the museum in Bangalore is only a Mk IA. Wg Cdr IM (Chopie) Chopra flew it first after production on December 18, 1965. Thus, at least two Mk IAs were produced.

Winco Chopie’s logbook also has production serial number 006 which could have been made into Mk IR after he left for Egypt on deputation for flying the IBX, This might have been numbered BD 832 or 833 and could have been converted to Mk IR, the other perhaps to IBX. Final clarification on this issue should be available from Winco Tilak after he returns to Perth and looks into his (13) logbooks. He still flies as an examiner at times, probably filling the 14th logbook.

After BD 884 came to A&ATU for evaluation, Sqn Ldr (now AVM) Ajit Lamba did eight flights on it in 1969-70. I flew it in October 1970. All three of us listed it as Mk IA in our logbooks. It never had a clamshell canopy. I saw its small photograph on the website of the Museum. It does not look like a clamshell to me.

With best wishes,
Kapil Bhargava


3 Responses to The Mystery of BD 884 From The One Who Flew It

  1. Jagan says:


    The only other airframe I know is BD888 – The two seater prototype.

    Thanks for the info on HF004.I didnt know it was a non-flying fatigue testing airframe.

  2. Digitalus says:


    I am glad to see someone else is puzzling with serial and constructors numbers too. The serials of the amazing Marut are very hard to track. Here are my educated guesses:

    HF001 -> BR462
    HF002 -> BR463
    HF003 -> Fatigue testing airframe
    HF004 -> BD828

    HF018 -> BD843
    HF022 -> BD844

    HF037 -> BD859
    HF046 -> BD888
    HF047 -> BD889
    HF048 -> BD1192

    How about the Mk.1T total production? 18 airframes are stated everywhere but I got serials for 13 only so far (D1691~D1703).

  3. Jagan says:

    Kapil Sir, thanks for that update.

    I suspect HF006 could be BD-831 itself. I have in my notes

    HF001 > BR462 (1st Prototype)
    HF002 > BR463 (2nd Prototype)

    The next four are my guesses based on the tail numbers that exist.

    HF003 > BD828 (Pre Production #1 ?)
    HF004 > BD829 (Pre Production #2 ?)
    HF005 > BD830 (Pre Production #3 ?)
    HF006 > BD831 (Pre Production #4 ?)

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