Most Karachites know about and have visited the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum that’s located conveniently on Shahrah-e-Faisal at least once, but if you’re new to Karachi, a trip to the Pakistan Air Force Museum is a must. Along with the Pakistan Maritime Museum on Karsaz, the PAF Museum is among the must-visit museums in Karachi. Let’s learn more about what’s you’ll get to witness when you spend a day at the Pakistan Air Force Museum with your family or friends.
About the PAF Museum
Pakistan’s Air Force plays a major role in keeping Pakistan protected and allowing us to enjoy nights after nights of peaceful sleep, and this museum is all about paying tribute to the new and old heroes that have laid down their lives for the nation. The museum also hosts a number of aircraft, some captured from the enemy, and others that are retired from service. These fighter planes are mainly on display in the open-air museum within the park, but some are protected within the hangar that serves as the Archives Gallery for the museum.
Located next to the PAF Base Faisal on the busiest road of the city, the Pakistan Air Force Museum was formally inaugurated on the 14th of August in 1997 by the then Air Cheif Marshall, Abbas Khattak, who was the Chief of the Air Staff at the time. The museum was then opened for the public in October of the same year. Around 30 aircraft are on display here, and more exhibits are added periodically to keep the museum updated. Historic photographs and paintings depicting the feats of the Pakistan Air Force also decorate the indoor galleries.
Galleries and Exhibits at the PAF Museum
While taking a trip to the Pakistan Air Force Museum, here are some of the exhibits and galleries that you should not miss:
Located in a hangar on-site, the Archives Gallery is the most famous because it contains the Viking, which was Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s aircraft. The aircraft is open for visitors, and you can tour the interior and see how the Founder of the Nation travelled in style, nearly 70 years ago. An Indian Gnat that force-landed at Pasroor during the 1965 war is also on display here. The Archives Gallery is also home to six sub-galleries. These include:
- History of Aerial Warfare (up to the modern times)
- Fighter Jets from around the World
- Shauhada of the 1965 and 1971 Wars
- Heroes from the 1965 and 1971 Wars
- Achievements of Different Air Force Squadrons
- Achievements & History of PAF Bases
The last two of these galleries are open galleries, part of the central display hall where the Viking has its place of prominence.
Exhibits on Display
Some of the planes on display at the PAF Museum include:
- F-86 Sabre
- Antonov An-12
- F-104 Starfighter
- MFI-17 (Mushshak)
- Shenyang F-6
- Mirage III
- Aero Commander
- Huskie (Helicopter)
- Beech D-95A (Travel Air)
- T-6G (Harvard)
The most recent addition to the exhibits is a statue of the Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, along with parts of his Mig-21 aircraft, which was shot down near the Pakistan-Indian border.
Facilities at the Pakistan Air Force Museum
It’s not all history and no play at the PAF Museum. The grounds are also home to a Play Land, where rides of different types are available for children of all ages, along with food stalls. You can also enjoy a tasty meal at the outdoor cafeteria and take back home some toys and miniature aircraft replicas from the Souvenir Shop.
Along with hosting small festivals, the Pakistan Air Force Museum also contains a Convention Centre that is available for hire for small private events. Don’t forget to visit the Pakistan Air Force Women Association (PAFWA) Shop during your trip to the Pakistan Air Force Museum. PAFWA is a welfare organisation that works towards the provision of education, financial, and social aid for low-paid employees of the PAF, along with participating in relief work after natural calamities like floods or earthquakes. The PAFWA Shop contains a lot of handicrafts and artefacts that can make great gifts for your loved ones and will help you donate money to a good cause.
Timings and Ticket Prices for the PAF Museum
The PAF Museum is open for the public daily, from 9 am to 9 pm, with the ticket price being PKR 60 per person (ages 3 and above). People from military families and students with ID cards are charged PKR 40 for admission into the park. Children under 3 years of age and senior citizens above 60 years of age are allowed to enter the premises free of charge.
A separate parking fee is applicable to your vehicle. All cars, jeeps, and vans, must pay a parking fee of PKR 50 per vehicle, while the parking fee for motorcycles is PKR 30. Buses and coasters will have to pay a parking fee of PKR 200 upon admission.
Around 4,000 people visit the museum during the weekdays, while 15,000 individuals head towards the park on the weekends. Many schools also plan their tours to the park throughout the year.
A trip to the Pakistan Air Force Museum can be quite entertaining and enlightening if you plan it right. Use the information given above to plan your visit. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, queries, or suggestions you might have for us and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates on Zameen Blog.
[*Image Credits: Facebook/PAF Museum]