B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2866 times:
Does anyone know the current status of this aircraft - will he fly again?
VT-EFU has been stripped of engines and parked on the Kalina-side maintenance ramp at BOM since January 2003, so unless there is a miracle of sorts she will not fly again. She is probably being cannibalized for parts to keep the other 3 flying, even though they will also be gone after Hajj season.
Vimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1497 posts, RR: 19 Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2705 times:
I saw KDR day before yesterday sitting without engines on the Kalina side. Just can digest that I wont be seeing the 742s of AI on scheduled services in the Winter schedule. I have spent countless Friday/Saturday evenings through the 80s and 90s sitting at the viewing gallery at CCU (and later at the tarmac and runway side when I had my CCU airport pass) just to see them land and take off enroute to BKK/NRT on Fridays and then back to BOM on Saturdays. Freaked on their rotating red-lights. My most memorable event was driving an IC tractor on the tarmac at CCU, going off the assigned track for ramp vehicles and landing up right in front of a taxying AI 742 which promptly stopped and flashed its nosegear lights at me. AI security wasn't amused, AAI wasn't amused, IC wasn't amused and of course my experience wasn't entirely pleasant.
THE KINGS ARE RETIRING...
LONG LIVE THE KINGS.
Dedicated to Their Majesties Samudragupta, Mahendra Varman, Harsha Vardhana and Krishna Deva Raya.
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2573 times:
THE KINGS ARE RETIRING... LONG LIVE THE KINGS. Dedicated to Their Majesties Samudragupta, Mahendra Varman, Harsha Vardhana and Krishna Deva Raya.
I wrote this piece almost 5 years ago when Shahjehan and Rajendra Chola were retired from the fleet, but it is just as applicable to the foursome of remaining Emperors.
A few days ago, my dad informed me that Air India's two oldest surviving 747-200s (VT-EBE : Emperor Shahjehan and VT-EBN : Emperor Rajendra Chola) had made their last flights to an aircraft graveyard.
As of July 19 2000, both these noble aircraft no more. For years I had dreaded this day, but now that their fate was no longer just a hypothetical future event, I burst into uncontrollable sobs on reading about their final demise.
To a plane-crazy child growing up in the 1980s, these aircraft were more than just flying machines. They became members of the family, their names being just as familiar to me as those of my cousins.
They symbolized a perfect mix between the exotic and the familiar. Whenever I felt homesick, I could look across a rain swept tarmac in Bangkok or Frankfurt or Nairobi and feel warm and fuzzy inside just watching them taxi around under the power of their huge JT9D engines.
They were present for many of what I then considered to be the major events in my life : my first flight alone, my first glass of champagne, my first ride on a jumpseat, my first experience of runway 13 at Kai-Tak, my first emergency landing. I experienced every emotion that a child knew of from aboard their seats.
They showed me the world and played a huge role in making me the person I am today. It hurts to think of them lying in rusty heaps of metal under the unforgiving tropical sun.
Farewell, my dear old friends. You will be sorely missed, but the millions of memories you have provided me shall live on forever. Even though you may never fly again, you will always soar through the clouds in my heart and in my dreams.