Spotting long queues on a holiday, outside the aircraft museum on the beach road, has become a common sight in Vizag. Fondly called as ‘The Albatross’ because of its massive wingspan, TU-142 naval aircraft was the strong suit of naval Air-arm. It finally rests with its buddies post-retirement in the integrated war museum in Vizag as a monument with its saga immortalized.
The prestigious aircraft, now adorning a beautiful museum along the beloved RK Beach, has been holding the tourists captive since its inauguration last year. While the museum witnesses a footfall of close to 2000 tourists on regular days, the numbers go up to as many as 4000 visitors on holidays. Thrilling the tourists from other states and foreign countries as well, TU-142 has reportedly had close to 6 lakh visitors in the last 10 months! And the revenue generated amounts to a bit more than a whopping Rs 3 crores 50 lakhs.
Living a day in the life of an aviator braving the skies is not all that one can look forward to here. A realistic look into the machinations, automation and operations on board the warrior missiles in store. A host of other entertainment avenues are also offered at this scenic venue.
Given the tremendous response, the officials are looking to put in more efforts in turning the museum into a more decorated tourist site in Vizag.
About the aircraft
The Tupolev Tu-142 is a maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Russian in origin, it continues to serve the Russian Navy. It was manufactured by Kuibyshev Aviation and Taganrog Machinery Plants. The design for this air stalwart was by the Tupolev Design Bureau. Indian Navy commissioned the aircraft from the Russian counterparts to strengthen strategic at-sea reconnaissance and deep-water combat forces. It was inducted into the Indian Navy at Dabolim, Goa from erstwhile USSR in 1988. A massive striker when you look at it, its serene stance at RK Beach belies its mean war skills.